01.04.2016 IN FOCUS

The new resolution of the European Council stresses the importance of citizenship education

EAEA welcomes the Resolution of the European Council on "Promoting socio-economic development and inclusiveness in the EU through education: the contribution of education and training to the European Semester 2016," which highlights the need for education and training to respond to these challenges. EAEA stresses the importance of non-formal and informal learning, and in particular of adult education, that receive too little attention in this Resolution.

The resolution comes at a time where Europe faces "multiple and simultaneous societal challenges" as a long-lasting unemployment issue, the refugee crisis, and threats from increasing radicalisation.

EAEA welcomes the fact that the Resolution talks about "skills, competences and knowledge", and not only about skills. It is good news to see that the European Council sees the acquisition of new skills as equally important as citizenship education. EAEA believes that citizenship education is crucial and necessary for a better living together in a democratic and inclusive society. In the turbulent times we are facing in Europe, citizenship education has a very important role to play and needs to receive strong support from the highest level of policy-makers and politicians in Europe. It is therefore a positive sign to see that this Resolution acknowledges its importance and puts it on an equal footing with skills.

EAEA would however like to stress again the importance of non-formal and informal learning, and in particular of adult education, that receive too little attention in this Resolution. The three challenges the Resolution underlines deals with three target groups that are all (young) adults: refugees (a vast majority of the refugees are men aged 18–34), radicalised persons and unemployed (young) persons can all hugely benefit from adult education and non-formal approaches.