EUCIS-LLL Annual Conference: gathering against inequalities in education
On 3 June EUCIS-LLL held its Annual Conference on the theme “Turning targets into action: addressing inequalities in education and training” in the framework of the mid-term review of the European Education and Training Strategic Framework up to 2020 (ET2020). EUCIS-LLL believes this review is the occasion to pay much more attention to the renewal of a social Europe, notably through inclusive education systems. More than 60 participants joined us in Brussels to reflect on how to achieve this vision. Commission representatives briefed the audience on EU cooperation frameworks and focus groups were organised to make concrete proposals emerge from the debates. A panel of civil society leaders also took stock of the achievements of ET2020 so far and provided recommendations for improvement. Find soon the general report on the conference webpage.EUCIS-LLL welcomes ESU, EADTU, ECNAIS and Volonteurope as new members!
EUCIS-LLL organised its General Assembly on 2 June in Brussels. Members greeted there three new EUCIS-LLL members: the European Students’ Union (ESU – representing, defending and strengthening students’ educational, democratic and political and social rights) and the European Council of National Associations of Independent Schools (ECNAIS – supporting and pursuing the values embedded in a democratic approach to pluralism in the national educational systems, and the respect of the parental choice) as full members and the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU – Europe’s leading institutional association for online, flexible and distance higher education) and Volonteurope (a volunteering, active citizenship and social justice network) as associate members. A warm welcome to the Platform that now counts 36 members!EUCIS-LLL wide consultation – give your opinion on Erasmus+
EUCIS-LLL has launched a survey aimed at all stakeholders that have applied for a grant under the new Erasmus+ programme. We are currently gathering your impressions on the new programme architecture, the relevance of its objectives, the simplification of application procedures and many other elements. Take some minutes to give us your opinion! Feedbacks will be compiled and discussed with European Commission representatives.

European elections: supporting our Manifesto “Building together the Future of Learning” is more important than ever
In the wake of the European elections where record abstaining and rise of extremism reflected political disengagement and social distress, it is more than ever important for MEPs that are about to take seat to commit on their vision of education for the next parliamentary term. We need 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 learning that more than 30 candidates supported during the campaign. If you are a newly elected MEP and willing to support our manifesto contact us or click here. We also encourage educational stakeholders to keep on echoing our campaign and convince their new MEPs to take action to defend the Manifesto principles – already available in (EN) (FR) (DE) (NL) (PT) (PL) (TR) (IT) (CRO) (SER) (ES) (CAT) ( (SW) (GR) (SV) (RO) to come!)

/// NEWS FROM MEMBERS AND PARTNERS ///

EfVET Annual conference // Porto (Portugal), 22-25 October
The European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (EfVET) is pleased to invite you to its Annual Conference on VET-safe port for youth and business! which will take place in Porto, Portugal from 22-25 October 2014. This years’ theme takes this a step further recognising that VET Institutions cannot meet the skills challenges alone.  Greater collaboration and engagement with the business community is crucial, combining both theoretical and practical training in the workplace.  You can already consult the draft programme and register before end July 2014.Move Week 2014 // 29 September – 5 October
The MOVE Week is an annual Europe-wide event and an integral part of theNowWeMove Campaign (2012-2020), partly coordinated by the International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA). The MOVE Week is about promoting the benefits of being active and participating regularly in sport and physical activity; this year, it will take place from 29 September to 5 October all across the continents. A wide range of organisations, voluntary groups, clubs and individuals, known as MOVE Agents will set up and coordinate events for the MOVE Week 2014. Know more and apply to become a MOVE Agent now!Campus Europae’s 3rd summer school // Riga (Latvia), 13-20 July
Campus Europae has been organising summer schools in the study field of Economics and Business since 2012 as one more instrument for the popularization of European languages, culture and economic and business traditions. The 3rd edition will be held in Riga, 2014 European capital of culture, with a focus on understanding local culture and its impact on the development of entrepreneurship, especially in the field of innovations in Latvia and Europe. The students will be able to develop skills for an entrepreneurial and innovative generation, to analyse socio-economic processes in different European countries, with emphasis on getting acquainted with Latvian economics and culture. If you are a student wishing to attend, please contact Campus Europae Secretariat.

Volonteurope reacts to European Parliament elections
Volonteurope has issued on 29 May a statement acknowledging latest EU elections as “a serious threat to the values of solidarity, cooperation, tolerance and respect for people’s rights across Europe”. The network believes that there is a strong need for a closer cooperation between civil society and the European Parliament and calls to set up an Intergroup on volunteering. Read also EUCIS-LLL reaction to the elections and theEUCIS-LLL Manifesto calling for an intergroup on lifelong learning.

European Civic Days // Greece, 25-27 June
The European Civic Forum will organise its annual European Civic Days at the end of the month in Greece, the seat of the EU presidency of the Council for this first semester 2014 but also the heart of the recent economic and social crisis that hit Europe. The Civic Days will be the occasion to debate and exchange ideas on civic participation but also to sustain the legacy of the European Year of Citizens with the European Year of Citizens Alliance Recommendations “It’s about us. It’s about Europe” or to (re)discover “Equality, Solidarity and Democracy for Europe”, the European Civic Forum’s Manifesto. See the draft programme and register.

