Renewed EU education agenda

EESC opinion: Renewed EU education agenda

The EESC agrees with the principles of the initiatives. It believes that education policies should also refer to the value of cultural diversity and tolerance, and that the responsibility of all parties in educating people should be stressed. It wishes a more a holistic strategy that would also highlight the role of real-life educators and the importance of social sciences and humanities. It considers essential an effective social dialogue, and encourages the Member States to establish the needed education systems.

Key points


  • welcomes the initiatives and agrees with their principles;
  • calls on the Commission and the Member States to include the need to value cultural diversity and tolerance in education policies as another area for fostering active citizenship and promoting EU fundamental values;
  • believes that we are all responsible for educating people and making them truly aware of common European history and values, yet it maintains that a more ambitious initiative is needed, one that would lead to a more holistic education strategy that changes the current paradigm;
  • considers that further support and training needs to be provided not only to teachers and school heads but also to the real-life educators, such as parents, the community and non-formal education providers;
  • considers essential the availability of sufficient, equitably allocated funding and a coordinated governance in the framework of high-quality and effective social dialogue;
  • regrets that adults are barely mentioned, while higher education can play a key role in lifelong learning at all ages, and can also help update the skills, competences and knowledge of employed and unemployed people;
  • emphasises that educational resources should not only focus on performance, but also on inclusiveness, for learners from disadvantaged backgrounds and for refugees;
  • highlights the importance of involving the social partners and other civil society organisations effectively in the process;
  • is of the opinion that cooperation and links between formal, non-formal and informal learning and the validation of their outcomes must also be addressed;
  • stresses the importance of adopting a comprehensive approach to entrepreneurship;
  • believes that the wider purpose of education lies within the balance and close cooperation between the STEM subjects and the social sciences and humanities;
  • is of the opinion that given both the opportunities and the dangers linked to the use of ICT, ICT should form an integral part of lifelong learning;
  • encourages the Member States to take a significant step forward and establish – including through the use of effective social and civil dialogues – the education, training and lifelong learning systems that will provide learners with a promising future in Europe.