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EU policy in the field of adult learning

What is it?

Adult learning is a vital component of the European Commission's lifelong learning policy.

It is essential to competitiveness and employability, social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development across Europe. The challenge is to provide learning opportunities for all, especially disadvantaged groups who need them most.

It comprises formal, non-formal, and informal learning for improving basics skills, obtaining new qualifications, up-skilling, or re-skilling for employment.

The demand for adult learning is increasing and the Commission is committed to helping all EU countries create adult learning systems characterised by flexibility, high quality, excellent teaching, and an enhanced role for local authorities, employers, social partners, civil society, and cultural organisations.

Priority Areas
  • Making lifelong learning and mobility a reality and increasing access to education for all
  • Improving the quality and efficiency of the adult learning system;
  • Promoting equity, social cohesion and active citizenship through participation in social and cultural learning for personal development and fulfilment;
  • Enhancing the creativity and innovation of adults and their learning environments
  • Improving and monitoring the knowledge base.
What are the next steps?

An ET 2020 Working Group on Adult Learning will begin its activities early 2014.


How can we help?