The added value of non-formal adult learning: large differences in taxation of adult education in Europe
Over the past few years, there have been several initiatives by national and regional governments in EU countries to change the taxation of adult education. The exemption of non-formal adult education from the value-added tax is particularly controversial – as it is often argued by politicians that non-formal adult education is ‘leisure-time entertainment’ and is therefore not an activity in the public interest.
The new European Parliament and the new European Commission have started their work on the new portfolios in the second half of 2019. The European Union will have to take a clear direction on issues such as sustainability, democracy, and demographic changes. An EAEA working group explored these issues. The results were published in a background paper in December 2019.
A new policy paper, published in December, concludes EAEA’s thematic work on life skills in 2019. It outlines the key principles of a life skills approach and its potential for increasing participation levels, and offers a set of recommendations.
While the trialogue for the future Erasmus+ programme is in full swing, we would like to reiterate our key criteria for a programme that strengthens European adult education.
The fourth Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE) was launched on 5 December in Brussels at a meeting of the Interest Group on Lifelong Learning. The event, hosted by the Permanent Representation of Lower Saxony to the EU, took place in the framework of the Lifelong Learning Week 2019.
For the sixth year in a row EAEA presents its country reports – a civil society view of adult education in Europe. These country reports are based on surveys filled in by our members from 30 different European countries, helping to give a voice to civil society organisations and grass roots movements in adult education on a European stage.
On 28 November 2011, the Council adopted its Resolution on a Renewed European Agenda for Adult Learning. Aiming to improve adult education policies and provision, it set out an ambitious strategy for the EU Member States to implement by 2020. EAEA demands a strong follow-up strategy for the agenda that builds on synergies with other EU strategies and frameworks.
Adult educators should not just adjust to the rapid changes in our society, but engage also in shaping of the society, when needed. To do this, we need change-oriented adult education. FuturelabAE-project aims to inspire adult educators to take a more proactive role in solving modern day challenges. It has now published a theoretical report including examples of change-oriented learning.
EAEA sees adult education as a central pillar to improving citizenship education within the European Union. In a newly published report on Adult Education and Citizenship, EAEA puts forward a number of recommendations on how to make citizenship a part of adult education provision.
EAEA sees validation as a key tool in order to promote lifelong learning, to ensure more flexible learning pathways, to encourage learners and build their self-confidence as well as to create a more comprehensive understanding of competences.