/// EUCIS-LLL NEWS ///
EUCIS-LLL Annual Conference, 2-3 June 2014, Brussels: registrations open!
EUCIS-LLL is happy to announce the organisation of its General Assembly (2nd June) and Annual Conference (3rdJune) to take place in Brussels. The topic of this year’s Conference, organised in partnership with the Learning for Well-Being Consortium, will be “Turning targets into action: addressing inequalities in education and training” in the context of the Education and Training 2020 Strategic Framework review. 2014 is a turning point for European cooperation in education and training “ET2020”. After the European elections there will be a new Commissioner as well as new Members of Parliament to take forward the achievements to date, deliver the ET2020 objectives while taking stock of its weaknesses and giving a fresh impetus with new and reinforced priorities. Hopefully this will include a renewed political will to make lifelong learning a reality in Europe. This event will be a unique opportunity for stakeholders to voice their concerns and participate actively in finding solutions for the next cycle of ET2020 (2015-2017), the midterm review (2015-2020) and the broader Europe 2020 Review. See the draft agenda on ourwebpage and register!

EUCIS-LLL contributes to the Commission’s consultation on a European area of skills and qualifications
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on a potential European area of skills and qualifications. EUCIS-LLL has submitted a completecontribution to the consultation along with a position paper (see our website). The Platform highlighted that the essential priority to  concretise  a  European  Area  of  Skills  and  Qualifications  is  to  achieve  coherence  in  the terminology used to reach a true learning outcomes approach, by sustaining the legacy of the 2006 European Key Competences Framework. EUCIS-LLL also insisted on the importance of consistency between the different recognition and transparency tools, of proper validation arrangements by 2018 (see also EUCIS-LLL task force on VNFIL) and of partnership approaches with stakeholders to deliver the vision. The Commission will hold a conference presenting the results of the consultation on 17 June in Brussels.

Call for candidate MEPs to support our Manifesto “Building together the Future of Learning”
The 2014 European elections will provide the right momentum to think about the future of learning in Europe. Poor access to lifelong learning limits people’s ability to access quality jobs and participate fully in society. We need a vision and a sustainable investment to ensure our education and training systems deliver better for economic development, social and civic participation, personal fulfilment and well-being. The European Parliament and civil society should further engage together in the future of learning. EUCIS-LLL Manifesto “Building together the Future of Learning” comprises 12 principles for lifelong lifelong. If you are an MEP and willing to support our manifesto contact us or click here. We also encourage educational stakeholders to launch a debate on the future of learning at national level with their candidate MEPs and to use our Manifesto – already available in (EN) (FR) (DE) (NL) (PT) (PL) (TR) (IT) (CRO) (SER).

Youth Guarantee national plans: EUCIS-LLL asking for validation to be included
The Youth Guarantee Recommendation was adopted in April 2013 and is part of theYouth Employment Package; it is aimed at contributing to reduce critical levels of youth unemployment in Europe by making sure that young people under 25 cannot stay more than four months after finishing education or becoming unemployed without being proposed a job, an internship, a training, etc. Member States with regions of youth unemployment above 25% are also eligible for additional EU funding through the European Social Fund. 6 billion Euros of funding will be provided for the initiative – 3 billion from ESF funds and another 3 billion from a dedicated budget line for two years (2014 and 2015). Member States have been asked to submit national Youth Guarantee implementation plans; 19 plans have already been submitted. The majority of the implementation plans do not touch on the topic of validation at all. EUCIS-LLL would like to stress that there should be a strong link between validation and youth employment initiatives. See EUCIS-LLL press release. Read also the outcomes of a Twitter tchat with Commissioner Andor on the youth guarantee and two new publications from the Commission: “The Youth Guarantee: making it happen” and “EU measures to tackle youth unemployment”.

/// NEWS FROM MEMBERS AND PARTNERS ///
CEMEA present their contribution to the next EU elections
The CEMEA network is a popular education movement bringing the associative project at the heart of European stakes. They advocate for a solidar, social and humanistic Europe and think the right to education, training, chosen mobility, culture, leisure, work and health is a fundamental one. Active European citizenship education is at the core of their activities. On the eve of EU elections, the CEMEA released a bilingual paper (FR/EN) stating their position on European cooperation in education aimed at candidate MEPs, where they claim for instance the introduction of education for European citizenship in all educational activities involving young people, in all training sessions targeting youth and social workers. Read the full document on the CEMEA website.

Join EURASHE Annual Conference, 15-16 May 2014, Yerevan (Armenia)
The European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE) will hold it 24th Annual Conference ‘Qualifications for the Labour Market‘ on 15-16 May 2014 in Yerevan (Armenia) with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia. The question of what contributes to a graduate’s employability, and therefore indirectly to his or her employment prospects, is a crucial one in current difficult economic times. The location will be quite strategic as the next Ministerial Conference of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) will also be held in Yerevan in 2015. See also EURASHE’s HAPHE project on professionally oriented programmes. Register here to the conference.

