On 26 January 2024, EARLALL gathered the association’s Brussels-based representatives to share the network’s 2024 plans and activities and learn about recent EU policy developments. SwissCore kindly hosted the meeting.
EARLALL’s Brussels-based representatives benefited from two presentations from the European Commission’s DGs on Education, Youth, Sport, and Culture (DG EAC) and Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion (DG EMPL) on two key policy subjects: ‘Europe on the Move – Learning Mobility for Everyone’ proposal and the Pact for Skills opportunities at the regional level.
Mr Giedrius Sudikas, from DG EAC and the main coordinator for the preparation of the Commission proposal for a Council Recommendation ‘Europe on the Move’, introduced the the initiative and the role that regional and local authorities can play in the transposition process. The Commission’s proposal includes new measures on skills and talent to help address critical labour shortages, including Skills and Talent Mobility Packages and aims to make learning mobility the norm for all learners. The proposal is quite ambitious, as recognised by the European Commission, when proposing three EU-level targets by 2030: at least 25% of higher education graduates; at least 15% VET learners and at least 20% learners from disadvantaged groups out of all the learners benefiting from a learning mobility experience. It includes 12 recommendations for Member States from Support Engagement in learning mobility activities (3) to Make learning mobility more environmentally sustainable (8). As explained by Mr Sudikas regional and local authorities have an important role in supporting learning mobility, and could contribute, among others, by for example putting in place learning mobility promoters or supporting the mobility of teachers, apprentices, and disadvantaged learners. The “European on the Move” text is expected to be adopted by the Member States in the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting in May 2024 (under the Belgian presidency). In the transposition period (May 2025), regional and local authorities can play a role in the conception of the National/Regional Action Plans for 2025-2030. EARLALL members expressed their concerns about the lack of support and funding to reach such ambitious targets.
The discussion followed with an introduction of the Pact for Skills at the Regional Level by Mr Miguel Fernandez Diez (DG EMPL). The Pact for Skills aims to support public and private organisations with upskilling and reskilling, so they can thrive through the green and digital transitions and have a real impact in the ground. In the context of the European Skills Agenda and the European Pillar of Social Rights’ target of 60% of adults undertaking training at least once a year, the Pact aims at facilitating cooperation and exchanges of good practices through 20 large scale partnerships and regional skills ones. The Pact is now focusing on developing its regional dimension and promoting the establishment of new regional skills partnerships. Though there is no specific funding to support the Pact’s activities, the Erasmus+ call 2024, under the Policy Experimentation Projects, includes the topic 3: Adult Education the Priority of Supporting the Pact for Skills governance structures connecting members within the regional partnership. EARLALL will explore the opportunities that are offered by the Pact for Skills at the Regional Level.
The meeting concluded by summing up the network’s contributions to the European Year of Skills (events, projects, communication campaigns…) and upcoming activities (including a webinar on Agriculture skills on 02 February) or the members’ activities’ (Catalonia region, 2nd International Seminar on mobility and cooperation projects (21-22.02) or Croatian Conference in the Education Sector (24.04), including EARLALL member Varaždin County).