European Union

View the European Union’s priority areas for development cooperation in education along with its contributions to the GPE Fund.

Partner since
GPE focal point
Coordinating agency
Board constituency
Donor 5
Pledge for 2021-2025 replenishment
Total contributions to GPE

Aid to education

The European Commission, is the body with direct responsibility for the European Union’s aid programs. It is divided into Directorates-General.

The European Commission’s strategic priorities in education are:

  • Quality of education
  • Vocational training
  • Addressing inequalities

In 2017, the European Commission launched the “European Consensus on Development”, a shared vision and framework for action for development cooperation for the European Union (EU) and its member states. This blueprint reiterates the EU’s commitment to education for all as a prerequisite for youth employability and long-lasting development.

In 2017, the top recipients of basic education ODA disbursement were: Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Lao PDR, Syrian Arab Republic.

The share of the European Commission’s humanitarian aid budget allocated to education in emergencies has increased from 1% in 2015 to 10% in 2019, with an unprecedented funding target of €164 million for 2019 alone.

*This pledge covers the period 2021-2027.

Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnership. Photo credit: European Commission
The EU and Member States account for half of the global support to education and as Team Europe our contribution to the GPE will be a testimony that education must be at the heart of the recovery, with a particular attention to girls.
Jutta Urpilainen
European Commissioner for International Partnership
June 2021

The European Union and GPE

The European Commission sits on the Executive Committee of the GPE Board.

European Union donors and the European Commission are represented on 4 of the 6 donor seats on the Board of Directors. Taken together, their combined contributions to GPE represent 53% of total donor contributions.

The European Commission hosted the second GPE replenishment conference in Brussels in 2014.

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