7-9 June 2021, Brussels

Working Group 4 online meeting

This year’s meeting of Working Group 4 – Contacts between people – was held online between 7-9 June 2021. Spread over six online sessions, the meeting included EaP CSF and Working Group 4 (WG4) updates, likewise, four policy debates on Youth, Culture, Education and Research and Innovation. The online policy debates and the meeting with EU experts were open to all WG4 members and delegates.

During WG4 meeting, participants had the opportunity to share relevant policy updates from the EaP countries. All countries highlighted common challenges regarding the impact of COVID-19 on education, culture, youth, and research and innovation. While there are several good examples and practices of making culture and education digital, the access to internet, digital devices and digital skills is not equal.

During the thematic sessions, participants from all EaP countries shared civil society recommendations with EU stakeholders. Young people need more inclusive youth mobility programmes for all EaP countries, as well as, the creation of platforms where young people can develop their competencies in entrepreneurship and civic participation. The sub-group on culture highlighted the crucial necessity to diversify and reinvent the cultural industries, by investing in modern technologies and creating partnerships promoting sustainability.

In the area of education, more funds should be devoted to making education more accessible, by supporting pupils and students with digital devices and access to the internet. To increase the quality of education, teachers should develop their competencies by participating in capacity building sessions. The Research and Innovation area needs more attention from EaP governments to motivate researchers to participate more actively in programmes, such as Horizon Europe, and encourage young people to embrace a career in research.

Read the full report of the meeting here.

Available for download