Democratic Europe Now launches campaign for democratic reform in the EU
Democratic Europe Now is building support from organisations and individuals for democratic reform in the EU. It is indeed a high time to balance the EU’s power with real democratic accountability, and to make the case for a new EU Convention to strengthen democracy in Europe as it is the only legal means of achieving substantive changes to the EU Treaties. The campaign comprises advocacy, grassroots actions and a civil society alliance, and is calling for support from across Europe to make sure that the call for change is impossible to ignore. Visit the campaign webpage, sign the petition and join the movement!

EYCA at the European Parliament open doors – 4 May, Strasbourg (France)
In the framework of the activities organized for Europe’s Day (9 May), the European Parliament in Strasbourg will open its doors to the public on 4 May (see programme FR-DE). Do not miss the opportunity to visit this fascinating institution and discover its functioning. The European Year of Citizens Alliance (EYCA) will hold a stand and give information about the EYCA recommendations. The European Civic Forum will also officially present the winners of its first-edition European democratic citizenship awards winners on 3 May.
CATS conference: gathering and empowering children // 26 July – 1st August

The CATS conference (Children as Actors for Transforming Society) is an international, annual week-long conference that takes place in Caux Palace near Lake Geneva in Switzerland. It is organised by Initiatives of Change, the Child to Child Trust and Universal Education Foundation with  Funky Dragon. The event allows children, young people and adults to live, learn and work together as equal partners in transforming society. Already for the first edition last year, CATS brought together about 200 people from about 30 countries, of which about 60 children and young people. It is rapidly becoming the meeting point for a global community of advocates for the rights and well-being of children. This year delegations from different European countries and from other regions of the world will gather again to discuss children as advocates for their rights as well as in education, health and media, in a programme co-designed and co-led by children and adults. Visit the event webpage as well as the Facebook page and read theCATS booklet and the Strategic Plan Executive Summary. For more information email: mareme.kaloga@ic-fr.org / julia.movshovich@ic-fr.org

/// INSTITUTIONAL NEWS ///

EUCIS-LLL welcomes the adoption of the Parliament report on Open Educational Resources
The European Parliament report on New technologies and open educational resources was adopted last week in plenary session by MEPs  (see text adopted; soon to be found here). following the release of the “Opening Up Education” Communication. EUCIS-LLL wishes to congratulate MEP Ivan Catalin Sorin and his team (RO, S&D) for their work and for having taken on board the majority of civil society concerns (see EUCIS-LLL position paper and amendments). The Platform is particularly satisfied to see a greater focus in the report on preserving efficiency, access, equity and inclusiveness while developing digital learning, on enhancing transversal competences as a prerequisite for developing digital skills and on broadening the scope of action to non-formal and informal learning. To know more, visit our webpage on Opening Up Education. Register also to the European Kodu Kup on 29 April launched by European Schoolnet and Microsoft to highlight the importance of games in education and make pupils gain e-skills.

EPALE survey: give your opinion on an online platform for adult learning
The European Commission is currently setting up EPALE, the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe, which targets adult education stakeholders (providers, teachers, trainers, policy-makers, media, researchers, etc.). EPALE is designed to become the reference point on adult learning in Europe, and should become essential to any professional in the field. It is aimed at supporting the development and quality of adult learning in Europe by targeting the agents of change and offering them a number of features and tools that would help strengthening their networking, closer involvement in policy and actions at various levels and provide access to high quality educational content. Tools that will be available include collaborative networking space, calendar of events and courses, a library of high quality educational and policy resources, discussion groups, etc. To ensure that EPALE answers the needs of the adult learning community as closely as possible, the Commission is launching an online survey (available in all EU languages) until 15 May. Make sure to take part! See also EPALE Twitter account.

EESC Civil Society Prize 2014: focusing on Roma inclusion
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has been created to encourage civil society initiatives which make a significant contribution to promoting European identity and integration. The EESC has just launched its sixth Civil Society Prize, to be awarded to initiatives aimed at Roma integration. All civil society organisations and/or individuals who have carried out innovative projects that improve the economic and social inclusion of Roma are invited to participate. Deadline for all applications is 15 June. For more information, visit the EESC website.

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: a threat to education?
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade agreement currently negotiated between the EU and the United States of America to remove trade barriers in various economic sectors between the two political entities. Several voices have been raised in the past weeks, including from the European Students’ Union (ESU) and from the European Trade Unions Committee for Education (ETUCE), to warn negotiators that the education sector should be excluded from the talks and therefore preserved from any deal to avoid increased pressures of marketisation and privatisation. In its press release, ESU invites stakeholders to closely monitor the evolution of pourparlers so that education remains a fundamental right. ETUCE has sent letters to Commissioners, Presidents of political groups in the European Parliament and different European Parliament Committees, and encourage their members to write to the national ministers as well.

