The Structure of the Network

The Network was co-ordinated and chaired by a co-ordinating unit which convened the network and supported the implementation of its initiatives. Members appoint a Steering Group to ensure effective management of its work and to support the Co-ordinator in defining the priorities and budget allocation within the Work Programme. Members of the Steering Group acted as the Network’s driving force, providing expertise, chairing sub-group meetings, and hosting activities such as peer learning activities and EU-level conferences. The ultimate decision making body was ELGPN plenary meetings where the ELGPN members agreed the Work Programme, endorses and reviewws the progress and reviewws the Network's governance and processes where appropriate.

ELGPN plenary meetings were held twice a year. The representative of the host member country chaired these meetings.

The role of the ELGPN plenary meeting included:

  • Agree the ELGPN Work Programme.
  • Endorse and review the progress of the Work Programme.
  • Maximise outputs and results.
  • Inform members on relevant policy developments at national and EU levels.
  • Review the Network’s governance and processes where appropriate.
  • Appoint the members of the Steering Group from among its members.

Based on the agreed principles and procedures of ELGPN, the immediate past, present and future EU Presidencies – IT, LV, LU, NL  – along with FI as the ELGPN Co-ordinator were endorsed in the 15th ELGPN Plenary Meeting in Zagreb on 11-12 June 2014 as members of the Steering Group for 2015. The Steering Group member in each case should be a governmental representative or a designated non-governmental representative. In addition, the representatives of partner organisations and the contracted consultants can be invited when necessary. The Steering Group can also invite to specific meetings representatives from those ELGPN countries which are not EU Member States. The roles and the tasks of the Steering Group members are presented in the table below.

The role of the Steering Group included:

  • Support the Co-ordination unit in the implementation of the Work Programme.
  • Clarify/identify the respective roles of all parties involved to be agreed by the Plenary Meeting.
  • Clarify appropriate funding arrangements.
  • Prepare for the Network meetings.
  • Encourage Network initiatives to foster systematic co-operation on lifelong guidance across ELGPN member countries.
  • Link with international organisations active in the field.
  • Administer the flow of information to the Network on the progress of the Work Programme.
  • Act as the Network’s driving force by providing expertise, and chairing sub-group meetings.
  • Act as designated ELGPN representatives in meetings of parallel organisations, as appropriate.

The Steering Group met up to three times a year, as appropriate. The meetings took place on the occasion of the ELGPN plenary meetings. The governance arrangements were reviewed in the beginning of each contractual period of the ELGPN. Changes required a qualified vote (two-thirds majority).

Overall project management focused on effective co-ordination of the Network and the co-operation arrangements with the Commission, Cedefop, ETF and other relevant bodies or networks at national, European and international levels. The management promoted the achievement of Network objectives and outputs that added value to existing EU lifelong guidance policies and practices.

The Co-ordinator maintained an infrastructure for communication among the national reference points which form the consultative mechanism between the Network and national structures. The communication included on-line and face-to-face communication between Network members, supported by Network meetings, written action plans with deadlines, and periodic reviews.

The tasks of the Co-ordinator included:

  • Preparing the annual Work Programme and the Grant Application for the Commission.
  • Assisting the Chairs of ELGPN Plenary Meetings and Steering Group meetings in preparing for these meetings.
  • Producing and circulating the minutes of ELGPN Plenary Meetings and Steering Group meetings.
  • Establishing communication protocols and liaising with members of the Network on an ongoing basis.
  • Providing a platform for the ELGPN’s thematic activities.
  • Co-ordinating the implementation of the thematic activities.
  • Providing an overview of the overall project finances.
  • Ensuring regular contact with other relevant bodies or networks at national, European or international levels.
  • Establishing a framework for the evaluation of the Network’s progress, including any necessary data collection.
  • Liaising with the Commission, and producing and submitting management reports and cost statements at regular intervals.