On 2 May, the European Commission released its proposal for the 2021-2027 EU Multiannual Financial Framework. The Lifelong Learning Platform welcomes the steps towards a rational adjustment of spending in areas such as agriculture and the commitment to double the budget of Erasmus+ – a commendable first step to boost the inclusiveness and accessibility of this iconic EU programme in the field of education, training and lifelong learning. However, instead of an even more ambitious vision for the future of Europe, where investing in people and their opportunities for personal growth is the guiding principle, the proposal limits itself to a fearful vision where the narrative of ‘security and defence’ wins the day.
LLLP, on the contrary, calls the EU leaders to focus on empowering citizens. Such empowerment can only be achieved if citizens rights – being them human, social and economic – are fulfilled through an EU budget that puts learning at its heart; learning about and with the EU, learning from others, learning as a means to support personal development and well-being of citizens, as well as reskilling and upskilling. We call upon the EU to base its future financial framework on the following principles:
- Education, research and innovation as the only viable long-term solutions for the EU to ensure both economic competitiveness and social cohesion.
- Well-coordinated cooperation and peer learning between Member States and all relevant stakeholders so they can learn from each other, exploring and upscaling innovative practices in education, training, lifelong learning, research and innovation.
- Quality learning mobility and culture awareness for learners of all ages and backgrounds as paramount to the future of EU given its potential to foster a sense of European identity and enhance citizens’ personal and professional development.
- Adequate funding for pan-European civil society organisations in order to support their valuable work with and outreach to citizens, helping to build trust in European cooperation, promote awareness of EU programmes, and channel people’s concerns into the EU policy-making process in an effective, well-targeted way.
Read the full reaction here and find out why we think these points are important.