On May 22nd, the European Commission has released an additional package to advance in building a European Education Area by 2025, as announced in the November’s communication ahead of the Gothenburg Summit. This package seeks to reinforce the cultural dimension of the European Union and bolster youth participation. It includes a new set of measures for Education, a new Youth Strategy and a new Agenda for Culture. Read here the press release.
The LLLPlatform welcomes the provisions outlined in the three initiatives of the package and is pleased to see that our demand for a stronger overall policy agenda for education has been taken on board. The Commission showed an interesting level of ambition, and we are glad to see that an automatic mutual recognition of diplomas and learning periods – especially for pupils – is being foreseen in the EC’s communication. LLLP furthermore approves the willingness to establish a network of European Universities, as long as it builds on the already successful existing initiatives (e.g. Erasmus Mundus Master Degree) and it is founded on inclusiveness. LLLP strongly emphasises and welcomes the synergies between education and culture, as outlined in the new Agenda for Culture, in particular if it would bring about a rethinking of the PISA tests and shifting the focus from STEM to STEAM. Finally, on a transversal note, we are also happy to note that the narrative of “lifelong learning” has come to substitute the term “education”, too narrow.
However, we would like to call upon all Member States and the European institutions to ensure the lifelong learning perspective is preserved and the cross-sectoral cooperation enhanced. The LLLPlatform flags that non-formal and informal learning environments could be further developed by the communication, to reflect a more holistic learning approach. While education for all seems to be an EU priority, such initiatives should reflect the demographic situation of the European societies and the needs of different age groups. Aware that education and training are a Member States competence, the Platform calls for adequate instruments to render these initiatives truly actionable. As such, the Communication risks to fall short in ensuring that clear targets with quantitative and especially qualitative measures are achieved.
For more on LLLP’s positions vis-à-vis the European Education Area, please see the general reaction and the reaction to the first package the “Future of Learning”. The LLLPlatform will also be assessing extensively this second package in the coming days.