The fresh EAEA President Per Paludan Hansen presents himself to EAEA members and stakeholders.
What are your aims as an EAEA president?
"It is important to continue good developments of last years. EAEA already has a strong position in the European adult education field and I want to fortify it further. We have a good cooperation with Directorate-General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) of the European Commission, but we should strengthen our connections to other DG´s of the European Commission as well as other European institutions e.g. European Parliament
Another important task is to further strengthen the cooperation with EAEA and its members and also between the members. EAEA members can help each other by sharing our experiences. The debate on adult education in times of crisis has been a good start."
What kind of a president do you want to be?
"I want to be a president who will be remembered as a team player; who involved and took advantage of the competencies and input of EAEA member organisations, board members and the secretariat."
How do you see the future of adult education? What is EAEA´s role in it?
"Adult education has a good future, because it has an important task to fulfill in society: strong adult education system correlates with strong democracy. The role of EAEA is to ensure that adult education is noted at the EU level. It also acts as a social partner in a for EU institutions. During the last decades European countries have become nearer each other. EAEA can have a role of an inspirer, leader and a collector of best practice examples."
Why did you became an adult education professional?
"Since I was young I have been active and taken part to the activities of different NGOs, like the Danish Youth Council. It just felt right to pursue a career in adult education sector!"
What is your biggest professional achievement so far?
"The Danish government made severe cuts to adult education ten years ago, at the same time when I became the Chair of the Danish Adult Education Association (DAEA). We realised that we need a modern and strong voice for non-formal learning. Two years ago we finally succeeded to have a committee on adult education on a national level.
Now it can be said that non-formal adult education is back in the top of the political agenda. Denmark´s new Minister of Culture started in last January and in her nominal speech she pointed out that non-formal adult education is one of the key issues in her agenda."
Text: Aura Vuorenrinne