Skip to main content





SOCRATES is the European Community action programme in the field of education. SOCRATES is based on Articles 149 and 150 of the Treaty on European Union. Article 149 provides that the Community «shall contribute to the development of quality education» by means of a range of actions, to be carried out in close cooperation with the Member States. The Treaty also contains a commitment to promote lifelong learning for all the Union's citizens.


  • to strengthen the European dimension in education at all levels and to facilitate wide transnational access to educational resources in Europe while promoting equal opportunities throughout all fields of education;
  • to promote a quantitative and qualitative improvement of the knowledge of the languages of the European Union, in particular those languages which are less widely used and less widely taught;
  • to promote co-operation and mobility in the field of education, in particular by: encouraging exchanges between educational institutions, promoting open and distance learning, encouraging improvements in the recognition of diplomas and study periods, developing the exchange of information, and to help remove the obstacles in this regard;
  • to encourage innovation in the development of educational practices and materials and to explore matters of common policy interest in the field of education.

In pursuing these objectives, the programme will also seek to promote equality between women and men and equal opportunities for disabled persons, and will contribute actively to the fight against social exclusion, racism and xenophobia.