4 years of the European Alliance for Apprenticeships

A high-level event was organised by the European Commission in close cooperation with the Maltese Presidency, with the support of  the Malta College of Arts Science and Technology and the Malta Chamber of Commerce on 30-31 May in Malta to celebrate the success of 4 years of the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) and looking ahead. EPA has been a member of EAfA for 2 years now, and EPA was represented at the event by Vice President Claudio Masotti. 

After the launch of the Alliance in Leipzig in 2013, and the re-boost in Riga in 2015, this event marked 4 years of the Alliance. It gave particular attention to new members of the Alliance as well as to apprentices, highlighted through the launch of a new network of apprentices. Around 230 participants took part from all over Europe, including existing and new members of the Alliance, such as companies, social partners, VET providers, chambers, NGOs and youth organisations, as well as policy-makers from national, regional and European level.


Over 250 non-governmental organisations launch alternative vision for Europe

Press release
Brussels, June 20, 2017 – More than 250 non-government organisations from across Europe - EPA among them - have today released an alternative vision for a more democratic, just and sustainable Europe. [1]
Intended to influence the debate on the future direction of Europe, this alternative vision is endorsed by organisations representing a multitude of public interest issues, including labour rights, culture, development, environment, health, women’s rights, youth, and anti-discrimination groups.
It comes ahead of a summit of EU leaders this week with the key issues for Europe’s future on the agenda, including migration, security, jobs and Brexit. This week also marks the one year anniversary of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union (June 23) which propelled questions about the future of Europe up the political agenda.
The vision describes a future for Europe in which “sustainability sits firmly at the heart of the European project,” and the EU focuses on “democracy and participation, social  and environmental justice, solidarity and sustainability, respect for the rule of law, and human rights both within Europe and around the globe”.


Parents must not be punished but given the right to choose

The European Commission has proposed a new directive to the European Parliament and the European Council entitled 'A New Start to Support Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers'. The official, compulsory feedback period will end at the end of June. EPA has made a public contribution to the initiative in line with the clearly expressed wish of parents all over Europe. The proposal can be found here. Read EPA's short feedback below.


The digital revolution pushes offline education to change at last

The Lifelong Learning Platform (LLL-P, former EUCIS-LLL) held its annual conference, Education in a Digital World, in Tallinn, Estonia on 31 May-1 June. Eszter Salamon, President of EPA and Vice President of LLL-P represented parents at the event. The conference was dealing with not only burning issues around digital technology in education, but could also tackled the wider effects, how technology and information in our lives affect education in general. To underline the complexity of the topic LLL-P has decided to postpone the finalisation and publication of their major position paper originally planned to be published at the conference, and to include outcomes of discussions at the event as well as further members’ input in it.


European Commission fails to acknowledge parents’ role in education on the eve of the Global Day of Parents

The European Commission has published a Communication “School development and excellent teaching for a great start in lifejust 2 days before the world celebrates the Global Day of Parents on 1 June. While the United Nations dedicates International Days to and puts enormous effort in families, the European Commission has taken a huge step backwards from its 2016 policy messages on transforming schools to achieve the EU2020 headline target for reducing early school leaving, and instead of acknowledging students and parents as key change-makers, it focuses on trying to impose a system on them, on us. Parents have been committed to offer the best possible education to their children – as individuals and through their representative organisations -, but being solely responsible for the education of their children it is their, our minimum demand to be involved in decisions on how education systems supporting us in our role as primary educators should be shaped for better outcomes. We are committed to school development and excellent teaching, ready to contribute to their development, but we, parents are the ones to provide a great start in life. We are aware that some parents need support in that, and have worked for parental empowerment. School development must go hand in hand with parental empowerment, professionals and parents need to cooperate to really serve our children. Investing in education must mean investing in parents as much as it means investing in schools.


Parents’ contribution to the mid-term review of Erasmus+

The European Parents’ Association has conducted a survey among national parents’ associations to be able to present the view of the largest group of European educators, parents and responsibly participate at the public consultation by the European Commission as part of the mid-term review of the Erasmus+ programme. In the survey, we have asked questions about content, procedure and future expectations, experiences of successful and unsuccessful applicants alike, as well as organisations that have decided to stay away from the programme and not apply.


New Education should be based on Soft Skills

The Regional Meeting of the New Education Forum 2017 was held on 23 May in Turin at the UniManagement Training Center of Unicredit, sponsor of the initiative. The seminar entitled "Enhancing the European Labour Market" was held in the beautiful multimedia room Agorà. The seminar has developed the various aspects of training of young Europeans with particular emphasis on the relevance of Vocational Education not intended as second choice, alternative for those who are unable to support a high school or technical education. As a primary answer to some of today's job market needs. But above all as a concrete opportunity for young people to enter the labour market. EPA representing the parents responsible for the education of their children was represented by Claudio Masotti, Vice President.