The Lifelong Learning Lab took place online at the beginning of June, bringing together over 100 participants to form a space of dialogue and discussion around a number of topics related to EU decision making, the feasibility of establishing lifelong learning platforms at the national level, and in relation to broadening the collaborative scope of civil society organisations as a means for strengthening their influence in EU decision making arenas.
The discussions that emerged where both fruitful and forward looking in orientation. It was emphasised that, now more than ever, lifelong learning needs to be positioned as key policy tool, not only as a means for building the capacity of individuals to deal with changes in the labour market; but also to afford people the opportunity to develop personally and collectively, and to benefit from the intrinsic value of learning – at any point in their lives, regardless of financial means or age.
Looking further, the event also shed light on the value that collaboration can bring for civil society organisations, not only in relation to realising common concerns, but also in relation to influencing EU decision making, and making the voice of civil society a permanent fixture in policy arenas. Stronger together was the chief message. As a closing remark it is perhaps best to consider the final words voiced in the event:
It is hoped that the event will pave the way for a renewed emphasis on the importance of civil society cooperation and the feasibility of establishing national lifelong learning platforms. The need is great, and the time is right.