European Year of Lifelong Learning: Guidelines The European Commission, DG XXII, has issued guidelines for participation in the European Year of Lifelong Learning 1996. The aim of the year is to raise awareness among Europeans concerning the concept of lifelong learning and to develop a global reflection on the role of ed... The European Commission, DG XXII, has issued guidelines for participation in the European Year of Lifelong Learning 1996. The aim of the year is to raise awareness among Europeans concerning the concept of lifelong learning and to develop a global reflection on the role of education and training on the eve of the 21st century. Particular emphasis will be given, in this context, to the opportunities and challenges raised by the Information Society. More specifically, the objectives of the year are: - The promotion, through the concept of lifelong learning, of personal development and sense of initiative of individuals, their integration, into working life and society, their participation in the democratic decision-making process and their ability to adjust to economic, technological and social change; - Stressing the importance of a high quality of general education, open to all without discrimination of any kind, and the promotion of vocational training leading to qualifications for all young people, as a precondition for a smooth transition to working life; - The promotion of better cooperation between education and training institutions and the economic world, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises; - An increased awareness, among the social partners, of the importance of the creation of new opportunities for lifelong learning in the context of European competitiveness and employment-intensive economic growth; - Raising parental awareness of the importance of education and training for children and young people in the perspective of lifelong learning and of the role that they can play in this respect; - The development of the European dimension of initial and continuing education, the promotion of mutual understanding and mobility in Europe, as well as a European area for cooperation in education; - Raising awareness of the activities of the European Union in this area, particularly with regard to the academic and vocational recognition of diplomas and qualifications and the promotion of linguistic abilities. The preparation of the year will involve close collaboration with: the Community's SOCRATES and LEONARDO DA VINCI programmes; other interested Directorates of the European Commission; national administrations; members of the European Parliament, the Social and Economic Committee and the Committee of Regions; and other international organizations interested in the concept of lifelong learning (Council of Europe, OECD, UNESCO, etc.). The specific information and communication activities to be carried out in the framework of the European Year will be supplemented by actions in related areas such as: social and employment policies; research and technological developments; telematic applications; small- and medium-sized enterprises; and the general information policy of the Commission. The activities of the European Year of Lifelong Learning are aimed at the following target groups: - Schools, universities and institutions responsible for education and training; - Organizations and associations responsible for youth, women and the elderly; - Small- and medium-sized enterprises; - Ministers, politicians and opinion leaders; - Regional and local authorities; - Chambers of commerce, professional organizations and trade unions; - Organizations in charge of equal opportunities and the fight against exclusion. Persons or organizations wishing to participate in the European Year are requested to submit proposals in line with the objectives and target groups specified above. Proposed events must take place between 1 January 1996 and 31 December 1996. Preparatory events taking place from 1 September 1995 onwards may also be considered. Community grants will not exceed 50% of the total cost of the proposed project and, given the large number of requests anticipated and the relatively modest budget for the Year (ECU 8 million over two years), project proposers are encouraged to investigate other sources of financing, including sponsorship. It is planned to establish national coordination units in every Member State, following the final approval of the Year by the European Parliament and the Council. A list of these coordination units will be distributed as soon as they are established.