Annual Conference 2019
The Lifelong Learning Platform is happy to announce that it will be holding its Annual Conference on 19-20 June 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. The Conference will take place at the crossroads between the Romanian and Finnish Presidencies of the Council of the EU, thus helping the transition and bridging with the outcomes of the European elections.
The conference will tackle the topic of “Learning democracy, values and participation”, a theme that will encompass and inform all year for LLLP. 2019 is already a crucial year for Europe, as the political landscape is compelled to change in the May elections: through this topic the LLLPlatform will seek to bring back the discussions around citizenship education, active citizenship, and the values that inform our democracies. Following the many inputs of the Lifelong Learning Interest Group of the European Parliament, the thrust of its membership, and the European momentum, the Lifelong Learning Platform hopes to build an arena where to debate the importance of civic participation in the political life at all levels – local, regional, national, European, and even international – and the role that a lifelong learning approach to citizenship has to play.
From the Annual Conference, the LLLP will gather contributions from member organisations, experts and different stakeholders to the end of providing comprehensive and insightful information on how a lifelong learning approach is crucial to our democracy: these efforts will hopefully guide the decision-makers into the path that joins citizens and the decision-making processes. In fact, too often citizens perceive the democratic institutions as distant and unknown, and because of this the role of civil society shall be again the one that links this spheres and that prevents them from drifting away.
Education and a widespread lifelong learning approach would improve our societies, modernise them, and help them become more democratic (see our Manifesto). This is especially true for democratic systems, albeit national governments often do not see the long-term results of investments in – all forms of – education although study prove the positive impact on social mobility.
This large subtopic will tackle the changes we need to transition to learning societies; this includes an analysis of how the different education institutions foster and teach democracy and civic education. This subtopic will also address investment in education, the ways in which we learn everyday, new pedagogies (including digital tools for learning), as well as new innovative and creative ways to enhance the importance of learning in our society.
Global Citizenship Education
Global Citizenship Education (GCE) is a form of civic learning that involves students’ active participation in projects that address global issues. UNESCO defines it as aiming to empower learners of all ages to assume active roles, both locally and globally, in building more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and secure societies. GCE teaches us that some issues (human rights, inequality, poverty, social inclusion) must be tackled in a global dimension.
Under this hat, the LLLPlatform will seek to include in its policy work, and annual conference debates, the role that lifelong learning plays in Global Citizenship Education, as well as the best ways to integrate this latter into the EU education agenda. We will dwell into intercultural learning, citizenship education, but also address how lifelong learning can contribute to Europe’s way towards the achievement of the SDGs.
Promoting common values
The power of education and lifelong learning to inform our society and overcome division is key. Inclusion, equity, social cohesion, active citizenship among others are values we abide by. And we believe that promoting these values will ultimately benefit our society as a whole, ensuring – in the end – that no one is left behind. These values are nowadays quite questioned being at EU level or global one by social movements that show citizens insatisfaction with the current systems being them educational, political or economical.
Under this subtopic, LLLP will discuss how common values of prosperous, cohesive and democratic societies are indeed the way forward for our continent, world and how education and lifelong learning would sparkle citizens participation in democratic processes.