Lifelong Learning Platform | LLLP - European Civil Society for Education

Regional cooperation in lifelong learning

Lifelong Learning Platform’s (LLLP) main focus is on the EU level and its collaboration with institutions usually is centred on EU institutions. But our organisation does occasionally cooperate with national, regional and local stakeholders as we strongly believe EU regional cooperation in LLL could be enhanced.

LLLP has long been part of the ReSET Network (Regions for Skills, Education and Training), a network of regional and local authorities committed to advancing regional cooperation at EU level in the sector. The network and its activities were eventually merged with ERRIN, the European Regions Research and Innovation Network, with whom LLLP is in regular dialogue.

On its own, LLLP has developed links with regional stakeholders at different levels. For instance, we cooperate with the EU regional delegation of Central Denmark (DK), Flanders region (BE), the Regional agency for active labour policies in Umbria (IT). Such cooperation ranges from policy support to joint projects and events co-organisation; and takes multiple forms: facilitation of the exchange of practices, awareness raising activities, study visits, training, etc.

Now and in the future, we have set the ambition to strengthen our cooperation with regional stakeholders as a way to further enhance our systemic positive impact on lifelong learning systems in the EU. Below you can find some initiatives in which our network of members and we are involved.

Improving cooperation among (EU) regions on lifelong learning policies

LLLP had experience in the past in contributing to the Committee of the Regions’ opinions and is actively renewing such cooperation and support to the work of CoR secretariat and members, especially those working on education in SEDEC. LLLP is also looking into other existing frameworks, mechanisms, networks, programmes where this cooperation can take place and planned activities to connect with professionals working on those initiatives. For instance, LLLP is in contact with the team which coordinates the Interreg policy learning platform to discuss the growing interest of regions to cooperate on education via Interreg-funded projects. The policy learning platform aims to exchange practices from projects, and host relevant events for regional authorities, building their capacity etc. LLLP works on building a sustainable cooperation with the platform.

Members’ work on regional LLL cooperation

At least two LLLP’s member organisations are very actively engaging public authorities at local and regional levels: the European Association of Regional and Local authorities in lifelong learning (EARLALL) and the Foundation of European Regions for Research in Education and Training (FREREF).

In our network, there are already many examples of cooperation between our members and regions in European projects:

  • The RegALE project (EARLALL, EAEA, and LRAs) which is about “Regional capacity for Adult Learning and Education”).
  • The ED-EN Hub project (FREREF and LRAs) which is about cooperation between education and business sectors at regional level.
  • The Stride for stride project (EARLALL and several LRAs etc), which is a project about “exchanging best practices to foster regional skills intelligence strategies in Europe”.
  • The IRELI project (YEU), which is about “Increasing the skills of regional youth”.

Regional governance in lifelong learning

There are two main dimensions that relate to governance in LLL regional policies: the involvement of regions in national LLL policies and the participation of multiple stakeholders in regional LLL policies. Since its creation, LLLP has been advocating for increasing stakeholders’ involvement, particularly of civil society organisations, and organisations representing learners, students, universities, schools, practitioners, educators, etc., in policies at all levels. One of LLLP’s key activities in that regard is the organisation of the Lifelong Learning Lab (LLLAB), a training for national, regional and local stakeholders on cooperation in lifelong learning policies organised every year as a two-day event in line with EU Presidencies (2021 Portugal, 2022 France, 2023 Spain). For each occasion, LLLP looks into building local and regional partnerships with the municipality and regional governments and other key stakeholders in the region where this takes place.

Collaborative monitoring of regional lifelong learning policies

LLLP is a partner in the COMORELP project (2020-2023), which is about “collaborative monitoring of regional lifelong learning policies”. Its aims are to improve regional LLL monitoring systems, create a Benchmarking tool for regions to compare themselves on multiple dimensions (eg Regional strategies and policies, Governance and cooperation, Learning Supply and demand, etc), the setup of EU Policy Lab, and the launch of an advocacy campaign for the engagement of regional stakeholders in intra-regional and inter-regional cooperation. Project partners have produced Guidelines for analysis and self-assessment of regional lifelong learning policies which were tested and used together with the Benchmarking tool in 5 European regions: Wales (UK), Malopolska region (Poland), Istanbul (Turkiye), Emilia-Romagna (Italy) and Rhône-Alpes Auvergne (France). As a result, partners produced regional reports which will soon be available on the COMORELP website. Good practices are also being promoted from those regions.

The EU Policy Lab on regional cooperation in LLL

The EU Policy Lab is an initiative launched in 2023 by LLLP as part of the COMORELP project but aims to continue after the project ends. The EU policy lab is meant to gather experts (EU and international organisations, national authorities, researchers..) and regional stakeholders (policy-makers, education and training stakeholders organisations, representatives of learners and grassroot stakeholders and civil society representatives). Its goals are to foster cooperation using a co-creation participatory approach among EU regions in the field of lifelong learning and to improve the exchange of knowledge and practices on monitoring and evaluation of lifelong learning policies. The Lab has an EPALE community and its activities consist in online and physical meetings and events (every two months).

For more information on LLLP work at regional level, get in touch with the project team.

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