The LLLPlatform is calling for a structured dialogue between the EU and organised civil society in the field of education and training. The Article 11 of the EU Treaty recognises participatory democracy as a fundamental democratic principle and calls for the creation of a meaningful dialogue with civil society. This can strengthen the relationship between decision-makers and civil society organisations and the citizens they represent. By involving all relevant actors, it can enrich decision-making and implementation processes by taking into account the views of the educational actors and their associations at all levels.
This is particularly important in the context of the ET2020 work programme and its implementation, as the proposed Regulation “Erasmus for all” points out: “Support for policy reform action shall include the activities initiated at Union level related to (…) the policy dialogue with relevant European stakeholders in the area of education, training and youth”. An open, transparent and regular dialogue is the only way to achieve successfully the EU strategic objectives in lifelong learning; this requires clear mechanisms of communication, consultation and cooperation. Such a dialogue can provide a framework for creating synergies and regular exchange of best practices, input into the policy-making process, follow-up and evaluation.
The Lifelong Learning Platform has participated for many years in the existing dialogue structures of the various EU institutions. The LLLP has been a key player in the organisation of the Education, Training and Youth Forum; it is a member of the Civil Dialogue Expert Group of DG HOME, of the Stakeholders’ Dialogue within DG EMPL and of the EESC Liaison Group with organised civil society. It co-chairs the Lifelong Learning Interest Group within the European Parliament. It is also member of major civil society coalitions (Civil Society Europe, Civil Society Contact Group, Europe+) where it is the main representative of the education and training sectors.