Final conference “Transforming lives, society and adult education through Life Skills” and ImplOED final conference “Transforming lives, society and adult education through outreach, empowerment and diversity

Brussels Education Centre and Ellipsgebouw, 16th and 17th October 2018

On the 16th and 17th October, two conferences related to adult education have taken place in Brussels. The two events were organised by the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) and the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. The aim of the conferences was to present the outcomes of two Erasmus+ projects coordinated by EAEA: Implementing Outreach, Empowerment and Diversity (implOED) and Life Skills for Europe (LSE).

The first session (16th October) was dedicated to the importance of life skills as key instruments to make people develop themselves in a social and personal way. Literacy, numeracy and digital capabilities are essential life skills, but they must be complemented though other capabilities, such as personal, interpersonal or civic capabilities and the ones related to health and finance.

The need for a new approach to adult education was underlined: this new approach should recognize that adult education is extremely useful for social integration, therefore participation in adult education should be encouraged and the main determinants of low rates of participation in adult education (such as motivations of participants, lack of time, no confidence in learning systems due to bad experiences at compulsory school, financial barriers, etc.) should be further studied.

During the second session (17th October) Oriana White and Ana Pimenta talked about their experience as adult learners: they did not have the basic knowledge necessary in order to go to University, but adult education allowed them to improve their capabilities. In their speech they underlined how adult education helped them to take part in the society and to enhance their self-esteem.

The connection between health and life skills was also highlighted: it is an important aspect that should not be forgotten when developing a good method of adult teaching.

Although life skills are often interpreted as a way to integrate people in a society already constructed, we should not forget that “our society” is changing really fast and that life skills can contribute to this change. Adult education should be viewed as a way to contribute to create active citizens and to build a new society, peaceful and respectful of human rights.

EU budget for the future – the road ahead

European Commission, 12th October 2018

While the final arrangements about Brexit are being processed, the European Commission organized a conference on how to better the distribution of its funds taking into account the further European context.

Plenty of European institutions’ members gathered to discuss about this wide issue, giving their point of view about which ones should be, in their opinion, the best areas in which invest European Union’s funds.

The importance of keeping up the Erasmus programme was underlined, since one of the main aims of the European Union is to keep and increase connections in the European territory.

Another important area that is, according to the participants of the conference, worthy of funds is the infrastructure; Rokas Masiulis, the Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania, reminded us to not forget its key role, since the development of many countries, such as Lithuania, happened also because of a good infrastructure. Also the Common Agricultural Policy was really successful in these countries and, even though the necessity of cuts in the European budget due to new difficulties such as Brexit, the European Union should continue to properly fund the Common Agricultural Policy and keep working together to build a sustainable society.

Another issue addressed during the conference was the importance of a good defence and a suitable management of the borders, as part of a broader strategy to better the connections between the European countries.

Furthermore, societies outside the European Union were not forgotten: in particular, Helle Thorning – Schmidt (former Prime Minister of Denrmark) reminded us the importance of children outside European territories and their education.

H2020 Energy Info Day: Smart citizen-centred energy system and Smart Cities and Communities.

Charlemagne building (Brussels), 5th October 2018.


   The Horizon 2020 Energy info day took place on the 5th October in Brussels, in the Charlemagne building. It presented the upcoming funding opportunities offered by the EU's H2020 Programme to projects focusing on smart energy systems and smart cities and communities concepts. 

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      Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union a Europe 2020 flagship iniciative aimed at securing Europe’a global competitiveness.
In the event the following two points were given more importance: Smart citizen-centred energy system and Smart Cities and Communities.

      To achieve this it is necessary to analyze the following points:

  • EXCELLENT SCIENCE: The main objective is to make the Union’s research and innovation system more competitive on a global scale.
  • INDUSTRIAL AND TECHNOLOGIES: it is necessary to help innovative European SMEs to grow into world-leading companies and contribute to boosting competitiveness, creating jobs and supporting growth. All this by contributing new technologies and financing research and innovation. 
  • SOCIETAL CHALLENGES: the policy priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy and addresses major concerns shared by citizens in Europe and elsewhere. These changes must occur from the beginning with sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy. All this with secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens ensuring a society with health and wellbeing.