/// INSTITUTIONAL NEWS ///

European Semester: what the 2014 Country-Specific Recommendations say for education
In the framework of the European Semester process, the Commission has issued on 2 May Country-Specific Recommendations that will be endorsed this summer by the Council and addressed to Member States for the next 12-18 months. Education is seen this year as a growth-friendly expenditure to preserve, while many countries such as Italy and Greece have kept on cutting public spending in the field. A special attention has also been given this year to the implementation of the Youth Guarantee in Member States. See the Commission press release and the Recommendations in details. Italy has been asked for instance to “upgrade educational performance and human capital endowment […] at all educational levels”.

Commission President Open Letter to protect education from further public spending cuts
José Manuel Barroso together with EU Commissioner for Development Andris Pielbags and Norwegian and Danish Prime Ministers have written an open letter to defend the right to education (especially for girls) and protect global financing for education in view of the Global Partnership for Education conference (26 June, Brussels). The event has been taking place since 2002 as a milestone of the cooperation of more than 60 developing countries, NGOs, private sector representatives, etc. Read the full letter and see also the European Citizens’ Initiative on “Invest in Education.

France – first operational programme adopted for the Youth Employment Initiative
The Youth Employment initiative was proposed in 2013 by the European Council with a budget of €6 billion for the period 2014-2020. It particularly supports young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) in the Union’s regions with a youth unemployment rate in 2012 at above 25% by integrating them into the labour market (see also new Commission scoreboard on NEET monitoring). On 3 June the Commission has adopted the French Operational Programme for the implementation of this initiative and €432 million will be allocated to support the setting up of the national Youth Guarantee, but also to enable mobility of apprentices, better identify young NEETs and many other crucial measures to tackle youth unemployment. See Commission press release.

EU 2014 Digital Scoreboard: skills gap persisting
The Digital Agenda Scoreboard monitors progress regarding the Digital Agenda for Europe (a Europe 2020 flagship initiative) objectives, including mainstreaming e-learning and upgrading citizens’ digital skills. Recent data from this year shows 83% of the workforce still does not have sufficient ICT skills while demand for such competences is growing from employers’ side. See the video of the Digital Scoreboard 2014 and make your own data compilation. See also EUCIS-LLL actions to mainstream and prioritise digital access in lifelong learning following the Commission’s Communication on Opening Up Education”.

/// RESEARCH & INNOVATION ///

Three new case studies on validation of non-formal and informal learning and NQFs
A report on “Recognising non-formal certificated learning within and outside qualifications frameworks in the UK, the Netherlands and Finland” financed by the Lifelong Learning Programme has been recently issued and provides interesting insights on non-formal learning recognition in countries at various stages of advancement regarding the development of their National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The report conclusions highlight that the more flexible NQFs are, the more they can take into account validation of non-formal and informal learning (VNFIL) and acknowledges a growing demand in the countries investigated for certificated learning for many reasons (self-esteem, valorisation of volunteering, etc.). See also EUCIS-LLL task force on VNFIL.

New American study on MOOCs
Columbia University has released last month a report on “MOOCs: expectations and reality” assessing the efficiency of Massive Open Online Courses in terms of educational outcomes. In terms of outreach and access, the report shows for instance that despite the wider range of learners participating in this type of distance learning, those target groups are already well-educated and that the gap is widening with those who would need it the most. See also EUCIS-LLL actions to mainstream and prioritise digital access in lifelong learning following the Commission’s Communication on “Opening Up Education”.

Call for contributions for next eLearning papers
Targeted at various stakeholders, the eLearning papers that you can now find on the new Open Education Europa portal stimulate reflection on open educational resources and in general new technologies and education in Europe. The next item will focus on performance support and learning analytics and contributions are welcome (see guidelines). Several topics will be discussed such as learning in the workplace, in-service teacher training or continuing education. You can send your contributions by 29 June.

/// EU FUNDING ///

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. Deadline 26 June 2014.

Yuste Foundation Award for EU transatlantic relations research (Europe for Citizens Programme)
The European Academy of Yuste Foundation announces its European Research and Mobility Grants for European Studies Charles V European Award-José Manuel Durão Barroso and its seventh Summer Doctoral Seminar in Contemporary European Multidisciplinary Studies to take place at the Royal Monastery of Yuste (Extremadura, Spain) in the second semester of 2014. The grants are supported by the European Commission through the Europe for Citizens European Programme. To qualify for these grants candidates should be European or American students in the process of writing a Ph.D. dissertation on the topic of “History, memory and European integration from the point of view of EU transatlantic relations”. Applications for a grant should be submitted by the 30 June 2014.

/// PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS ///

Public Consultation on Europe 2020
In the framework of the revision of the Europe 2020 strategy, a consultation has been launched by the Commission to collect stakeholders’ views on the lessons learned from the early years of the Europe 2020 strategy and on the elements to be taken into account in its further development, in order to build the post-crisis growth strategy of the EU. Read soon EUCIS-LLL contribution to the consultation. Deadline 31 October 2014.

ET2020 mid-term review
An ECORYS survey on ET2020 has been launched (to be answered by 16 June) on behalf of the Commission. Don’t forget to give your opinion on EU cooperation in education and training up to 2020!

/// AGENDA ///

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