The creation of a distinctive and useful European education policy space is a necessary part of the project of Europeanization in the European Union. A ‘European education area’ is fundamental to the contemporary structuring of the European Union; it announces the arrival of a major discursive space, centred on education in which the legitimation, steering and shaping of European governance is being played out. This article explores the problem of governance and education, through its first stage, the construction of a European education project, based on cultural inheritance and then cooperation networks; then it examines, in the second stage, the determination of a new policy of lifelong learning. This new policy shifts the emphasis from formal institutional influence and centres on the individual learner, stressing performance and comparison. The article discusses the difficulty of this task, and its most important aspect, connecting governance and a meaningful project.

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