From the beginning of its short history in the field of education, the European Union has taken the view that learning should not be limited by age or time and recognised the learning needs of older people in various policies.
On 28 November 2011, the Education Council adopted a Resolution which lays out a renewed European Agenda for Adult Learning. The resolution provides specific priorities for the adult learning sector as part of the overall strategy for European cooperation in education and training. It calls for well-developed learning provision for seniors, in order to promote active, autonomous, and healthy ageing which uses older people's knowledge, experience, social and cultural capital for the benefit of society as a whole. It highlights the need of the strong commitment to promote adult learning as a means of fostering solidarity between different age groups (for example, by means of an "intergenerational pact").
In the context of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012, the EC's Directorate General for Education and Culture will organise a major European conference on this theme to be held in Brussels in November 2012. The purpose of the conference is to take stock of national developments, to review existing reports and analyses and assess the good practice developed by Grundtvig projects, partnerships, networks and mobility and their potential for dissemination and mainstreaming. The outcomes of the conference will provide a foundation for a first set of policy recommendations and guidelines as the basis for further policy cooperation in the framework of the European Agenda for Adult Learning adopted in November 2011.
The European Year 2012 provides an excellent opportunity to exploit and define the field of learning for active ageing and to place it in the context of overall active ageing policy. To promote and steer the policy process, the European Commission launched the study on “Learning for active ageing and Intergenerational learning.” The outcomes of the study will help to identify the key elements of the role of learning in an ageing society and its implications for Europe and will be used in the framework of European cooperation activities while offering an impetus for commitment and concrete action.
European Commission - Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC)|
The mission of the European Commission in the field of education and training is to reinforce and promote lifelong learning. The DG EAC's work on education and training follows a twin-track approach of policy cooperation with EU Member States on the one hand and the implementation of the Lifelong Learning Programme on the other hand.