EU Citizens' Panel on learning mobility

05. March 2023
European Commission

The EU Commission wants to give the citizens of the European Union more mobility in terms of learning. Therefore, it has convened a randomly selected citizens' panel, which started its work on 3 March 2023 in Brussels.

Learning mobility refers to transnational, regional or online mobility. Students, teachers, trainees or trainers use a certain period of time for educational exchange online or in other places. Educational mobility is used, for example, to acquire or transfer new knowledge, skills, attitudes or values.

Too few citizens benefit

Under Erasmus+ alone, almost 13 million people have studied, trained, worked or volunteered abroad since the programme was established in 1987. 95 per cent of participants expressed satisfaction or great satisfaction with their mobility; 99 per cent recommended it to others. 78 percent improved their foreign language skills, 75 percent increased their career opportunities and 76 percent had a clearer idea of their professional future afterwards.

Although transnational education has proven to be an extremely valuable experience for people, too few citizens actually benefit from it due to numerous obstacles, according to the EU Commission's website.

European education area by 2025

The Commission and Member States are working together to build a European education area by 2025 to improve the quality of education and training, promote inclusion and gender equality, drive the green and digital transformation, support teachers, strengthen the higher education sector and make the EU a partner in education for countries and regions around the world.

The recommendations of the Citizens' Panel participants are intended to help the EU Commission identify obstacles and develop measures at different levels to overcome the hurdles.

Comprehensive consultation process

The Citizens' Panel is part of a broader consultation process that aims to gather the views and suggestions of all interested groups. The panel will focus on the following questions.

  • How can we involve the diverse groups of students, teachers, trainees and trainers and in particular people with special needs (due to disabilities, health problems, economic, social, geographical and other barriers) and less mobile groups (e.g. students and teachers, trainees and apprentices, adult learners and trainers)?
  • How can we make mobility as environmentally friendly as possible and promote sustainable behaviour to contribute to the fight against climate change?
  • How can we make better use of the opportunities and challenges that digitisation could offer (e.g. better use of digital learning platforms, combining face-to-face and online learning)?
  • How can we use the potential of educational mobility for intercultural dialogue, civic engagement and the promotion of shared values?

During the three sessions of the Citizens' Panel, participants will receive information on each point that will enable them to understand the issue, identify obstacles and trade-offs, and discuss and evaluate solutions.

The participants of the Citizens' Panel on learning mobility were randomly selected by an independent polling company. In order to reflect the diversity of people in the EU, the panel members were mixed according to the criteria of geographical origin (nationality and urban/rural), gender, age, socio-economic background and level of education to represent a reflection of the EU population.

Young Europeans over-represented

These criteria were supplemented by a question on the attitudes of those selected to the EU, so that EU critics are as adequately represented in the Citizens' Panel as EU supporters, according to their share of the population. Young people between 16 and 25 are over-represented. They make up one third of the participants. A gender balance is also maintained.

The Citizens' Panel meets for three sessions. These will take place in Brussels from 3-5 March 2023, online from 24-26 March 2023 and again in Brussels from 28-30 April 2023. The recommendations produced here are intended to support the Commission's work in the field of learning mobility.

The Citizens' Panel is organised and moderated by experts from The Danish Board of Technology (DBT), deliberativa, ifok and Missions Publiques. These four participating companies bring their long experience in organising mini publics to the forum.

Citizens' Panel follows citizens' recommendations

The Citizens' Panel is a direct result of the Conference on the Future of Europe. Within the framework of this conference, 800 randomly selected citizens from all over the EU had also discussed the further development of democracy in the European Union. One of the recommendations that emerged was the wish to use randomly selected citizens' panels on a regular basis in the EU. The EU institutions have followed this request.

Prior to the Citizens' Panel on learning mobility, a panel on food waste already took place from December 2022 to February 2023. A Citizens' Panel on "Virtual Worlds" has also been running since 24 February 2023.

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