Lifelong Learning Platform | LLLP - European Civil Society for Education

Investing in education

The LLLPlatform has been raising the need to invest in education – formal and non-formal through the development of validation schemes, the provision of adult education, teacher training, targeted measures for disadvantaged groups and to prevent early school leaving.

Evidence is striking; the number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion in the EU increased from 114 million in 2009 to 122,3 million in 2014. In January 2016, the youth unemployment rate was 19.7 % in the EU-28 – 48% in Greece, 45% in Spain, 44% in Croatia; while those neither in employment nor in education and training (NEETs) have significantly increased in OECD countries since the start of the crisis. Inequalities persist in European education and training systems where vulnerable groups such as migrants are particularly disadvantaged.

Beyond formal education, participation of adults in lifelong learning has been stagnating for many years (PIAAC) and 20% of the EU working age population has low literacy and numeracy skills, reducing by half their chances to be employed but also to access basic welfare services, participate in democratic and associative life or develop a sense of social cohesion. One of the key findings of the Education and Training Monitor 2014 is that socio-economic and socio-cultural inequalities continue to impact negatively upon educational outcomes.

The cost of non-investing in education especially for the most vulnerable groups is very high. Lower-skilled adults in literacy are for instance twice less likely to be employed but also to access basic welfare services, participate in democratic and associative life or even develop a sense of social cohesion.

The LLLPlatform is thus calling for a long-term and sustainable investment in lifelong learning.


  • New Reaction! The European Pillar of Social Rights – Action Plan

    On 4 March 2021, the European Commission published the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan (Action Plan) centred around three headline targets, the second of which is to ensure at least 60% of adults participate in training every year by 2030. The Action Plan also devotes one of its three main sections to education and training and lists a series of actions to be taken both by the Commission and the Member States with a leading focus on skills. […]

  • Next Generation EDU: Invest in Education for the Next Generation!

    The EU’s new long-term budget for 2021-27, coupled with Next Generation EU is the single largest investment in the history of the European Union. Its core programme, the Recovery and Resilience Facility, is aimed at helping the EU economy recover from the pandemic crisis and foster an economic transformation that meets the targets of the green transition, the digital transformation and the resilience and inclusiveness of European societies. The general framework is set at the European level, while the concrete […]

  • Education as a way for the inclusion of persons with disabilities

    On March 3rd, the European Commission unveiled its 2021-2030 Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This strategy has an important focus on education and training which takes a holistic approach by looking at lifelong learning as an instrument for inclusion. The Strategy mentions that lifelong learning, among others, is indispensable for decent living for all persons with disabilities. 
    Data shows that young people with disabilities are more prone to early-school leaving, and that fewer learners with disabilities complete […]

  • Social rights and inclusion through lifelong learning

    On March 4th, the European Commission published its action plan to ‘turn principles into action’ and achieve what was set forth by the European Pillar of Social Rights
    The Action Plan establishes three headline targets for the EU to be achieved by 2030:

    At least 78% of people aged 20 to 64 should be in employment.
    At least 60% of all adults should participate in training every year.
    The number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion should be reduced […]

  • Lifelong Learning Interest Group of the European Parliament – Need for a more holistic approach in the European Education Area

    BRUSSELS, 9 December 2020. A high-level panel debate during the meeting of the Lifelong Learning Interest Group on 1 December launched a discussion on key issues related to the European Education Area. The discussion took place virtually during the Lifelong Learning Week 2020 and brought together more than 60 key stakeholders in the education, learning and training sector.
    A call for more Europe in education
    In her opening speech, MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP, Finland) addressed one of the […]

  • LLLP Reaction – The European Education Package

    On September 30th, the European Commission unveiled its plans for three long-awaited strategic proposals: the Digital Education Action Plan (2021-2027), the European Research Area, and the European Education Area to be achieved by 2025. The communications outline a number of actions for the next five years. The Lifelong Learning Platform welcomes the new wide-ranging vision for European education and training as an acknowledgement of the key role it plays to Europe’s social and sustainable future. We also […]

  • The compromise between the Parliament and the Council: raising the bar for Erasmus+

    The negotiators of the European Parliament and the German Presidency reached a compromise agreement on the long-term EU Budget on November 10. According to Council sources, this compromise, among other things, helped secure a targeted reinforcement of EU priority programmes by €16 billion through additional means (€12.5 billion), reallocations (€2.5 billion) and more flexibility (€1 billion). The good news is that the Erasmus+ programme will receive additional funding for €2.2 billion, thus increasing its budget from the […]

  • State of the Union – No education, no recovery

    The State of the Union (SOTEU) speech is a customary intervention where the President of the European Commission explains the vision for the year to come. President Von der Leyen addressed the European Parliament in her first-ever SOTEU since she took office in 2019. 
    Many of the European actions for the future are directed towards the recovery from the health and economic crisis. These actions can’t be carried out nationally – she explained – and the current situation reinforces the […]

  • How can a strong grant system pave the way for a revolution in lifelong learning?

    This contribution is an interview of LLLP Director Brikena Xhomaqi and first appeared on the #Erasmus500 website
    The LLLPlatform has a holistic vision of lifelong learning, from cradle to grave. In its manifesto in 2015 on “Building the Future of Learning in Europe” we call for inclusive, quality, modern and democratic education systems for all. Grant systems are at the heart of an inclusive education that helps overcoming social and economic barriers for learners to access quality learning opportunities […]

  • Next EU Budget: Lack of political ambition leads to cut on social Europe

    On Tuesday, July 21st, and after over four days of intense negotiations, European leaders finally reached an agreement over the next seven-year EU Budget and closely-related Recovery Fund. 
    To any external observer, it was clear that the EU own budget would have fallen victim to the economic needs of the Recovery Fund (called ‘Next Generation EU’), which prompted bitter disputes between Member States. The Multiannual Financial Framework for the next cycle (2021-2027) is 1.074 trillion euros, plus the extraordinary […]

See all Resources