13.10.2014 IN FOCUS

EAEA calls for MEPs to support an intergroup on comprehensive lifelong learning in the Parliament

EAEA believes that we need a vision and the political commitment to ensure our education and training systems deliver better for economic development, social and civic participation, personal fulfillment and well-being. Therefore an Intergroup on comprehensive lifelong learning is needed within the European Parliament (EP).

EAEA asks Members of the EP to sign the support letter for forming the Integroup and to send the letter signed to tania.berman (at) eaea.org. MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP, Finland), leader of the initiative in the European Parliament, is inviting MEPs to sign with this letter.

Today it is reported that some 80 million EU citizens will need to update their skills and qualifications to enable them to improve their employment prospects – while participation of adults in lifelong learning has been stagnating for many years. 20 percent of the EU working age population has low literacy and numeracy skills, reducing by half their chances to be employed but also to access basic welfare services, participate in democratic and associative life or develop a sense of social cohesion. Tackling this situation requires new coordination mechanisms to connect policies and players in the various sectors (health, youth, employment, social affairs, culture, etc.).

Fostering coordination, efficiency and participation

Setting up an intergroup on comprehensive lifelong learning represents a great opportunity to tackle these challenges for the future of Europe in a comprehensive and participative way. Policy makers and grassroots stakeholders have repeatedly acknowledged that achieving comprehensive and coherent lifelong learning strategies will only be possible if actors and sectors do not work in silos. This is why an intergroup on lifelong learning is so important in terms of coordination, efficiency and participation as well as to ensure the strategic political involvement of the EP in European complex and interlinked processes in education, training and lifelong learning. This initiative is led by the European Civil Society Platform for Lifelong Learning (EUCIS-LLL) in partnership with EAEA and with MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen and supported by MEPs from almost all political groups.

Indeed this Intergroup would be the opportunity to foster a sustainable and fruitful cooperation between MEPs and civil society in the field of lifelong learning that has a precious expertise and experience to offer to future MEPs in order to mainstream lifelong learning issues in several areas of the Parliament’s everyday work. The Intergroup could work on transversal topics as various as European democratic and citizenship education, fighting discriminations and promoting lifelong learning as a fundamental right, lifelong learning in the Social Investment Package or the European Social Fund, making the knowledge triangle work, gender equality in lifelong learning, development education, environmental education, etc.

Text: [via EUCIS-LLL]