EU's Role & Support
There are many ways in which the EU supports the adult learning sector in Europe – from commissioning research and sharing good practices to promoting innovations and funding the upskilling of individuals.
In the timeline below you can see how the EU has promoted adult learning over the years. The timeline includes highlights, such as important policy publications and initiatives.
Council Resolution on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training towards the European Education Area and beyond
European Skills Agenda prioritises adult up- and reskilling, including skills for life, empowerment through individual financing mechanisms, and ambitious objectives for adult participation in learning
Digital Education Action Plan, 2021-27 widens scope to cover non-formal and lifelong learning, focus on digital competence and digital capacity building of institutions, including for adult learners and professionals
European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience - Brussels, 1.7.2020 , COM(2020) 274 final
Commission took stock of implementation measures in a staff working document
Council adopts conclusions renewing its commitment to support adults struggling with basic skills
Member States outlined their measures to implement Upskilling Pathways.
EAAL is part of the 'ET2020' framework for European cooperation in education and training. The ET2020 working group on adult learning 2016 - 2018 undertakes peer learning on policies that can encourage more adults to learn in the workplace.
On 19 December the Council adopts the recommendation Upskilling Pathways - New opportunities for adults. This aims to help Europe's 64 million adults who do not yet have an upper secondary qualification to acquire a minimum level of literacy, numeracy and digital skills and then progress towards an upper or lower secondary qualification.
The 2015-2020 priorities for EAAL are set:
- ensuring the coherence of adult learning with other policy areas
- increasing the supply and take-up of adult learning provision
- widening access through workplace-based learning, ICT and second-chance opportunities
- improving quality assurance, including initial and continuing education of adult educators.
A key message of EAAL is that adult learning in all its forms boosts learners’ employability, and contributes to social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development. Increasing participation and enabling all adults to develop and renew their skills and competences throughout their lives are at the heart of the Agenda.
The Commission publishes the communication It is always a good time to learn. It includes an Action Plan on Adult Learning (2008-2010) that provides, for the first time, common priorities to be encouraged in the adult learning sector.
The EU begins working on adult learning policy.