This year’s EPALE Ambassadors Event entitled Skills for Participation was held on 25 May in Brussels, Belgium. It brought together the ambassadors from 36 European countries. The focus of the event was placed on the role of basic skills initiatives.

EPALE ambassadors from Bosnia and Herzegovina Ms. Tamara Beronja and Ms. Tatjana Ponorac, project associates and this years members of the delegation EPALE National Support Service in Bosnia and Herzegovina which operates within the Agency for Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary Education, had the opportunity of taking part in this ever-engrossing event.

After the opening remarks given by moderators Sara Saleri and Claudia D’Eramo, the ambassadors were introduced to the members of the EPALE CSS Team coupled with an icebreaker, where all ambassadors were invited to present themselves in less than 30 seconds.

Next followed the Presentation of the European Year of Skills addressed by Ms. Sofie Doškárová. This informative presentation gave rise to numerous questions and inputs the ambassadors had in terms of tackling the problems that arise in different areas of adult education and government involvement.

University professor Stephen Boucher nourished our minds with his inspirational speech entitled Perspectives on collective intelligence for democracy. This presentation too was met with a series of inquiries concerning democracy’s reinvention and future.

The practical part of the event included two engaging workshops, out of which one gave the participants a chance to reflect and discuss the practical experiences of their work, the challenges in everyday life, the difficulties, but also the opportunities. The ambassadors were divided into three groups with the aim of drawing up a list of 10 skills (e.g. digital competences, inclusion, adaptation, communication, etc.) useful for coping with the changes in today’s society. In the second workshop, participants were given tips and techniques for writing a powerful, first-person narrative that required drafting a short, personal story (200-350 words) using story prompts.

Overall, the EPALE 2023 Ambassadors Event was a very fruitful event that spawned some very useful and practical reflections as well as suggestions for adult and lifelong learning.