History & highlights

  • First European Literacy Week started in September.
  • Launch of the Libraries Changes Lives publication.
  • Opening of the Brussels office.
  • Start of the Public Libraries 2020 campaign to raise awareness for the immense value the 65.000 libraries in Europe add to everyday life. This campaign is powered by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • In February the Reading & Writing Foundation becomes full member of the management board of ELINET and leader of one of the eight teams (campaigning & awareness raising).
  • The European Commission follows-up report of the EU High Level Group on Literacy with a Call for Proposal for a European Policy Network of National Literacy Organisations (ELINET). A pan-European network formed with 80 organisations, including the Reading & Writing Foundation, is one of the applicants.
  • Princess Laurentien and the Reading & Writing Foundation present the conclusions of the EU High Level Group in among other places Bulgaria, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Scotland and the European Parliament.
  • The EU Council of Education Ministers adopts the conclusions of the EU High Level Group on Literacy.
  • A large-scale municipal and regional coalitions-based pilot is implemented in the Netherlands: ‘Language for Life’, aiming to offer solutions in reading and writing development close to people’s lives.
  • Public recognition of the literacy skills issues has grown from 13% in 2006 to 51% in 2011.
  • EU Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou appoints Princess Laurentien to Chair the EU High Level Group on Literacy.
  • Princess Laurentien is appointed as UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development.
  • “The Forum AtoZ” is established: a platform of 27 prominent Dutch people to help promote literacy projects in the Netherlands.
  • H.R.H. Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands sets up the Reading & Writing Foundation. Active stakeholders in the Netherlands are connected to collaborate and to together raise public and political awareness of literacy.
  • Annual Literacy Week is launched, each year around International Literacy Day, 8 September. The initiative has grown to over 1.000 activities around the country by 2013.
  • Social Partners agree to sign Basic Skills Covenant.