The European Agenda for Adult Learning is being renewed

In the Spring edition of the SIAE Newsletter, we have already indicated the processes taking place at the MESS under the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council. At that time, the most attention was placed on our participation in the working group for the preparation of the draft of the new EAAL at the MESS. The Resolution of the Council on a renewed EAAL for the period 2011-2020 expired last year, and the new one will again be the basis for the continuation of the EAAL project (note that similar projects are taking place throughout the EU).

In the meantime, we have already prepared a draft of the new EAAL, which is based on a holistic approach to ALE, its role in responding to modern socio-economic challenges and the findings on the current EAAL implementation. We discussed it with European (24 March) and national (15 April) stakeholders. We consulted with representatives of the other two countries of the trio (Germany and Portugal), the EC and the European Economic and Social Council. The latter, at our request, prepared their official opinion on ALE. The amended draft of the new EAAL has already been discussed three times by the Education Committee, in which the Member States have expressed their comments and suggestions. We have reviewed them during the summer and taken them into account to the best of our ability. The improved draft is ready for further reconsideration by the Committee. We anticipate that more coordination will be needed before the final version of the new Resolution is finalised. However, it is expected to be adopted by the Council of Education Ministers in November 2021.

The European Meeting on ALE has served two purposes

The second set of activities within the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council under the auspices of the MESS and partners concerns the European ALE Conference (8 and 9 September), which was part of the official programme of the Slovenian Presidency. The first day has been dedicated to contemporary ALE topics, and we will indirectly speak of the contents of the new EAAL. On the second day, however, most of the time and attention has been focused on the European consultation for the International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VII, 2022 in Morocco).

We have joined forces with UNESCO and UIL in organising this dual event entitled Adult Learning and Education – The Resilient Response to Future Challenges. Paving the way to CONFINTEA VII in 2022. The conference was attended by high representatives of the Slovenian and European education policy and UNESCO. Representatives of the domestic and international ALE professional community took part as well.

Representatives of the Eurydice network premiered a new report on Adult education and training in Europe: Building inclusive pathways to skills and qualifications. The high-level discussion at the roundtable has been on the topic of learning for life and work. The EPALE platform has been presented, and a video on the ten-year implementation of the EAAL in Slovenia, which we prepared at SIAE, has been shown.

The discussions focused on contemporary socio-economic issues

Participants discussed on the following topics:

  • ALE for future life and work
  • Twin transition (green and digital) in ALE
  • Demography in ALE (healthy and active ageing and migration)
  • Awareness-raising, guidance and outreach activities in ALE

The programme continued with the consultation for CONFINTEA VII mentioned above. It has been prepared by the UIL and aimed at identifying the state-of-art and challenges in the field of ALE. Particular attention has been paid to digital innovation, forward-looking strategies and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

UNESCO has invited its participants through national commissions operating in individual countries. Only official members of national delegations have been able to take active part in this part of the programme; others have been observers.

Based on the conclusions of the working groups, a Declaration on Adult Learning and Education by 2030 in EU has been prepared. It is available at the conference website along with other (video)presentations.

Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc (, SIAE

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