EUCIS-LLL PRESS RELEASE

EUCIS-LLL calls for a renewed Memorandum on Lifelong Learning!
Brussels, 3 September 2012

EUCIS-LLL calls for a renewed Memorandum on Lifelong Learning – this message from civil society aims to remind that lifelong learning is still a structuring element for competitive societies but also and above all for personal development, social inclusion and active citizenship. 

For the 12th anniversary of the publication of the European Commission’s Memorandum on Lifelong Learning, considering new paradigms in times of economic crisis, EUCIS-LLL publishes a call to renew this document of reference. Its aim is to lay down general principles of a strong political coordination in education and training between Member States and their implementation of lifelong learning strategies. Divided in four main parts, EUCIS-LLL’s call comes back to the key messages of the Memorandum in 2000 and the main points that need to be stressed again.

Education and training are rightly put at the top of the agenda as key elements of Europe’s growth strategy. Same goes for lifelong learning since individuals have to adapt to constant changes in the skills demand. At the same time, lifelong learning cannot be reduced to a tool for the labour market. Personal development, active citizenship and social inclusion are as important as employability, which is only the top of the iceberg when it comes to active participation of individuals in democratic, social and economic life. This has been claimed repeatedly by the European Commission but not repeatedly proven. The political focus has been narrowed to technical skills and humanist values have been lost while the Memorandum had expressed a more holistic vision of lifelong learning: it is our duty to preserve it.

Furthermore, the political emphasis made on education and training has to be concretised by appropriate, sustainable and equitable financial resources. The priority is the implementation of coherent lifelong learning strategies to modernise education and training systems and ensure individualised pathways for learners. Social innovation in teaching and learning has to be encouraged by taking into account grass-roots initiatives. This means that a cross-sectorial partnership approach with civil society and key stakeholders need to be adopted, that includes ensuring sustainable support for civil society organisations and formalising a structured dialogue with regular consultation mechanisms.

The call can be found on EUCIS-LLL’s webpage www.eucis-lll.eu

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

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