Governing Adult Education Policy Development in Europe

A Critical Appraisal of the Renewed Agenda for Adult Learning
  • Marcella MilanaEmail author
  • Gosia Klatt
Reference work entry


Based on a claim that adult education policy developments in Europe are more strongly entangled with European rather than global governance in this policy domain, this chapter presents a critical appraisal of the Renewed European Agenda on Adult Learning (REAAL). This analysis draws on a heuristic model that concentrates attention on the strength of governance mechanisms and policy instruments as key units of analysis to examine governance in public policy domains such as education, building primarily on the work of Del Rio and Howlett (2013) on complex policy mixes, and that of Lascounes and Le Galès (2007) on policy instrumentation. By featuring REAAL’s main characteristics, and in light of its historical stages of development, this chapter elucidates how, as a policy mix, REAAL performs three substantive authoritative functions (i.e., legal, epistemic, and procedural), which ease European governance in the adult education policy domain. Moreover, through a closer examination of REAAL’s mode of working, this chapter identifies the governance mechanisms (i.e., standard setting, capacity building, and financial redistribution) and policy instruments (i.e., coordinated working groups/networks, mutual- and peer-learning arrangements, data generation, benchmarks, and funding schemes) that concur to its enactment. In doing so, it highlights two distinctive qualities that differentiate European from global governance in the adult education domain: its regulatory politics and its wealth redistributive capacity. Finally, the chapter points at some of the implications for the adult education and training sector and its market segments.


Adult education Adult learning Renewed European Agenda for Adult Learning European governance Education governance Policy instruments 



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement no. 693989.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of VeronaVeronaItaly
  2. 2.Melbourne Graduate School of EducationThe University of MelbourneCarltonAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Michael Gessler
    • 1
  • Larissa Freund
    • 2
  • Susanne Peters
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Technology and EducationUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.University of BremenBremenGermany
  3. 3.University of BremenBremenGermany

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