23.03.2011 EAEA

LifeLong Learning week Success at European Parliament

EAEA, together with other stakeholders in the European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning, EUCIS LLL, participated in the first ever Lifelong Learning Week at the European Parliament last week.

During the week Pierre Mairesse, Director for Lifelong Learning at DG EAC came to meet with EUCIS members and outlined the key upcoming developments form the point of view of the Commission. These included information about the proposal for a new Lifelong Learning Programme, a new Action Plan, and Communications on civil society and multilingualism.

On Wednesday, there was a Round Table at the European Parliament on the effects of austerity measures on education and training, which had been organized by EUCIS together with SOLIDAR. There were inputs from France, Ireland and Latvia about the impact of cuts on lifelong learning and responses from Doris Pack (EPP), Mary Honeyball (S&D), Elisabeth Schroedter (Greens-EFA) and Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL). In addition, participants heard contributions from Jeff Bridgford (ETUC) and Gyula Hegyi (European Commission, Cabinet of Commissioner Laszlo Andor). EAEA also participated through Gina Ebner, who co-chaired the event. On behalf of EAEA Gina added recommendations, such as the need for sustainable financing, for consultations with civil society, for evidence-based policies, for mainstreaming innovative projects. There were many participants, including some additional MEPs from the Education and Culture Committee.

After a cocktail reception on Wednesday evening, there was a public hearing on the impact and added value of transnational learning mobility schemes to develop personal, social and civic competences on Thursday. Again, there were about 60 participants who listened to good practice examples and then discussed recommendation on how to improve mobility programmes in Europe so that more target groups can participate, that participants can make the most of their learning experiences and that active citizenship and personal development are recognized as equally important to employability.

The reports of the events will be put online in the next few weeks and we´ll post the links on the EAEA website.

Overall the week was a success, raising the visibility of lifelong learning in the Parliament, drawing attention to some key issues and made some valuable contacts.