Lifelong Learning Platform | LLLP - European Civil Society for Education

President Juncker’s State of the Union: Skills for Youth

President Juncker’s speech on the “State of the Union” for 2016opened on the gloomy recent past and no less bright horizon we stand before as the European Union once again, struggles through an existential crisis: “From high unemployment and social inequality, to mountains of public debt, to the huge challenge of integrating refugees, to the very real threats to our security at home and abroad – every one of Europe’s Member States has been affected.” The LLLPlatform believes that many of the issues we face would find solutions if the cause was tackled at the roots, thanks to substantial investments in education to allow individuals to engage in learning at all ages. If the priorities set by President Juncker (among others “a Europe that empowers our citizens”) undoubtedly count on solid educational systems, the topic was brought up only through the prism of youth. First, when addressing the issue of youth unemployment, stating that efforts will “continue to roll out the Youth Guarantee across Europe, improving the skillset of Europeans and reaching out to the regions and young people most in need.” Second, when announcing the set up of a European Solidarity Corps, supporting youth volunteer across the EU where help is most needed. “By voluntarily joining the European Solidarity Corps, these young people will be able to develop their skills and get not only work but also invaluable human experience.” The LLLPlatform welcomes this transversal approach which coincides with our holistic vision of education. We look forward to discussing this initiative more in depth.