Dear Friends, 

With a very busy November behind us, including the highly successful EPA Conference Suitable Pathways - on Career Guidance and Vocational Education, I hope all of you are starting to prepare for a family Winter Holiday Season. In this edition of the EPA Newsletter we highlight some of the most important events of the last few weeks where there was a possibility to raise the parents' voice. This possibility was there for all of you for the first time ever as the European Commission invited one representative of each member of EPA to Brussels for the Vocational Skills Week. This invitation is likely to be repeated next year, and we hope more member will accept the invitation.

Probably the most important event of November for all European parents and children was the Gothenburg EU Summit. The Heads of States endorsed a new initiative to build the Social Pillar of the European Union, setting new paths for education, work-life balance and child care among others, but it seems to have been designed without listening to us, parents. We must make sure the voice of parents is heard in the next, crucial years, but for that we need to be confident that we are bringing the voice of the 150 million parents our members represent together.

This is a period of planning - for EPA and also for the EU. We are at the end of a 3-year work period and we have tried to serve our members more than before. We have managed to develop trainings, background material and information according to the expressed needs and wishes of our members through projects. As a result of the past 3 years, we are providing you tried and tested training material for parental engagement, parents supporting the learning of their children, the inclusion of migrant parents and their children, and active citizenship of parents and children. I hope you will all be able to use them in your daily work in the forthcoming years.

We have just adopted the new mid-term workplan, so I can proudly announce we have the Topic of the Year for 2018 (Equitable Access to Education), 2019 (Parenting for a Healthy Life) and 2020 (Parenting in the Digital Age). We will come back with our plans for 2018 within the framework of the Topic of the Year in January.


Eszter Salamon


Ensure you receive all important information from EPA

Newsletters always contain important and official information from EPA. As you already know, 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. Look out for the new member's form in January, you need to send it back quickly to ensure you have access to the newsletter.  

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.


EPA Conference in Tallinn - report
Read the report of our Tallinn conference if you missed it, or download presentation if you were there and are interested.

Fill the survey
In a new project, Open School Doors, EPA was invited to collect inspiring practices of schools on the inclusion of migrant parents. Please fill the survey and share inspiration with us by 15 January.

Highlights from the LLL Week
The 7th edition of the Lifelong Learning Week was held in Brussels on 20-24 November 2017. We have highlighted the most relevant events for parents from the rich programme of the week that tackled the topic of Education in a Digital World, with special focus on democracy, inclusion and innovation.

NEF Smart Education Indicators
The New Education Forum invited EPA to take part in the discussion about 21st century education and also asked the parents' perspective on their Smart Education Indicators covering 6 important areas. You can read our endorsement publihed together with the indicators.

Universal Children Day 2017 #KidsTakeOver
This year #KidsTakeOver was the topic and action of Universal Children's Day on 20 November. To commemorate the day we have published and sent a message in a Newsletter to highlight the importance of parental guidance throuhgout childhood and the necessity to help parents in this.

Holocaust remembrance and parents
The Council of Europe made it possible for us to participate at a workshop on Holocaust remembrance, its role in prevventing hate speech and hate crimes. It goes without saying that parents play a crucial role in this. Our representative shared his personal thoughts on the event that took place in Auschwitz. It was published in Polish original in the event publication there.

The EU must keep investing in Children
The Alliance for Investing in Children, EPA is a member of, called the attention of policy makers to the importance of putting children and their parents in the focus of the next EU Budget, the MFF and linked it to the endorsement of the Social Pillar.

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