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Survey and feasibility study on National Stakeholders’ Forums

Research -

Why the research?

Research shows several limitations in the implementation of lifelong learning strategies at national level. Several civil society networks including EUCIS-LLL expressed concerns for the lack of consultation of stakeholders. This was pinpointed in several EU progress reports as well as by stakeholders. “The Lisbon strategy partly failed because of the implementation gap between EU decisions and national choices. The Europe 2020 strategy aims to strengthen this impact. This is not possible without the implementers: governments and stakeholders (civil society organisations and social partners) alike.”

Political background

EU institutions have always sought input by national administrations, businesses and civil society groups to assist them shaping or implementing policies. The practice became compulsory in 1997 with the Amsterdam Treaty requiring the Commission to consult widely and publish documents before putting forward major new pieces of legislation. This led to the adoption of basic principles for public consultation to ensure all relevant interested parties are properly heard. At national level, the Member States have different practices / approaches relative to stakeholders’ participation – and even on the recognition of civil society representatives themselves. Furthermore, most of the time, no one is responsible for lifelong learning strategies in the Ministries and there are no such structured civil society platforms that gather the various sectors as EUCIS-LLL at the EU level. It is thus very difficult to measure the impact of EU policies at the national level.

Role of EUCIS-LLL

During the European Stakeholders’ Forum organised by DG EAC and EUCIS-LLL in September 2011, participants made concrete proposals to improve the participation of stakeholders in the implementation of the Education and Training 2020 strategic work programme (ET2020). Two main ideas emerged for the national level:

  • the need to have national stakeholders’ platform and
  • to set up annual Stakeholders’ Forums to ensure the broad consultation of the various education and training actors in the countries.

This initiative requires mapping the relevant actors as well as developing cooperation among them. It will also require governments’ political will to have regular consultations but also to consider such consultations as important to ensure better policy-making. Mutual trust is a key element in this process. EUCIS-LLL, based on its long experience in gathering various actors of education and training, is in a very good position to move this agenda forward by proposing concrete solutions. Its European member networks cover the whole spectrum of lifelong learning; their national members could serve as a basis to build the national stakeholders’ forums and platforms.

Ongoing steps:

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