/// RESEARCH & INNOVATION ///

Latest LLinE articles on PIAAC
LLinE is a Lifelong Learning in Europe journal dedicated to adult education, a combination of a scientific journal and a magazine directed at the whole of the adult education field, bridging across the different sectors. New items have been released on PIAAC to « hear the voices behind the study » and let the study’s designers, critics and ordinary learners have their say on the adult survey. See also the new Infonet newsletter issued in cooperation with LLinE. Infonet is  a European network born thanks to a Grundtvig project, providing information about current developments in adult education from European countries and the EU level.

CEDEFOP new publication on latest VET data
The CEDEFOP has just released “On the way to 2020: data for vocational education and training policies” presenting country statistical overviews. Aimed to improve evidence-based policy, the document is building on a set of 32 statistical indicators to quantify key aspects of VET and lifelong learning, based on their policy relevance and importance for achieving the Europe 2020 objectives. See also the accompanying research paper with the indicators overview.

UNESCO releases key data on lifelong learning strategies around the world
The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) Documentation Centre and Library has compiled 102 lifelong learning policy and strategy documents from Member States and international organisations. The documents are subdivided into international, regional and national documents. This global mapping exercise is the first step towards setting-up a comprehensive and analytical knowledge platform of lifelong learning policy and strategy documents. In order to expand the collection, UIL encourages the contribution of additional documents, particularly from countries that are not covered yet. Discover the document.

/// EU FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES ///

Erasmus+ general call for proposals
This call for proposals is based on the Erasmus+ regulation recently adopted by the European Parliament and Council to implement the Erasmus+ programme 2014-2020. Deadline for Key Action 2 (“Strategic Partnerships in the field of education, training and youth”): 30 April.

Call for proposals 2013 for joint mobility projects (JMP) and joint degree projects (JDP) – EACEA 24/13
The call’s objective is to enhance mutual understanding between people of the EU and the partner countries including broader knowledge of their languages, cultures and institutions and to enhance the quality of higher education and training by stimulating balanced partnerships between higher education and training institutions in the EU and in partner countries. Deadline for application: 15 May 2014.

CEDEFOP ReferNet call for proposals – Greece and Romania
Thcoverdaxe call aims to complete the current European network for VET – ReferNet – by selecting one applicant from Greece and one from Romania with which Cedefop will conclude an eighteen-month framework partnership agreement and conclude, with the successful applicants, specific grant agreements for a work plan to be carried out in 2014. Deadline for submission of proposals: 16 May 2014.

Call for proposals – Erasmus+ Key Activity 3 “Prospective initiatives”
The Commission has released a call for proposals on “Prospective initiatives: European policy experimentation“. The general objective of the call for proposals is to encourage the assessment of the systemic impact of innovative policy measures through field trials in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of education and training systems and youth policies. Applicants can be public authorities, public or private organisations active in the field of education and training or youth, or carrying related activities. Deadline 20 May 2014.

Erasmus Charter for HIgher Education 2014-2020 – EACEA/15/2014
This call for proposals is aimed at higher education institutions (HEI) to provide the general quality framework for their European and international cooperation activities. The Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) award is a pre-requisite for all HEIs located in one of the countries listed below and wanting to apply and participate in learning mobility of individuals and/or cooperation for innovation and good practices under the Programme. Deadline 22 May.

Call for proposals “National authorities for apprenticeships”
The objective of the Call is to support the introduction or modernisation of apprenticeships within initial VET systems. It encourages the development of high-quality apprenticeship-type training and excellence in work-based learning in VET through partnerships between National Authorities responsible for education, employment and economic affairs, social partners, relevant intermediary bodies (such as chambers of commerce, industry and crafts, professional and sectoral organisations), VET providers and other relevant stakeholders. The present Call addresses National Authorities in charge of apprenticeship systems, embedded in the initial vocational education and training (VET) systems in each Erasmus+ programme country, or an organisation designated by them.

/// PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS ///

Consultation on review of existing VAT legislation on public bodies and tax exemptions in the public interest
The Commission adopted in December 2011 a Communication on the future of VAT that sets out the fundamental characteristics that must underlie the new VAT regime, and priority actions needed to create a simpler, more efficient and more robust VAT system in the EU. One of the priority areas in this regard is the review and possible revision of the VAT rules on the public sector including the special rules for public bodies and the tax exemptions in the public interest. In the context of the preparation of an impact assessment on this issue, the European Commission is launching this public consultation. Read the background document and participate before 25 April. See also soon on EUCIS-LLL website our contribution to the consultation.

/// AGENDA ///

2 June 2014 // EUCIS-LLL General Assembly
3 June 2014 // EUCIS-LLL Annual Conference “Turning targets into action”

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