The Council of the European Union adopted a couple of conclusions on literacy during the 3201st Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting on 26 and 27 November in Brussels.
Levels of literacy remain stagnant in most European countries and one in five European citizens has inadequate literacy levels.
Taking into account the fact that literacy is a crucial life competence which empowers the individual citizen and that low literacy levels hold back economic growth and reduces sustainability, ministers encouraged Member States to adopt devolvement approaches to improving literacy. A range of players in society, including NGOs, are invited to take part in initiatives that seek to improve literacy levels.
The Council conclusions, included promoting the development and implementation of family literacy programmes, relevant particularly in the case of socio-economically disadvantaged families, and the development of clear guidelines on the competences of teachers. The Council is keen to see Member States and the European Commission reporting their actions to improve literacy levels at all ages. The Commission should also be ensuring that ICT in education fully addresses the challenges and opportunities of digitalization and new technologies in relation to literacy.
EPHA belief that health literacy is vital to active and informed healthcare issues, and identifies it as a key action to reducing inequalities within the European Union. As a result of this, EPHA is currently working on a briefing on health literacy.