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 Study: Public investment on education and training in the EU: trends, challenges and future prospects

    The Lifelong Learning Platform is proud to publish its study for the ongoing campaign on “Invest in ET”.
    While the value of quality education and training is strongly acknowledged across EU Member States, it remains the case that public expenditure has failed to recover to pre-financial crisis levels at the EU level. This paper tracks the extent to which public expenditure on education and training has changed over time and puts forth the case for a marked increase in levels of public […]

  • Annual Theme 2022 – Investment in education and training: a public good for all

    Why an Annual Theme?
    The Lifelong Learning Platform addresses forward-looking issues in the field of education and training on an annual basis. This year’s theme will be explored during different events and meetings at the crossroads between the French and Czech Presidencies of the Council of the EU, thus helping the transition and bridging with the outcomes of the Future of Europe Conference led by the French Presidency.
    Investment in education and training: a public good for all

    Why investment?
    Investment in education […]

  • Wanted! Lifelong learning in the French Presidency priorities

    The French Presidency of the Council of the European Union announced its priorities for the ongoing semester. Built on the main structure of the Conference on the Future of Europe, they are said to be taking into account citizens’ recommendations as to what Europe should look like in 2030. 
    The polar star seems to stay on the beaten path of other EU priorities like the European Education Area and the European Green deal, only to name a […]

  • 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 […]

See all Resources