01.12.2015 IN FOCUS

EAEA Manifesto: Adult education contributes to a better Europe for all

EAEA has launched its 'Manifesto on Adult Learning in the 21st Century' at EAEA Policy Lunch, organised in the framework of the Lifelong Learning Week at the European Parliament in Brussels today. The publication sets objectives for creating a Learning Europe: a Europe that is able to tackle the future positively and with all necessary skills, knowledge and competences.

EAEA proposes a European-wide effort to develop a knowledge society that is capable to deal with the challenges of our time. This demands sustainable investments now on the European, national, regional and local levels in adult education. This will pay off in the long-term from many perspectives: for competitiveness, well-being, healthy populations, growth and more.

The Manifesto is targeted at European, national and regional policy makers to learn about the benefits of adult learning. It can also be useful for European education providers in advocacy work.

MEP Therese Comodini Cachia, EAEA President Per Paludan Hansen and EAEA Secretary General Gina Ebner at EAEA Policy Lunch, the launch event of the Manifesto, on 1st of December 2015 in Brussels.

Answers to current policy challenges

Adult education can help change lives and transform societies – it is a human right and common good. The manifesto presents seven contemporary European challenges in which adult learning can answer:

Active citizenship, democracy and participation. People who participate in adult education have more trust in the political system, participate more in society, by voting, by volunteering or taking active roles in communities.

Life skills for individuals. Adult learners feel healthier, lead healthier lifestyles, build new social networks and experience improved well-being.

Social cohesion, equity and equality. Adult education provides many opportunities to equalise societies on a larger scale and to create fairer societies as well as more economic growth.

Employment and digitalization. Workplace learning is one of the key drivers for adults’ participation in lifelong learning. At the cusp of enormous digital changes, adult education can help in closing the digital gap.

Migration and demographic change. Civic education and intercultural learning can create a mind-set of active citizenship and hospitality that creates integration-friendly cultures. Language and basic skills training will enable migrants to become active citizens in their new home countries. Learning seniors are more active, volunteer more, work longer and are healthier.

Sustainability. From environmentally friendly consumption and transport to energy efficiency, European citizens need a lot of information and innovative spaces to develop new lifestyles, new projects, new approaches. Adult education can help provide the information, the debate spaces and the creativity.

European policies. Adult education contributes to main European strategies in the field of growth, employment, innovation, equity, social cohesion, active citizenship, poverty reduction, climate change, internal market, migration, peace and more.

Download a full version of the Manifesto (in English).
Download a one-pager in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, or Russian.
Read more on the Manifesto website.