The Lifelong Learning Platform published a statement as reaction to the “Future of Learning” package, that the European Commission proposed in January 2018.
LLLP welcomes the prominence given to education and training at the EU level in recent months. At the Gothenburg Social Summit on 17 November, EU leaders had an informal lunch debate on education and culture for the first time. In the run-up to this debate, the European Commission set out a vision for a European Education Area by 2025 in the Communication “Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture”. The Commission followed this with the launch of a new Future of Learning package in January this year and the same month the first ever European Education Summit took place in Brussels, gathering over 20 national Ministers for Education to discuss equity and diversity in education.
The Lifelong Learning Platform views these developments as a positive step forward for EU-level cooperation in the field of education and training. This momentum should continue with a clear commitment from Member States and a concrete follow-up to the ambitious discussions at the Education Summit. We wish to stress, however, that the follow-up steps taken by the European Commission and Member States should be rooted in a holistic vision of education, which means looking at education in its universal scope and not exclusively at one specific sector (e.g. schools) or at the sole purpose of labour market demands. This is why we call for a European Lifelong Learning Area which encompasses all levels, sectors and forms of learning – formal, non-formal and informal – in order to truly be of benefit to all EU citizens. After all, not all young people are students and not all students are young people – we need education policies that match this 21st century reality.