A New Start for Europe- Don’t forget the key: Education!

In the end of June, the European Council agreed on the candidate for the President of the European Commission and negotiated the strategic agenda of key priorities for the next five years. The EU Institutions were invited by the Member States to fully implement these priorities in their upcoming work. The presented strategic guidelines outline: a union of jobs, growth and competitiveness; a union that empowers and protects all citizens; towards an Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy; a union of freedom, security and justice; and the union as a strong global actor.

SOLIDAR welcomed the Council approach in the view for the review of the EU2020 strategy, to streamline the new priorities that address the need for investment in skills and education, and to work on providing the opportunities for people who live in exclusion, and to “help develop skills and unlock talents and life chances for all: by stepping up the fight against youth unemployment, in particular for young people who have dropped out from education, employment or training; by promoting the right skills for the modern economy and life-long learning”.

This week Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker presented his political guidelines for the next European Commission to the European Parliament, regrettably his vision for ‘A New Start for Europe’ does not embody an explicit strategy on how to implement the Council’s priorities in the field of education and lifelong learning. The proposed political agenda, only mentions on few occasions the need for the development of skills, but in the context of innovation, research and industry needs. For SOLIDAR, in order to successfully counteract the social challenges of contemporary society and to work for sustainable growth, it is important to work towards empowering people by participating in the society through their engagement in education and lifelong learning. This should be supported by comprehensive strategies to foster people’s participation and access to education and training, and to actively support the creation of learning societies and learning workplaces.