Leonardo (EU)

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Leonardo da Vinci ( Leonardo for short ) is a program of the EU Commission to promote education and training , in particular cross-border vocational training. The projects are not organized by the EU itself, but by institutions or organizations in the individual countries. In Germany, the responsible agency is the National Agency Education for Europe at the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (NA at BiBB), in Austria the National Agency for Lifelong Learning .

The Leonardo program is one of four main programs of the EU program for lifelong learning (alongside Comenius for schools and kindergartens, Erasmus for universities and Grundtvig for general adult education). All these programs have been continued under the name Erasmus + together with other EU exchange programs since 2014 .


The program was launched in 1995 to develop pilot measures and innovative actions in the field of vocational training in the EU Member States. As early as 1998, however, the program fell into twilight due to the investigations by whistleblower Paul van Buitenen .

In a second phase of the program (Leonardo II 2000–2006) the focus was on improving skills and employment prospects, particularly for young people, through further professional development. Of the 21,000 projects financed as part of this much broader program phase, the majority (over 19,000) were mobility projects with a total of 367,000 internships for individuals. The budget had a volume of 1.45 billion euros.

A predominantly positive evaluation of phase II revealed some weak points. It was found that the professional exchange beyond the personal benefit of the people involved produced few tangible transfer effects and results. a. Because of the low level of involvement of the social partners, that direct transnational communication between the partner institutions involved remained mostly weak and that the administration and budget control that became effective as a result of the 1998 scandal had proven to be too rigid and inflexible.

A new program was launched in 2007 that ran until 2013.

Goals and target groups

The target groups of the program are:

  • Trainers at vocational institutions and in companies
  • Apprentices who are in their initial training for a professional qualification
  • Students, provided their study regulations provide for an internship
  • Young employees who have just completed vocational training or studies (up to one year after graduation). Instead of a completed training, two years of professional experience are sufficient. Unemployed people who meet these criteria can also take part in projects.

Social partners, associations and chambers can also participate in projects.

Participation is not tied to German citizenship or EU citizenship. It is sufficient to have your permanent residence in Germany (or another EU country).

Cross-border projects and partnerships between at least three countries that organize the exchange of trainers, trainees, students and young workers (or young unemployed people) for the purpose of vocational training are funded. B. Internships or vocational training at companies or educational institutions in the broadest sense. Other measures are also supported, e.g. B. Research projects, the development and international transfer of teaching and learning materials, cross-border topic networks or preparatory visits to initiate international collaborations.


Applications must be submitted via the national agencies - in Germany via the National Agency Education for Europe at the BiBB. The respective partners should preferably be chosen from the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) - i.e. from the EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway - and the states associated with the EU.

Private individuals - including the unemployed - who want to organize individual stays abroad must apply to the national institutions for vocational training. The BiBB provides a search function on the Internet for this purpose.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Inform, advise, promote, network. Retrieved July 29, 2019 .
  2. http://www.lebenslanges-lernen.at/home/nationalagentur_lebenslanges_lernen/leonardo_da_vinci_berufsbildung/mobilitaet/ Accessed October 17, 2012
  3. Leonardo da Vinci and Grundtvig are now called Erasmus +. Retrieved July 29, 2019 .
  4. Archived copy ( Memento from June 15, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  5. http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/evalreports/training/2007/joint/leonardo_en.pdf Evaluation report 2008, p. 115 ff.
  6. http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/programmes/  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. leonardo / new / leonardo2_de.html Information on application, accessed October 18, 2012 @1@ 2Template: Dead Link / europa.eu.int  
  7. http://www.na-bibb.de/leonardo_da_vinci/mobilitaet/pool_projektsuche.html