13.01.2012 REPORTS

Research on launching National Stakeholders´ Forums and Platforms

EUCIS-LLL launched a survey on the feasibility of setting up National Stakeholders´ Forums and Platforms as concrete tools to facilitate a dialogue between civil society organizations and policy-makers on European cooperation in education and training.

Research shows several limitations in the implementation of lifelong learning strategies at national level. Several civil society networks including EUCIS-LLL expressed concerns for the lack of consultation of stakeholders. This was pinpointed in several EU progress reports as well as by stakeholders. "The Lisbon strategy partly failed because of the implementation gap between EU decisions and national choices. The Europe 2020 strategy aims to strengthen this impact. This is not possible without the implementers: governments and stakeholders (civil society organisations and social partners) alike."

Political backround

EU institutions have always sought input by national administrations, businesses and civil society groups to assist them shaping or implementing policies. The practice became compulsory in 1997 with the Amsterdam Treaty requiring the Commission to consult widely and publish documents before putting forward major new pieces of legislation. This led to the adoption of basic principles for public consultation to ensure all relevant interested parties are properly heard. At national level, the Member States have different practices / approaches relative to stakeholders´ participation - and even on the recognition of civil society representatives themselves. Furthermore, most of the time, no one is responsible for lifelong learning strategies in the Ministries and there are no such structured civil society platforms that gather the various sectors as EUCIS-LLL at the EU level. It is thus very difficult to measure the impact of EU policies at the national level.