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Adult learning: New policy at European level

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On 28 November 2011 the Council of the European Union has adopted an important new policy document, the European Agenda for Adult Learning, which consolidates policy in the field of adult learning under the four strategic objectives of "ET2020", the framework for European cooperation in education and training policy.

Aimed at enabling all adults to develop and enhance their skills and competences throughout their lives, this new Council resolution builds on the achievements of the Action Plan on Adult Learning (2008-2010) and complements existing policy initiatives in the areas of school education, higher education (Bologna process) and vocational education and training (Copenhagen process).

While being addressed primarily to national governments and authorities with a view to encouraging them to take the necessary steps to improve the adult learning sector in their respective countries, the European Agenda for Adult Learning will provide the basis for the Commission's policy activities at European level in the coming years, and will also steer the priorities to be adopted in the adult learning sector within the EU education and training programme – at present the Grundtvig programme for adult learning within the Lifelong Learning Programme, and in the medium term the "Erasmus for All" programme.

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