Erasmus for All update: EAEA feels that budget for adult education should be increased

Wed 17 Oct 2012 02:49:00 PM EEST

The Draft Report from the rapporteur Doris Pack concerning EU's new programme for education, training, youth and sport was discussed in the European Parliament´s Culture and Education Committee in 19 September 2012. EAEA has published a statement regarding the Draft Report and proposed amendments in order to further improve the programme.

The Draft Report suggests renaming the programme. EAEA appreciates this, as well as the fact that Grundtvig, as well as the other sub-programmes, will continue within the new structure of the programme.

EAEA welcomes that the mobility of adult learners will be continued through the learning partnerships, which have been very successful and popular in the current programme. The Association proposes that the other two mobility schemes for adult learners, i.e. workshops and senior volunteering, will also be continued.

Adequate funding should be secured

EAEA believes that the budget increase for adult learning to 6 % is already a big improvement. Grundtvig is a programme that is the target of many groups and sectors within lifelong learning due to its non-formal nature. It is, for example, being used for young adults´ non-formal training, parents´ education as well as non-formal teachers´ training. Adequate funding is therefore crucial. In order to secure this funding, EAEA proposes to match at least the percentage for Youth, i.e. 8.3 %.

EAEA understands that the training for unemployed people remains the main task of national unemployment services and the European Social Fund, but believes that the transfer of innovation in this field should remain an important issue for the Lifelong Learning Programme.

More recognition to civil society organisations

EAEA is still sceptical about the ‘sustainable systemic impact´ that the programme is aiming for. Focusing too much on the systemic level can have an adverse effect and impede a broader participation. Indeed, smaller projects may not have a systemic impact but they do have greater qualitative individual, organisational and societal impacts, especially projects aimed at social inclusion and active citizenship. Civil society organisations should be recognised as agents of social change and innovation and their projects should not be hindered because their impact is not directly measurable.

EAEA regrets that operational grants are restricted to the Youth sector. The argument that for the continuity of the youth sector, it is crucial to ensure that youth NGOs receive also in future operating grants for their work in the field is just as true for the lifelong learning sector. Currently, operating grants for European associations are administered under Jean Monnet, key activity 3. EAEA would also like to see a stronger involvement of civil society in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the programme as well as the European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning (EUCIS-LLL) directly mentioned as a reference civil society partner in the framework of a regular dialogue in education & training.