Workshop 3: The role of education and culture in the sustainable recovery for Europe

Tuesday, 2 March 2021, 14:30 - 16:30


Organised by Culture Action Europe (CAE), the European Association of Institutes for Vocational Training (EVBB), the Lifelong Learning Platform (LLLP) and the EESC section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC)

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  • Moderator: Theodor Grassos, EVBB

14:30 – 14:35 Welcoming introduction

  • Theodor GrassosEVBB
  • Arja Krauchenberg, LLLP
  • Lars Ebert, CAE

14.35 - 14.50 Keynote speech

  • Dr. Eli Eisenberg, Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research, Israel

14.50 - 15.30 Breakout sessions

  • Session 1: Shanti George and Camee Comperen  from Learning for Wellbeing Foundation: A multi partnership for intergenerational learning
  • Session 2: Dr Eli Eisenberg: The holistic approach in education
  • Session 3: Gabriele Rosana, Policy Director, Culture Action Europe: A Cultural Deal for Europe

15:30 – 15:40 Plenary

  • The three speakers report back

15:40 – 16:30

  • Tatjana Babrauskienė, EESC member: The structures, mechanisms and funding available to support such an objective
  • Janusz Pietkiewicz, EESC member: The aspects of culture in the sustainable recovery of Europe
  • Paul Coughlan, FEANI

Concept note

There is no recovery or future for Europe without culture and education. The European cultural and educational ecosystem is convinced that Europe needs a new impetus for culture and education. The gravity of the COVID-19 crisis has proven yet again that culture and education are not a luxury, but a necessity for building cohesive, equal, sustainable and free societies. The European cultural and educational community calls for the pivotal role of culture and education in shaping the future of our lives and in making sure that no one is left behind to be acknowledged. We will pursue the objective of achieving a new European Education Area by 2025 and translating the new Skills Agenda into concrete measures in the coming years, taking into account how education and training can help our societies to recover from the current social and economic crisis.

Furthermore, we need a Cultural Deal For Europe: a cross-cutting, overarching framework that demonstrates the EU's political commitment to placing culture at the heart of the European project. Culture and education share fertile ground for cultivating the skills and inspiring the innovation needed in the societies of both today and tomorrow, as well as our own personal development.

The natural interlinkage between culture and education is increasingly taken for granted and cooperation between the education and cultural sectors at the political level remains, to a large extent, symbolic. If this situation remains, we will miss out on the vast potential that synergies between education and culture can have in the sustainable recovery of Europe, not only from an economic perspective – given the contribution that creative skills and industries make to the economy – but also, and more importantly, from a social perspective – given the benefits that learning about and through culture has for more inclusive societies.

The integration of cultural and educational factors into EU policies and strategies is crucial to promoting social justice and solidarity, fostering cohesion and fighting social exclusion, poverty and generational and demographic disparities.

Aims and main questions

Through this workshop we hope to answer some of the questions that permeate the current debate:

  • Q1: How can lifelong learning policies be the sustainable solution to economic and social recovery; what is the role of intergenerational learning?
  • Q2: How can holistic education and culture tackle the challenges raised by the pandemic and meet the needs of a sustainable recovery for Europe? How can holistic education and culture be a bridge to close the gap between the needs of education and the labour market?
  • Q3: How is culture interrelated with other fields and how could it become a catalyst for the future of Europe? How will we go beyond sectoral perspectives and include cultural approaches in the EU's main strategic programmes and policies?


The workshop will take the form of a "reverse café". In this particular configuration, the audience and speakers will split into three different breakout sessions, covering separate areas; in each area, an expert (speaker) will help the audience construct an answer to each of the opening questions, giving a comprehensive overview and using tools to gather input from the participants.

In the second phase, experts will bring the discussion to a panel in a plenary session, where contributions will build up to the final takeaway message. The three breakout sessions will each come up with a set of three or more recommendations for policymakers, to be discussed in the plenary and commented on by EESC members.

Work organisation