In many European countries, individual regions play a central role in shaping education policy and ensuring its implementation. They train teachers, define curricula and education plans, support innovation in schools and work together with universities to solve regional problems. The network “European Association of Regional and Local Authorities for Lifelong Learning” (EARLALL) is an association of regional and local authorities with competence in educational matters. EARLALL was founded in 2001 to promote the exchange of experience between regions and to work together on specific topics. The network currently consists of 12 full members from eight countries, including regions such as Baden-Württemberg in Germany and Catalonia in Spain. Working groups work, for example, on mobility and integration of third country nationals.
Movetia, as an office of the confederation and the cantons, is joining EARLALL as an associate member. The status of “associate member” was only introduced at EARLALL this summer. Alongside GO!, Education of the Flemish Community and Adult Education Borås, Movetia is one of the first three organisations with this status. Many Swiss cantons are already cooperating on education-related topics internationally, for example in cross-border networks such as the Upper Rhine and TransJurassienne Conferences. EARLALL provides Swiss cantons, schools and industry associations with an additional network of potential partner organisations for exchange and mobility activities. Movetia will use the membership to exchange information and to establish contacts between EARLALL and Swiss players.
At European level, regional and local authorities are increasingly involved in policy-making and supported in participating in research and education projects. Examples are the new initiatives for excellence under Erasmus+, the European universities and the centres of vocational excellence. In Switzerland, the participation of cantonal and municipal authorities in international Movetia programmes has so far been relatively low. But that could well change in the future.