This round table was organised by SOLIDAR and the European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning (EUCIS-LLL). Education and training/lifelong learning figures prominently in the Europe 2020 Strategy as a method of promoting smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. However in times of crisis and change, the austerity measures put in place by EU Member States are having an adverse effect by acting on investment in education and training.
Greater political commitment is needed amongst Member States to invest in Lifelong Learning as well as to ensure that the European Social Fund promotes social inclusion and social cohesion through lifelong learning at the grass roots level. To that end EUCIS-LLL hopes to set up an informal network with members of the European Parliament to address development on the following action points:
Ensure access to lifelong learning for all
Create synergies between lifelong learning sub-sectors
Invest in innovative and qualitative learning
Strengthen a long-term political commitment of public authorities at all levels
Support the role of civil society organisations
Improve and foster sustainable financing/funding mechanisms
To that end, tools such as the recognition and validation of non-formal or informal learning (prior learning) have to be developed to get people back on board, with more attention on "soft" skills competences and knowledge. Investments should be made in systems that work for the people, supporting the further development of best practices and allowing greater impact.