31.03.2021

More inclusive and comprehensive view on ageing is needed

EAEA welcomes the European Commission’s interest in the demographic change and its effect on Europe. EAEA advocates for a resourceful utilisation of adult education and learning to support the recovery from the pandemic. However, a more inclusive and comprehensive view on ageing and the needs and the potential of the elderly people is needed.

Read the full statement: EAEA’s reaction to the Green Paper on Ageing (pdf) 

Summary of the statement

Non-formal and informal adult learning and education are strong instruments to foster critical thinking, entrepreneurship, creativity and civic engagement and can provide a low threshold to formal and accredited education. It is crucial to base future adult learning and education initiatives and programmes on an integrative dialogue between the EU institutions and civil society organisations (CSO’s).

  • The Green Paper shows a strong focus on the employability of the elderly. EAEA underlines the importance to choose a more comprehensive and well-balanced view on ageing and the demographic change in Europe. EAEA also advocates for the consideration of the mental and physical needs of the elderly independently from the labour market.
  • EAEA encourages the European Commission to incorporate a potential-oriented view on support when discussing ageing. Including the elderly and CSOs in the discussion is of utmost importance to ensure an inclusive and comprehensive insight on ageing that reflects the diversity of this group.
  • EAEA highly appreciates the consideration of education and training in a lifelong learning perspective. However, EAEA encourages the Commission to more prominently recognise the benefits of learning to successfully face the challenges of the 21st century as well as active and responsible participation in society.
  • There is a need for an extended dialogue on the learning needs of the elderly, not only in regards to physical impairments but in regards to learning habits and their changes over time.
  • EAEA invites the European Commission to broaden the discussion of the long-term benefits of ALE, while underlining the importance to use inclusive language to empower people to take on learning opportunities.

EAEA is advocating for carrying on and strengthening of the prior European Agenda for Adult Learning (EAAL), which came to an end in 2020. The EAAL is a strong tool to cope with an ageing society and the demographic change in Europe. Additionally, EAEA is advising the Commission to include ALE as an important part of the European Education Area.

Finally, EAEA asks the Commission to assure close cooperation between all European initiatives and strategies on adult education. To avoid developing silos of adult learning and education and education and training programmes, EAEA recommends investing resources to explore overlapping and look for potential to streamline different initiatives. They need to link closely to existing structures and global networks, such as the EC Working Group, National Coordinators, EPALE and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Take part in Commissions’ public consultation on demographic change in Europe

More information
Christin Cieslak
Head of Programmes
+32 (0)2 89 32 52 2
christin.cieslak(at)eaea.org

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