The DISCUSS partnership currently is conducting a series of interviews with stakeholders and members of communities of practice (CoP), which have emerged in the wider context of the Lifelong Learning Program of the European Union. The major aim is to find out more about the specific characteristics and features of those CoPs, and the experience gained by their members. Looking deeper into the social mechanisms and day-to-day activities of the CoPs is expected to deliver important cornerstones towards the building of a future European platform for CoPs in Lifelong Learning.
From the findings available so far, it seems that a particular topic to take further is centered around the question of institutional embeddedness of CoPs. The feedback from CoP actors here shows quite ambiguous. While some of the communities seem to gain their importance and relevance from strong institutional alliances, key actors of other communities, quite conversely, explain their success by the absence of any institutional ties. Between those two poles we find a bulk of communities, which seek to combine both aspects in a more or less pragmatic way.