On October 10th, the European Commission and the European Parliament organised an event to discuss the progress of the European Education Area, the strategy of the EU to create a European Learning Space that is currently undergoing a mid-term review and that aims at helping to make national education and training systems more resilient and inclusive for learners, teachers, the economy, and our societies.
The event consisted of a political panel followed by thematic discussions on citizenship education; supporting teachers, boosting equity and inclusion in education and training, and automatic mutual recognition. The political panel was moderated by the Director-General Ahrenkilde Hansen and featured the newly-nominated Commissioner Ivanova, the Chair of the CULT Committee MEP Verheyen, the Spanish Secretary of State for Education José Manuel Bar Cendón. Along with them, Elisa Gambardella - President of the LLLP and Coordinator for Education and Lifelong Learning in SOLIDAR Foundation - had the opportunity to share the main concerns of civil society with regards to the achievement of the objectives of the EEA.
In particular, we voiced the need to support robust public investment in education and its diversity of stakeholders, including civil society. Along with inflation, another risk factor for investment in education is the European Semester rules, that leave the door open to cuts to funding for social policies due to austerity measures. We demanded that the EU correct this and that public funding for education is ensured by the EU by increasing the budget for Erasmus+ in the next Multiannual Financial Framework. Lifelong Learning is a pivotal piece of the puzzle of policies that needs investment, to make sure that we can advance Social Justice through a just transition and equip all with adequate competences for navigating rapidly changing societies while safeguarding social cohesion.
Civil Society is ready and willing to contribute to the institutional efforts to achieve equal access to quality education and lifelong learning opportunities organised in an inclusive manner. To discuss how to do it at best and present ideas to this end, the LLLP is organising jointly with the European Commission the Education Stakeholders Forum, on the 27th November, and will contribute to the Education Summit taking place on the 30th November.
Learn more about the European Education Area mid-term review event by watching the political panel that opened the discussions, with the intervention of Commissioner Ivanova and also by reading the report about the progress on the implementation of the European Education Area, released by the European Commission.