In the current funding period, the European Social Fund (ESF) has been a central funding tool for non-formal adult education in Europe. Adult education contributes to supporting the objectives of the ESF, and in turn, the ESF supports adult education in a number of ways.
EAEA thus welcomes the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+). EAEA particularly appreciates that it is conceived as ”the EU’s main instrument to invest in people and to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights”, and that it promises more coherence and synergies with other funds and instruments such as the Erasmus programme.
While EAEA appreciates many features of the proposal, it has also listed a number of recommendations to make it more inclusive.
- Reduce the administrative burden
- Make the ESF+ programme truly inclusive: avoid a too narrow definition of the target groups, and open up educational offers to a broad group of potential learners. This would help to identify and address common challenges faced by the participants, and at the same time create a stronger sense of community and contribute to active citizenship and strengthening of European values
- Ensure the protection of sensitive private data and make the provision of data by the participants of courses as well as the learning providers, i.e. the beneficiaries, voluntary
- Promote learning mobility of adult learners within ESF+ and strengthen synergies with the Erasmus programme
- Include health literacy in the health strand
- Support non-formal learning for promoting a greener, low carbon Europe.
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Text: EAEAPhotos: European Commission