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Bildarratz chairs the meeting of the European EARLALL network in Brussels

2023 June 21
  • EARLALL, the European Association of Regions and Local Authorities for Lifelong Learning, brings together representatives from its 17 member regions at the headquarters of the State of Baden-Württemberg in Brussels, under the presidency of the Basque Country.

As president of EARLALL, the Minister of Education, Jokin Bildarratz, participated this morning in Brussels in the meeting of European regions grouped in the European Association of Regional & Local Authorities for Lifelong Learning, an association led by the Basque Country since 2014. The meeting took place yesterday and today at the headquarters of the European Union of one of the regions that, together with the Basque Country, is part of the Board of Directors of the association, the State of Baden-Württemberg (Germany). Together with the Minister, and on behalf of the Department of Education of the Basque Government, the Director of Technology and Advanced Learning, Rikardo Lamadrid, and the Basque Delegate for the European Union, Marta Marín, are participating in the EARLALL sessions.

The meeting, which takes place annually, aims to offer an opportunity for European regions to exchange experiences on the opportunities and challenges they face in ensuring that their citizens acquire the necessary skills to face a world in constant transformation. At the same time, it is an occasion to celebrate the European Year of Skills 2023 and reclaim the key role that regions have in harnessing talent, developing skills profiles and ensuring a supply of skills that responds to local needs.

Working collaboratively

During the opening of today's working sessions, the Minister for Education, Jokin Bildarratz, in his speech in Basque and Spanish, highlighted the opportunity that a forum like EARLALL provides for the exchange between regions, “because a shared reflection is worth more than the best of monologues,” he said.

Bildarratz also referred to the transformations that he is experiencing and that the world will experience in the coming years, due to the advancement and development of technology. “A technology that can help us live and work better, if we do things right. On the other hand, it can open important gaps in vulnerable people, either because of their age or their level of training. And the uncertainty is marked, mainly, by environmental problems and climate change that we are currently experiencing and the clear need that we have to work in a very serious way with everything related to the sustainability of the planet and our way of life”.

In this scenario, in the words of the counsellor, “it is not a question of being neither prophets of doom nor deniers; neither optimists nor pessimists. It's about being solutionists. That is, to work looking for solutions to the problems that arise.” In this sense, it has had an impact on two issues: the importance of working collaboratively, and prioritizing the preparation of people. “If we work together, in collaboration, looking for the solutions that are necessary, the future of humanity will be assured. And in all this, the preparation of people has to be a priority. Preparation with new skills, that transmit deep-rooted human values, that reinforce the humanist leadership that the world will need, having as its fundamental objective: sustainable human development. Because it is the human being who has to be the protagonist of the future and not technology. A humanized technology, with prepared people, in a different society that advances towards a better future,” he said.

Bildarratz has set EARLALL as an example of that collaboration and networking necessary to face the three major transformations to which we must respond: the digital technological transition, the environmental energy transition and the health and social transition. Referring to the European Year of Skills to be held in Europe in 2023, he stressed the need to make progress in acquiring new skills. “As regional and local authorities we have a responsibility to be architects of cultural change and to make education the norm and not the exception in our societies. More than ever, education is the central axis of transformative policies, in favour of innovation and the avant-garde, with the horizon set on sustainability, inclusiveness and adaptation to the needs of a changing society. And he stressed the importance of promoting the acquisition of “all kinds of skills”, in addition to those demanded by the labour market.

Digitalisation

Before the opening of the sessions of this second day, Minister Bildarratz held a meeting with his counterpart from the State of Baden-Württemberg, Sandra Boser, who has shown interest in the Basque model of Vocational Training, as well as in the digital transformation that the Basque Country is carrying out in this area. Both leaders have presented the main characteristics of their educational systems - mainly vocational training - and have analysed the challenges and opportunities that digitisation will offer in the coming years. Digitalization has already had a direct impact both in education and in the workplace and business, and that therefore will require specific training for future professionals to face their work stage with the greatest guarantees.  

Thematic sessions

The regional meeting that is taking place in Brussels presents two types of activities. On the one hand, closed sessions of exclusive participation for the members of the network and, on the other hand, a session open to the public of exchange with actors, institutions and experts in education and training in Europe.

The Basque Country moderated one of the thematic sessions - on innovation in education and training - in which representatives of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission and UNESCO-UNEVOC took part. The rest of the sessions addressed the members of the network focus on issues such as digitization, internationalization and improving the attractiveness of the regions through learning. During these sessions the participating regions exchanged experiences and impressions. In addition to the member regions, representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee participate.

What is EARLALL?

EARLALL (European Association of Regional & Local Authorities for Lifelong Learning) is an international association created in 2001 at the initiative of European regional governments eager to build strong cooperation in the field of education, training and lifelong learning. Among its objectives is contributing its experience to the development of EU policies for lifelong learning and to maintain an active dialogue with the European institutions. It also seeks cooperation between its members and an increase in the role and visibility of the regions in the field of lifelong learning at European and international level.

Led by the Basque Country (Department of Education of the Basque Government) since 2014, it is managed by a Board of Directors to which belong, in addition to the Basque Country, the regions of Catalonia, Brittany, Tuscany and Baden-Württemberg. Today, it represents 13 regional members/authorities and 4 associate members, in 11 European countries.

Members participate in the network through the annual General Assembly and thematic groups (groups on Mobility; Vocational Guidance; Youth and Skills Policies and Labour Market), where they exchange experiences, training, and promote participation in EU-funded projects.

3 comments
  • Photo SN Robot
    @onintzegerra
    2023 June 21

    Comentario de Twitter:
    RT @Gob_eus: 🇪🇺 @bildarratz Europako EARLALL sarearen bileran buru izan da, Bruselan

    📎 https://t.co/LGRL8NilZv https://t.co/GWO5KbmPqW

  • Photo SN Robot
    @Gob_eus
    2023 June 21

    Comentario de Twitter:
    🇪🇺 @bildarratz Europako EARLALL sarearen bileran buru izan da, Bruselan

    📎 https://t.co/LGRL8NilZv https://t.co/GWO5KbmPqW

  • Photo SN Robot
    @Gob_eus
    2023 June 21

    Comentario de Twitter:
    🇪🇺 @bildarratz preside en Bruselas la reunión de la red europea EARLALL

    📎 https://t.co/7BauGtv0Ui https://t.co/owQABSubX9

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Politicians attending the event