Kent Johansson, Swedish Centre Party, Sweden

Currently an MEP.

1. How do you view Adult Education and non-formal education in the strategy towards a progressive future for Europe?

I think Adult Education and non-formal education is equally important – and sometimes, Adult Education can even be more important.

2. Could you elaborate a bit on the importance of Adult Education?

Adult Education can often provide a “second chance” or a “better chance” for gaining an education and for acquiring new skills. Folk high-schools, for instance, also provides other forms of learning, with a more varied methodology, compared to formal education.

3. What are you prepared to do to strengthen Adult Education on the European Level?

As chairman for RIO (the Interest Organisation for Popular Movement Folk high-schools in Sweden) I am prepared to contribute towards ensuring that Adult Education and non-formal education is strengthened on the European level – and that goes for my work in the parliament as well as my commitment to working with organisations like EAEA and FOLAC (international unit for the 150 Swedish Folk High Schools).

4. Recent PIAAC results show that one fourth of the population between the age of 16 and 64 lack the education needed to be viewed as “employable”. Going from that, what kind of goals should the EU aim for when it comes to Adult Education, moving forward?

There is really no cause for any other goal than for everyone to become employable. But education is not simply about employability. It is also about giving everyone opportunities to seek greater knowledge and cultivation – together with others.

5. In the post-2015 strategy, education is but one of many items. We think that education is the basis for a more sustainable, equal, growth-driven and democratic Europe. Do you agree that education must be the consistent thread, tying all future strategies together?

Yes, I agree that education and skills must be a vital part of future strategies – so that we can achieve the transformation towards becoming a sustainable society. One of the biggest European challenges in the future is how we deal with the environment and the climate. If we are to face those challenges we need new knowledge and new skills – as well as new perspectives. And it is not only a challenge for those with a low level of formal education. We also need new perspectives and a new direction in a lot of fields within formal education and research.