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Non-formal education in focus

2009/10/01

Yesterday, I attended a big conference in Göteborg on “Active Citizenship in Europe“. It was organised by the European Association for Education of Adults and its Swedish section. The two days conference hosted around 30 different panels and seminars on how to work on an active citizenship via non-formal education.

I share the concerns from the conference that we need to find new ways and methods to involve European citizens in the decision-making process, also on EU level. This is becoming increasingly important as lots of decisions taken in Brussels affect citizens’ daily life. The fact that more than half the European electorate does not use their right to vote in the European Parliament election is of course an enormous problem.

Non-formal adult education and informal learning can play a crucial role in promoting active citizenship in Europe. In Sweden, non-formal adult education (“folkbildning”) is deeply rooted in local communities and the government is trying to work with the different organisations in getting people to know more about Europe but also be a channel for dialogue with decision-makers.

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