Development of the Agenda for Adult Learning

Development of the Agenda for Adult Learning

At the end of 2011, the European Council adopted a resolution on a renewed Agenda for Adult Learning. This resolution builds on the following statements along with others from the EU on the role of adult education:

  • “You never stop learning” (2006)
  • Action plan for adult learning – “It is never too late to learn” (2007)

Unlike the previous action plan for adult learning, the renewed European Agenda for Adult Learning refers equally to topics of education and vocational adult training/further education. 



“Adult education offers people who have been affected by unemployment, restructures and professional transitions the opportunities to gain higher qualifications and retrain. At the same time, adult education also makes an important contribution to social integration, active citizenship and personal development.”

The renewed European Agenda for Adult Learning has been established over a longer period of time as an action plan – up to 2020. The announcement of its content will be supported across Europe by National Coordination Offices.

In 2014, the European Commission set up an online platform for promoting professional interaction, searching for project partners and supporting professional discussion: EPALE. For this online platform, a library function with the most important EU documents on adult education is also currently in development.

Key objective

A key objective of the renewed European Agenda for Adult Learning is to increase the participation rate of measures for adult education in the European Union (EU). In the strategic framework for European collaboration in the area of education and vocational training (ET 2020), the following objective was identified: Participation of at least 15% of the adult population between 25 and 64 years of age in measures for education and vocational adult training by 2020. The value of the most recent European labour force survey is key here (EU AKE).