Dear Friends,

March seem to have flown by in a blink of your eye and here we are, at the beginning of April, just 3 weeks from our conference in Paphos. The Board of EPA had an intesive 2-day meeting in Brussels, we have finalised the activity and financial reports for 2016 and did some forward thinking for our next mid-term working programme. We are very much looking forward to discussing our ideas with you in Cyprus.

As part of the perparation for the April event we have drafted a position paper on early childhood education and care (ECEC). We have assessed ECEC policies and provisions and listed the needs, wishes and demands of parents. The document is open for our members to comment until 10 April. Please take a moment to add your comments, if you have any.

As you see from the news section of this Newsletter, the European Commission is holding a public consultation on the occassion of the mid-term review of Erasmus+. Having a look at the questionnaire, we have decided to rather submit our contribution in a written form in order to cover a number of areas that seem to be problematic for parents. To prepare for this we have created an online survey and you are kindly invited to answer it until the end of April.  

I would like to thank those of you who have already transferred their membership fees and sent the member's forms back. According to the new EU GDPR regulations we will have to delete e-mail addresses that are not included in the member's form from our mailing list. If you haven't done so yet, please send them as soon as possible. With the Spring holidays approaching quickly, let me take this opportunity to wish all the best for you and your family and a relaxing Spring vacation if you can take one. 

Eszter Salamon

Invite us, share with us

As always, I am inviting you to share news or hot topics that you are dealing with in your own countries. Send us a short, one paragraph newsflash in English that we can publish on the EPA blog to share your projects, success, good practices or concerns with other members.
As you know we have allocated a somewhat larger budget for representation for 2017. Some of you have invited members of the Board to your national events and they seems to become more and more popular. One or two members of the Board are happy to join you if you invite us, sharing costs, EPA covering travel and you covering accommodation and subsistence. This may help you in national advocacy or showing your national members the importance of your EPA membership.
In both the Social Platform and the Lifelong Learning Platform (EPA being a member of both) we are working on supporting the national cooperation of social and education NGOs that share at least their being Europeans, belonging to a European family like EPA. Inviting a Board member or two may offer opportunities for this, too.

ALCUIN Award 2017

You can already submit your suggestions for the 2017 ALCUIN Award using this form. Submission deadline is 15 September, as usual.

The Europe We Want 
The Rome Summit on 25 March has marked the 60th Anniversary of the European Union. On this occassion civil society on European level issued a joint statement EPA has also signed on the Europe we, European citizens want. Read the  statement following the link in the title. 

The Role of Civil Society in a Two-Speed Europe
By invitation of the Social Platform this editorial was designed to raise concerns about the European Commission's plans to create first and second class EU citizens, especially in the fields of education and social protection, and to raise awareness of the need for us, organsiations to show we really represent citizens.

Expert concerns about the General Data Protection Regulations
Have you known that your child may need (or fake) parental consent to use education internet sites at school? Have you heard about the new GDPR? Janice Richardson, internet safety expert has listed major concers and asked EPA to support her. 

Anti-cyberbullying campaign in Catalonia
FAPEL has shared a newsflash on a new awareness-raising campaign targeting parents to empower them to protect their children from cyberbullying, to prevent them from becoming bullies and to support them in case they are bullyied. 

Erasmus+ Public Consultation

In the official call the EC is inviting "young people, students, teachers, youth workers, athletes, staff, employers, civil society and social partner organisations and other interested parties" to submit their contributions on the impact and the future of programmes by 31 May 2017 through a questionnaire available in all EU official languages. Please note that EPA is carrying out an own survey for our contribution.

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