The European Council held in Lisbon in March 2000 stated that "the European Union is confronted with a quantum shift resulting from globalization and the challenges of a new knowledge-driven economy". Based on this conclusion, the European Council set as the major goal and challenge for the European Union for 2010 "to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion". The Council also nominated five new basic skills on which the knowledge-based economy has to be developed as it concerns the education: Information and Communication Technology - ICT, technological culture, foreign languages, entrepreneurship and social skills.
To enforce the contribution of education and training as set by the Lisbon process, the Stockholm European Council adopted in 2001 thirteen concrete future objectives in the field of education and training systems that aim to improve the quality, access and openness of the European education and training systems.
In 2002, the goal for the education and training systems in Europe to become "a worldwide quality reference by 2010" was established through the Education and Training 2010 work program.
An important component of this work program is the continue education by different forms of lifelong learning (LLL). Lifelong learning being defined as: encompassing all purposeful learning activity, whether formal or informal, undertaken on an ongoing basis with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competence. The benchmark set for 2010, refers to the EU-average level of participation in lifelong learning which should be at least 15% of the adult working age population (25-64 age group) and in no country should it be lower than 10%.
Bearing in mind these EUs ambitious goals, the Comenius 3 network Hands-on Science (www.hsci.info)* will organize in Bucharest, Romania, May 18th to 20th, 2006, the International Workshop Science literacy and lifelong learning. Europe towards a knowledge-based society.