Name: Theo Van Malderen
Title: International Officer
Organisation: SoCiuS, Support Agency for Non-Formal Adult Education of the Flemish Community of Belgium
describe your current position and scope of responsibilities within your
organization which is related to EAEA and connected issues.
As a senior executive of SoCiuS, Flemish
Support Agency for Non-Formal Adult Education, I am currently responsible for:
- follow-up and promotion of the
EU-programmes, and particularly the Socrates programme, among Flemish
organisations dealing with non-formal adult education;
- capacity-building and training
of Flemish professionals with regard to international co-operation in the field
of non-formal adult education;
- policy advocacy for lifelong
learning at national and European level through involvement in EAEA;
- co-ordinator of the Grundtvig 2
project EDUCAP, which aims at developing a range of user-friendly instruments
for assessing and improving the educational capacity of the (potential) learner
and consequently aligning educational programmes;
- co-ordinator of international
exchange and training programmes and projects within the framework of the
Cultural and Cooperation Treaties of the Flemish Community;
- the co-ordination of data collection
with regard to adult education.
Until spring 2002: co-ordinator of the
Cultural Contact Point Flanders, the official National Agency for the
EU-programme "Culture 2000". Mother tongue Dutch, fluency in other languages
(English, Spanish, French and German).
on your experience in your organization, what kind of lobbying in the field of
LLL could you bring to EAEA?
SoCiuS is officially mandated by the
Ministry of the Flemish Community to advocate for lifelong learning at national
and international level. As such SoCiuS has developed a dense network for
advocacy with regard to lifelong learning, involving all relevant policymakers
(minister, parliament, ministry, educationalists, NGO's, press...). SoCiuS uses
this network for awareness-raising and influencing policy aimed at improving
and strenghtening European co-operation in the field of adult education. EAEA
can benefit from these networks as well. Besides, SoCiuS disseminates
information about the activities of EAEA and European policy among Flemish and
Belgian policymakers and all those involved in adult education.
is your motivation as a candidate?
Lack of education is one of the main causes
of inequality between people. If we want to get a better world we have to give
equal educational opportunities to every individual. I strongly believe
everybody has the right to learn and to develop him- or herself as a person
and/or as a professional. In this context the importance of EAEA cannot be
overestimated. As a European organisation EAEA gathers and supports a wide
range of NGO's that are dealing with adult education and advocates for (policy
development regarding) adult education. I want to contribute to this mission by
putting my commitment and expertise at the disposal of EAEA.
would you like to contribute to the association as a Board member?
- Cooperation with regard to documents that will be written by EAEA in
the framework of European Tenders (drafting, commenting and revising texts,
providing fact sheets and data,...);
- delivering of theoretical and policy documents emerging from the
Flemish and Belgian field of adult
- opening up networks at national level for EAEA with a view to policy
- promotion of EAEA in Belgium and beyond and dissemination of its
activities, products and services (documents emerging from European Tenders,
policy statements, project results, training seminars, Grundtvig award, ...)
through various media (website, magazine, e-letter,...) ;
- cooperation regarding existing and new EU-projects run by EAEA;
- contribution to the organisational development of EAEA, i.e. by
stimulating potential and new EAEA members to become fully involved and by
assessing future decisions of the Board on its real consequences and merits for
the members, especially in the new and candidate member-states;
- collaboration regarding service delivery of EAEA, such as training
initiatives organised by EAEA, communication through the internet and other
- international cooperation with third countries in the southern
- practical assistance to EAEA secretariat in Brussels (close to
the SoCiuS office).
do you see as priorities in EAEA next period?
- Policy advocacy for lifelong learning at a European level through
networking and frequently participating in tenders;
- extending services for the member organisations;
- - development of expertise through study-work (and to this end create
opportunities for capacity-building of EAEA-personnel);
- - development of good practice through projects, publications and
- - strengthening the organisational development and securing the future
financial position of EAEA;
- maintaining good contacts with the link offices.