Lifelong Learning Platform | LLLP - European Civil Society for Education


Volunteering plays an indispensable and capital role in lifelong learning. There, volunteers are parents, learners or educators of all ages willing to improve education and training systems. Volunteering is an expression of active citizenship that enriches democracy and contributes to develop solidarity and social cohesion, a value which is not only in great need in the current economic and social climate, but also one upon which the European Union has been built.

Volunteering is freely given, but not cost free – it needs and deserves targeted support from all stakeholders – volunteer organisations, government at all levels, businesses and an enabling policy environment including a volunteering infrastructure. Volunteering should not be instrumentalised nor used to replace paid work notably in public services and care systems.

Volunteering enables volunteers to develop skills and competencies for personal, social and civic development that one could not have gained in traditional or professional systems. However, today these competences are seldom recognised by formal education, companies or institutions. Volunteers need to be supported if they express the wish to have the knowledge and skills acquired through volunteering periods recognised and validated. In this sense, educational providers have a specific role to play in terms of guidance and training.


  • Peer learning on validation of transversal skills through volunteering

    The Lifelong Learning Platform and the European Volunteer Centre with the support of Cedefop organised a peer learning activity in Brussels, on 22-23 January. The PLA looked at the way validation approaches identify and document soft and/or transversal skills and competences. Using learning outcomes of – mainly but not solely – volunteering activities, participants discussed how to strengthen the conceptual basis of validation and how to further cooperate.
    Around 50 participants from NGOs, European institutions, national governments and research centres […]

  • LLLWeek18 – Lifelong Learning Culture in the European Parliament

    The 8th edition of the Lifelong Learning Week took place in the European Parliament on 3-7 December 2018. It was a dense week of debates, discussions and reflections upon the LLLP’s theme of the year: Lifelong Learning Culture: A partnership for rethinking education.

    The week kicked-off with a lively LLL Civil Society Forum in the splendid Fondation Universitaire. Civil society organisations active in education and training debated their own role vis-à-vis the latest EU policy, and their contribution […]

  • European perspectives: volunteers and lifelong learning

    David Lopez, President of the Lifelong Learning Platform was asked by “France Volontaires” what volunteering mean for lifelong learning.
    “When it comes to education and lifelong learning, the tension between the acquisition of competences and citizenship education is of particular relevance for the European point of view. Thus, it is crucial to develop a consistent policy on volunteering.”
    Read here is his perspective, in French.

  • Voluntary Services in France, Challenges and Tendencies

    This article was written by David Lopez, President of the LLLP, and originally appeared in the magazine Bundesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement.
    First of all, it is important to clarify different terms: In English volunteering is unique word used for different activities. In France we have two words: Bénévolat and Volontariat. The notion of volontariat is relatively recent. Bénévolat is considered as a not paid activity, freely chosen which is generally organised within a non-profit institution. The better translation in English is volunteerism.
    Volontariat that we […]

  • LLLP Provides Input on European Solidarity Corps

    Two months ago the European Commission launched the idea of creating a European Solidarity Corps by which young people will be able to volunteer across Europe to help respond to crisis situations. The LLLP welcomed the initiative, but together with member organisations, it came up with some ideas how to make sure it works well in reality. In particular, it emphasised on the importance of training and support for volunteers, developing a quality charter and creating synergies with other initiatives, […]

  • Setting up a European Solidarity Corps?

    President Juncker announced in his State of the Union Address before the European Parliament the idea of a European Solidarity Corps with the first 100,000 young Europeans taking part in its activities by 2020. The idea behind the European Solidarity Corps is that Europeans need greater opportunities to express their solidarity, which is a strongly held value throughout European society. Many young people would be happy to volunteer to work for a good cause and in projects where their […]

  • European volunteering: remove remaining barriers, urge MEPs

    The EU needs a better coordinated policy on volunteering, to give volunteers a proper legal status and help them join programmes, say MEPs in a resolution voted on 27 October. Almost 100 million EU citizens have taken part as volunteers in education, culture or arts, sport events, humanitarian and development aid work. Young people should take advantage of volunteering schemes to develop skills and acquire experience that helps them to find jobs afterwards, stresses the text. Despite the real […]

  • President Juncker’s State of the Union: Skills for Youth

    President Juncker’s speech on the “State of the Union” for 2016opened on the gloomy recent past and no less bright horizon we stand before as the European Union once again, struggles through an existential crisis: “From high unemployment and social inequality, to mountains of public debt, to the huge challenge of integrating refugees, to the very real threats to our security at home and abroad – every one of Europe’s Member States has been affected.” The LLLPlatform believes that […]

  • Validation of learning outcomes

    We are what we do, and yet, only part of what we do is recognised by others, namely employers and formal education institutions. But how many young people and adults engage in non-formal and informal learning processes? How many volunteer? How much do these activities add not only to their competences and skills, but also to their personalities? And in spite of the huge benefits such activities produce, quid of their recognition and validation? These were the questions asked during […]

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