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Exactly 25 years after the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, the European project is facing multiple challenges. On 7 February, 3.000 young people from all over Europe had the opportunity to reinvent and rethink the models we live in: this happened at the YO!Fest 2017 where also one EFIL trainer helped facilitating discussions.The ideas of the attendees were gathered through a series of YouthUP workshops and the Youth Forum will be bringing these together into a Policy Paper on the future of Europe.
No free Interrail for all young Europeans
The European Commission has rejected an idea to provide free Interrail travel passes to all EU citizens on their 18th birthday. EFIL’s position on the matter is that free travel is very welcome, when it supports an organised educational experience.
A strong emphasis on Social rights and young people
On 19 January the European parliament adopted the report on the European Pillar of Social Rights, and took a strong position against abuses that young people are facing on the labour market. Just after this crucial step, on 23 January, Representatives from EU institutions, Ministers from Member States, and civil society representatives gathered for a conference at the European Commission to discuss the European Pillar of Social Rights.
On 20 February, the European Youth Forum is supporting the Global Interns Coalition ‘Interns Strike’, to bring attention to the issue of poor quality internships across Europe and the globe. Events are happening across several cities in Europe and beyond – see here
From January onwards, The European Association for Education of Adults – EAEA will be collecting information about events and campaigns organised by adult education organisations across Europe, bringing them together under the campaign ”2017: The Year of Adult Education in Europe – The Power and Joy of Learning”. On the basis of its Manifesto, EAEA wants to make adult education activities around Europe visible and offer promotional and advocacy support for them. Also EFIL and AFS organisations, by offering training to volunteers of all ages, are adult education providers. Join the campaign!
On 26 January, EU citizens, civil society organisations, MEPs and EU Officials including Commissioners Thyssen and Navracsics gathered in the European Parliament in Brussels to celebrate the launch of the Erasmus+ 30th Anniversary celebrations. Concomitant with the 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, founding stone of the Union, this one year long campaign will celebrate diversity, tolerance, citizenship, democracy, all the values the Union is built on; and education, the key instrument in bringing Europeans together. Discover more about the history of Erasmus here. To learn more about the anniversary, visit the Erasmus+ 30th anniversary website and subscribe to the newsletter to be informed about the upcoming events.
European Commission and Council wishes for 2017
On 5 December the Commissioner announced to the European Parliament that main topics in education for next year will be high quality inclusive school education and modernisation of higher education, and the launch of the European Solidarity Corps. Several MEPs expressed lack of understanding and dissatisfaction about the latter initiative, and received explanations from the Commissioner.
In line with the priorities outlined, on 7 December the European Commission adopted a ‘Communication on improving and modernising education’, unveiling its ambition to modernise education systems and strategically mobilise education systems for “our societies and economic development”, focusing on the investment in education, modernising and reforming different stages of education and accessibility of education. Read here the position of the LLLPlatform: better links between all sectors and levels of education should be made.
In the same month of December, the Lifelong Learning Platform met with the Cabinet of the Commissioner and stressed that more (high-level) consultation with civil society and more support to it is necessary, in a form of structured dialogue.
On 15 December European Heads of State met in Brussels and called for the continuation of the Youth Guarantee and welcomes the increased support for the Youth Employment Initiative. It also calls for work to be taken forward on the recent Commission initiatives dedicated to youth, including those on mobility, education and skills development.
On 1 January, Malta will be taking over the Presidency of the EU Council. This is the first time Malta presides the Council since its accession in 2004. In line with hot-topics, its priorities largely focus on migration policies, namely strengthening and streamlining the Common European Asylum System or revising the Dublin Regulation. Malta wants to push for a holistic approach to migration, including both the internal and external aspect and tackle the root causes of migration. Social policy will also be high on the agenda. ”Work here will be guided by close consultation with social partners, civil society and citizens in order to advance gender equality and rights of minorities and vulnerable groups”.
Governments reply on the Implementation of the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education
As part of the preparation of the Council of Europe Report on the State of Citizenship and Human Rights Education in Europe, replies to a questionnaire were received from 40 governments and are now available online. The Report is part of the 2nd review cycle of the implementation of the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education (Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)7). The conclusions of the Report will be discussed at a Conference on the Future of Citizenship and Human Rights Education in Europe, which will take place in Strasbourg on 20-22 June 2017.
Youth Up Toolkit: how to run workshops on youth participation
Are education systems focusing on the right skills? An analysis of 2 Eurydice reports
Source: European Youth Forum and Lifelong Learning Platforms newsletters, period 14 December 2016 to 17 February 2017.