A European follow-up meeting on CONFINTEA took place online on 8 December, organised jointly by EAEA and ICAE. The main objective of the meeting was to exchange between European stakeholders in adult learning and education on how the Marrakech Framework for Action (MFA) could be implemented at the national level and to share ideas for advocacy on the MFA.
The meeting was opened by Katarina Popovic, Secretary-General of ICAE, who introduced key elements of the MFA and highlighted where civil society was especially successful in its advocacy.
Participants then compared their national contexts, bringing perspectives from Spain, Portugal, Finland, Switzerland and Serbia. Some of the shared issues of interest that are of particular relevance to the MFA included the digital transition and critical digital literacy, as well as more broadly skills for life and basic skills for underrepresented groups. Expanding learning domains were also highlighted as important.
Several challenges were also mentioned that can make it difficult to raise awareness of the MFA. In some countries, such as Spain, there is a lack of coordination between different ministries; additionally, in some countries of South and South-Eastern Europe, education is understood mostly as formal, with non-formal learning and education having little relevance at the policy level. Some countries have seen positive developments after CONFINTEA VII, such as in Switzerland, where two follow-up meetings of the national delegation were organised.
Participants also shared ideas on how to bring their advocacy further: by organising national events that link stakeholders in non-formal adult education; by reaching out to policymakers through formal and informal channels; or by connecting CONFINTEA VII to other policy agendas that are recognised at the national level, such as Agenda 2030. They also explored the idea to collaborate more in sub-regions in order to explore shared challenges or areas of interest.