EUCIS-LLL newsletter #42 – July 2012

EUCIS-LLL PRESS RELEASE

It is time for a structured dialogue in education and training!

Brussels, 8 June 2012
Contact: Audrey Frith, EUCIS-LLL director, +32 2 234 61 38, info@eucis-lll.eu

8 June 2012 // EUCIS-LLL calls for a structured dialogue in education and training for the success of European cooperation in education and training within the Education and Training strategic framework (ET2020) and Europe 2020 strategy. A genuine partnership approach with civil society cannot be concretised without cooperation guidelines ensuring regular exchanges of views on the design and implementation of European strategies. This need is acknowledged in the 2012 Joint Report of the Council and the Commission on the implementation of the ET2020. EUCIS-LLL has proven to be a privileged partner of the European Institutions and a trustworthy interlocutor to endorse the responsibility of this dialogue. It stresses the need to move a step forward in implementing a regular and structured civil dialogue in the field of education and training.

EUCIS-LLL leitmotiv is to make civil society’s voice heard in European debates. It already contributed to setting up a European Stakeholders’ Forum on EU cooperation in education and training in 2008, jointly organised by the DG Education and Culture and EUCIS-LLL. Mentioned in the 2012 Joint Report, this Forum represents a great tool for the mobilisation of civil society stakeholders on a yearly basis and is a perfect example of the informal dialogue already taking place between organised civil society and EU institutions. EUCIS-LLL is also a founding member of the European Economic and Social Committtee Liaison Groupwith organised civil society created in 2004 that represents a permanent structure of dialogue between the EESC and European civil society organisations. These initiatives are positive steps but depend too much on the good will of the various administrations. Clear guidelines and mechanisms have to be adopted in order to structure and sustain this dialogue. Civil society organisations have a lot to bring in EU debates and can enrich EU democracy in a very cost effective way.

EUCIS-LLL has a particular role to play in this dialogue and has beenacknowledged by the Commission as being “in a unique position to support European networks in education and training to work collectively at European, national and local levels and to contribute to a structured policy dialogue within the open method of coordination in education and training”. It has made very concrete proposals to set up a qualitative dialogue in education and training. This dialogue would have to be structured around a political agenda with clear guidelines and timetables. The support to EUCIS-LLL, who plays a key role in this dialogue, the operational support to EU networks, the Stakeholders’ Forums, High level meetings or the Lifelong Learning Weeks, are some of the actions proposed by EUCIS-LLL. Furthermore, to ensure the participation of relevant civil society stakeholders at the national, regional and local level, EUCIS-LLL just published a study on the feasibility of organising National Stakeholders’ Forums in a cross-sectorial, bottom-up perspective. This study also gives some highlights about existing consultation cultures in the countries and the very low awareness about EU policies at national level.

Finally, this dialogue needs to be supported within the future “Erasmus for All” programme that will replace the current Lifelong Learning Programme. Indeed, in order to support “policy reform action”proposed in the draft proposal, civil society networks have to be supported in a sustainable way via operating grants and not just as “projects”. This financial support to civil society networks should support policy reform. That is why EUCIS-LLL proposed amendments in favour of a structured dialogue for the new proposal as well as to maintain operating grants for civil society organisations.

For a better multi-governance, a healthy participative democracy and a coherent partnership approach in the field of education, training and youth, EUCIS-LLL calls for the concretisation of a real structured dialogue on the design, implementation and evaluation of European cooperation in education and training.

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Note to the editor: the European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning (EUCIS-LLL) gathers 31 European networks working in education and training. Together, they cover all sectors of education and training including networks for secondary and higher education, vocational education and training, adult education and popular education; networks for students, school heads, parents, HRD professionals, teachers and trainers. www.eucis-lll.eu[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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