Following the conclusion of the Cannes European Council in 1995 the
Commission adopted the White paper Learning and teaching: Towards the learning society.
This document considers that "Training and apprenticeship policies (
) must be
strengthened, specially by continuing training". That is the base for the debate that
the Commission launched in the 1996, the year that the Council and the Parliament has
chosen as the "European year for lifelong learning.
In the policy context of the European Employment Strategy, the
Commission and the Member States have defined lifelong learning as "all purposeful
learning activity, whether formal or informal, undertaken on an ongoing basis with the aim
of improving knowledge, skills and competence."
Lifelong learning has also been defined as a priority theme for
activities under Chapter 3 Action III.1of the Socrates programme for 1997-1998. These studies and initiatives are of great
interest to stakeholders in the field, and information on them is available to the general
The information network "Eurydice" is responsible for
producing documents and in-depth comparative analyses on themes of interest to education
policy. Further information on EURYDICE is