Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will pay an official visit to Mongolia from 7 to 9 September and have meetings with the Mongolian leadership, including Minister for Foreign Affairs Luvsanvandan Bold, Minister for Education and Science Luvsannyam Gantumur and Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Tsedevdamba Oyungerel.
The objective of these meetings is to take stock of relations between the EU and Mongolia, particularly in the areas under the Commissioner's responsibility, and to extend the scope of cooperation between the two regions, consolidated following the signature of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), to cover people-to-people exchanges.
"2014 is a special year for the bilateral relations of EU with Mongolia as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of our cooperation, which started back in 1989. Over the past year we have witnessed a growing interest from both sides to raise the level of our cooperation, including people-to-people exchanges," said Commissioner Vassiliou.
During her talks with Mongolian leaders, the Commissioner is expected to underline the main objective of the PCA - to strengthen, promote and expand EU-Mongolia relations. Particular focus will be placed on the opportunities offered to Mongolian students and researchers through Erasmus+, the EU's new programme for education, training, youth and sport, and from the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions, under the Horizon 2020 programme.
Key facts and milestones
The European Union and Mongolia launched bilateral relations in 1989. The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was signed in 2013.
There is no formal dialogue between the EU and Mongolia in the people-to-people area. However Mongolia has participated in EU academic and research international cooperation and exchange programmes, notably:
Five Mongolian institutions (Mongolian University of Science and Technology; Mongolian State University of Agriculture; Health Sciences University of Mongolia; National University of Mongolia; Institute of Finance and Economics) have participated in Erasmus Mundus projects. The first two institutions participated in two projects aimed at enhancing the attractiveness of European higher education in the world: 'ISEKI'_(on internationalisation and sustainability of food networks) and 'AskAsia' (on agriculture, skills, knowledge in Asia: competences and employability).
16 Mongolian students and 2 doctoral candidates have been selected to follow an Erasmus Mundus joint masters or PhD programme in the period 2004-2013. Exchanges involving 227 Mongolians have taken place, or are envisaged, under Erasmus Mundus partnerships in the period 2007-2016.
So far only one Mongolian researcher has benefited from a Marie Curie fellowship, but this number is set to increase in the future as the programme becomes better known among Mongolian academics.
For more information
Commissioner Vassiliou's website
European Commission: Education and Training website
Follow Androulla Vassiliou on Twitter @VassiliouEU