European Literacy Network (ELINET)


One in five 15-year-old Europeans, as well as nearly 55 million adults, lack basic reading and writing skills. Not only does this make it hard for them to find a job, it also increases their risk of poverty and social exclusion.

The European Literacy Policy Network (ELINET) aims at improving literacy policies in its members’ countries in order to reduce the number of children, young people and adults with low literacy skills in Europe. The network was established in February 2014 and received 3 million euro from the European Commission to complete a two-year programme. The Reading & Writing Foundation is a participant, along with 78 partners, leads one of eight teams and is member of the management board.

This video, made by ELINET, shows the results of two years of work.



  • Developing country-specific knowledge on literacy
  • Identifying good policy practices in raising literacy levels
  • Identifying good examples of fundraising and awareness-raising activities, campaigns and other events
  • Providing a platform for the exchange of good practices
  • Managing and further developing, in cooperation with the European Commission, a Europe-wide campaign on literacy in 2015
  • Defining indicators to measure the impact of awareness raising
  • Promoting the continuous future cooperation of relevant organisations at European level
  • Organising one European conference to share the results of the network


ELINET consists of 79 partner organisations from 28 countries (24 of which are EU member states). The partners involved comprise existing literacy networks and national literacy associations, education ministries and national agencies, international organisations (such as UNESCO), foundations and NGOs, universities, research centres and teacher training institutions, voluntary organisations and other stakeholder groups working in the field of literacy.

Among these organisations, there are seven team leaders forming the management board together with six members chosen by the members themselves. The team leaders are Booktrust, the Free University of Brussels, the Institute of Education, the German Reading Foundation (Stiftung Lesen), the German Association for Reading & Writing (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Lesen und Schreiben), Stichting Lezen & Schrijven (the Dutch Reading & Writing Foundation) and Universität zu Köln (University of Cologne), which is also the programme coordinator.


As the team leader of the team Awareness Raising Strategies, the Reading & Writing Foundation coordinates the development of a toolkit and database with good practices that can be used for literacy campaigns. These good practices are based on the analysis of a survey about awareness raising in each country, executed by the same team. The toolkit was tested in seven participating countries. In addition, the Reading & Writing Foundation led the organisation of a European Literacy Day on September 8th 2015, including the launch of a EU-wide literacy campaign, and on January 20th-22nd the European Literacy Conference in Amsterdam, together with Stichting Lezen.

Click here for more information about this network.