Blended Erasmus + for Higher Education professionals – a leap into the future

European Economic and Social Committee, Brussel, Belgium, 24th October 2018

       After two years of implemented some sorts of blended mobility, it was organised by European Economic and Social Committee a conference in order to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the programs behind BEST + (Blended Erasmus Staff Training) as the Alcala Staff Training, the BEST+Lodz – International student experience, and the BEST+ Joensuu – International attractiveness of universities.

      During the event took place the intervention of relevant people as Tatjana Babrauskiene and Johannes Gehringer, members of the European and Social Committee and the Unit Higher Education of European Commission, respectively. The speakers explained the aim of BEST +, a learning mix online combined with a short period abroad which was designed in order to increase the outcome of learning online and networking.

      In the meeting it was highlighted the benefit of online learning and also the importance of had some physical contact with people who is learning the same matter in order to motivate the learners and enhance their knowledge not only academically, also interculturally talking.

      Also it was not missed the future approach of the program Erasmus + for the period 2021 -2027, which probably will be call, as Tatjiana Babrauskiene said, again Erasmus, due to the + would be keep for special subjects as Leonardo program. The general approach was the necessity of bring over the learners to a more digital and technical teachings, as well as make easy the access to this projects for people with some special necessities or parents with a lot of responsibilities.

      Meaningful was the critical of staff training for wastes the opportunity for improve skills from which all the attendees learned the necessity of they understand the benefits of this projects.

Energy efficiency and energy management: Tailored approach and roadmap for SMEs and other stakeholders

CEN-CENELEC Center (Brussels), 27th September 2018


The conference was celebrated the last 27 of September in CEN-CENELEC Centre, to provide the vision about what is coming in energy efficiency for 2030 in EU territories.

The plenary started with a policymaker needs presentation giving the different point of view by the various sectors related. First was Serena Pontoglio from European Commission - DG ENER who explain what is coming for 2030 in EU about the new targets en energy efficiency, metering, and controllability from customers and the energy saving for EU. Additionally, she commented that the procedure to asses all of these new targets is in the review process, but a commission methodology will develop it. This methodology plans to include natural gas assets, infrastructure for public building, energy audits and carbon market support. These topics will be generated by a guideline particularly for authorities to be more cost effective at the time to applied energy assets.

The event was continuous with Filipo Gasparin from Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises who talk about the 2020 horizons with the market uptake cost-effective energy efficiency measures with three projects. Enerwater, that support to improve performance for water treatment plants, with this project the customer has to do an own asset of energy efficiency at the results is a reduction in 11% of energy consumption. Capacity building to support the implementation of energy audits, fostering SMEs to undergo energy audits and facilitating the follow-up of energy audit results. Aggregation, a project to will be launch next year, focus on aid public and private promoters.

Later that Rod Janssen from Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions group, explains that a lot of things are not cover in the industrial sector giving a problematic reality for SMEs to take the opportunity to be more competitive, especially for new technologies that it needs to be implemented. Furthermore, there are trying to give reliability with the techniques to a bank sector given an interest payback with the new implementations and give recommendations for commissioning and financial energy addressing low-carbon transition.

In conclusion for SMEs, nowadays this sector is enfolding to develop energy efficiency to promote more cost-effective technologies. Nevertheless, for the budget that it is used in SMEs they have significant challenges to reach energy efficiency at high-level principal for the structure of the industry that has companies to sell very cheap energy without energy efficiency is a high risk for the environment. By the way, is needed to develop a quick review process to give a real opportunity to SMEs owners more competitive and understand that “CO2 reduction is business, not a cost” and “energy efficiency does not just save energy its save money.”

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