On 15-16 June the Annual General Assembly and Conference of EUCIS-LLL, the European Civil Society Platform for Lifelong Learning, took place in Luxembourg.

The General Assembly was kindly hosted by one of the member organisations, the European University Foundation – Campus Europae (EUF-CE) in the Munsbach Castle. The GA welcomed 5 new members: 3 full members – Youth for Exchange and Understanding, European Network for Education and Training, Telecentre Europe- and 2 associate member – Universal Education Foundation European Association of Regional & Local Authorities for Lifelong Learning (EARLALL). Also, the GA elected 4 Steering Committee members, 3 for a 3 year mandate- David Lopez (SOLIDAR) the current president,  Eszter Salamon (EPA) and Luis Costa (EfVET) – and Gina Ebner (EAEA) for one year term.

It is time to celebrate for EUCIS-LLL, which improves its financial situation and celebrates its 10th Anniversary. In fact, EUCIS-LLL received the 3-year grant from the European Commission which, combined with the new membership fee system, ensures a stable secretariat of 4 staff: a Director, a policy officer, a project officer and a communication officer. Also, in occasion of the 10thanniversary on 22 September, the new visual identity of the Platform will be launched together with the new website.

Regarding upcoming activities, EUCIS-LLL is partner of the European Commission-DG Education and Culture for the organisation of the Education, Training and Youth Stakeholders Forum on 19-20 October and on 30 November-4 December the Member of the European Parliament Krystyna Łybacka will host the Lifelong Learning Week. During this week a contest and the campaign ‘I am still learning’ will be launched and several policy debates will be held.

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On the right, Elisa Briga-EFIL Advocacy coordinator- Networking at the barbecue evening after the EUCIS-LLL GA

The Annual Conference ‘ Lifelong Learning: Paving the way to Learning and qualifications’ was an important occasion  to hear from the European Commission’s representative, Chiara Gariazzo, the upcoming priorities. At the moment, the Commission is revising ET2020, the European strategy in Education and Training: the joint report will be issued by the European Commission and the EU Council by the end of the November and will be a focus on the balance between skills and employability, lifelong learning, innovation and citizenship. In particular, half of the EU Member states do not have a comprehensive lifelong learning strategy and young people require more and more flexibility and permeability in learning. The Commission aims at tackling the performance in basic skills (20% of youth has a low level of achievement), recognition and validation of learning by employers and education institutions, with a future possible revision on the existing European tools on skills and qualifications since two impact assessment will be launched soon. Finally, the European Commission aims at stressing the role of education in promoting intercultural competences and active citizenship, on the basis of the Paris declaration, the cooperation with Council of Europe and the promotion of social and civic competences as defined in the 2006 Council recommendation on key competences. The objective 3 of the ET2020, namely promoting equity, social cohesion and active citizenship, have been so far overlooked by Member states in their national reports on the implementation of the strategy but now there has been a clear shift of focus.  For this reason the European Commission will invest extra 3 million euros in Erasmus+ with a dedicated initiative that would complement other areas of the programme that are already addressing interculturality, inclusiveness, antidiscrimination, active citizenship. EFIL welcomes the renewed focus of the European Commission and Member states on active citizenship and intercultural dialogue for inclusive societies, although this comes only after the tragic events earlier this year.

During the afternoon EFIL attended the workshop on Transversal skills and their assessment bringing the experience of the AFS network and the outcomes of the Forums on Intercultural Learning and Exchange regarding the assessment of intercultural competences.

This Conference was also a great chance to network with the EUCIS-LLL member organisations for further cooperation and projects based on common interests, such as intercultural dialogue and mobility linked to school education.

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