Adult learning is a vital component of the European Commission's lifelong learning policy. It is essential for employability and competitiveness, social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development. The challenge is to provide learning opportunities for all adults, throughout their whole life, especially disadvantaged groups who need them most.
Adult learning comprises formal, non-formal, and informal learning; it can be for employing basics, for obtaining new qualifications, for up-skilling or re-skilling for employment, for personal growth, or just for pleasure. The demand for adult learning is increasing and the Commission is committed to helping all EU countries create adult learning systems characterised by flexibility, high quality, excellent teaching, and the full involvement of local authorities, employers, social partners, civil society, and cultural organisations.
The Renewed European Agenda for adult learning (2011)link outside the EC domain outlined a vision of how adult learning should develop in Europe by 2020. Specific priorities for the period 2015 - 2020 are: