Thu 10 May 2012 11:39:00 AM EEST
The European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) gathered in Vienna, Austria in the beginning of May for its yearly General Assembly.
The event was well attended, with 108 delegates from 32 countries coming together to discuss adult education policy, current challenges in the member countries and the top priorities for EAEA for the coming years. Austerity measures across Europe have hit the sector hard, with several member organisations closing down or dropping its membership as a result. Fortunately new NGOs and organisations are still being founded, so this year the amount of members leaving and the amount of new members approved were about the same. Some time was spent reflecting on the joint EAEA-ICAE World Assembly "A World Worth Living In", organized in June 2011. Other topics that raised interest was the proposed new European Union Programme "Erasmus for All", that is scheduled to replace the current Lifelong Learning Programme in 2014. There are growing concerns in the adult education community that civil society and all issues related to it are being replaced with short term employability measures. On the international scene EAEA will focus on the following issues in 2013: EAEA will continue to follow-up the Belem Framework from CONFINTEA VI. EAEA will also continue its cooperation with the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning in order to promote the implementation of the Belem Framework.
EAEA is also planning an advocacy workshop for adult education with representatives of DG EAC and DG Development and some stakeholders in order to reinforce adult education in development.
EAEA is an observer at CONCORD, the European platform of development NGOs, and will represent adult education in this forum.
EAEA organized a conference on Older Learners back to back with the General Assembly. The theme was considered very interesting by the participants, with lively discussions, interesting and sometimes provoking presentations, and a slew of recommendations for future work as a result.