On the 15th of April, MEP Victor Negrescu and MEP Eva Maydell launched the European Education Alliance in an online event with guest speakers Arja Krauchenberg, President of the Lifelong Learning Platform, and Larry Flanagan, President of the European Trade Union Committee for Education. The Alliance enjoys the support of Commissioner Mariya Gabriel who appeared in a video message where she commented on the synergies between this initiative and the achievement of the European Education Area.
Briefly put, the European Education Alliance is an open platform which strives to bring different stakeholders together, such as MEPs, civil society organisations, social partners, enterprises and other actors, so as to raise the visibility of education and training in the EU landscape.
Born out of a need to widen the scope of how education is understood and valued at an EU policy level, the alliance recognises that education intersects with many other parts of our lives and should be given due regard. To this end, the Alliance, as a central tenet of its creation, seeks to raise the profile of education in its totality by strengthening its inclusion and relevance in all policy debates. In addition, the initiative aims to transcend the narrow conception of education as an endeavour to be compartmentalised into a brief period of one’s life – by promoting an alternative discourse that notices the benefits of education across the life-span.
In terms of immediate action, the Alliance will call on the need for adequate investment in education and training. The National Recovery and Resilience Plans which Member States are required to submit to access EU funding allocated to support recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, provides one such arena where this call is to be most imminently expressed. It has also been proposed that MEPs involved will mainstream education and training in all parliamentary activities, through amendments, reports, dialogue with the Commission and public hearings to ensure education receives adequate attention across policy lines.
The emergence of such an Alliance, on the initiative of Members of the European Parliament, bears many positive outcomes. LLLP welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the initiative’s success by helping to ensure that the voice of civil society is sufficiently represented within EU policy debates. A genuine holistic and multistakeholder approach is paramount if we are to succeed in our endeavours.