The MOOCs movement has generally lagged in Europe compared to the U.S. But regional providers are being established here in the Old World, such as Berlin-based iversity and the U.K.’s Futurelearn consortium – the latter backed by the veteran distant learning business, the Open University, TechCrunch reports.

And now the European Commission is throwing the budding European Massive Open Online Courses movement a bone, by creating a network of MOOCs providers specifically focusing on web and app skills. It’s partnering with iversity to establish the network.

The E.C.’s agenda here is to up the level of digital skills in the region to ensure future jobs can be fulfilled by the local workforce.

The new MOOCs network is part of the Commission’s wider Startup Europe initiative, which is aimed at improving conditions for technology startups in the region.

The E.C.’s Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan is generally focused on three areas: education and training; creating a pro-entrepreneur environment; and developing role models and doing outreach to reach groups whose entrepreneurial potential is not being fully tapped.

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