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Announcement of the meeting of the Education, Youth and Culture Council

A meeting of EU ministers responsible for culture and audiovisual policy will be held on 21 May, chaired by the Slovenian Minister for Culture, Dr Vasko Simoniti.  In the audiovisual section, the ministers will discuss the proposed Council conclusions on a European approach to media literacy in the digital environment, proposed Council conclusions on establishing a multi-annual Community programme on protecting children using the internet and other communication technologies, and the Commission Communication to the European Parliament, Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on ‘Creative Content Online in Europe’s Single Market’.

In the culture section, the ministers will discuss the proposed Council conclusions on the Council Work Plan for Culture 2008-2010. The work plan for the next period is due to be adopted. It contains priority areas, such as the improvement of conditions for the mobility of artists and other professionals in the cultural field; promotion of the accessibility of culture, especially by promoting cultural heritage, digitisation, cultural tourism and greater mobility of art collections; and promotion and implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The Work Plan for Culture 2008-2010 aims at creating a framework for fostering cooperation in culture at European level by means of the open method of coordination, primarily in the above priority areas.

The Ministers will also discuss the proposed Council conclusions on intercultural competencies. This concerns a document, drawn up during the Slovenian Presidency in line with efforts to ensure that, in the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, special attention is devoted to the implementation of its content and, in particular, to the concern that the contents should be kept alive in the context of European policies even after the end of the Year. The proposed conclusions therefore include initiatives for the development of intercultural competences in the field of culture, education, youth and audiovisual policy, with a view to promoting intercultural competences by means of an inter-sectoral approach.

On 22 May, the Council will be chaired by the Slovenian Minister of Education and Sport, Dr Milan Zver. The morning session, dedicated to education, will focus on the Council’s discussion and conclusions on promoting innovation and creativity through education and training. With the Council conclusions, drafted in cooperation with the European Commission and on the basis of the April conference on innovation and creativity, the Slovenian Presidency would particularly like to stress the urgent need for more fundamental changes in school education. The conclusions strongly support the ambitions to enhance cooperation in general school education, an area which has so far not come to the forefront of attention in the European Union. The Council is expected to adopt conclusions and also a Decision of the European Parliament and the Council designating 2009 the European Year of Creativity and Innovation.

The Council is also expected to adopt conclusions on adult education, underlining its universal importance to individuals, society and the economy, as well as conclusions on multilingualism, drafted on the basis of reports and discussions held during the February conference on multilingualism. The main aim of the conclusions is to give a mandate to the European Commission and provide guidelines for further work towards developing a new strategic framework for multilingualism in education.

In the afternoon session, the ministers will discuss youth policy. They will focus on a resolution on young people with fewer opportunities, who represent an increasingly burning issue in the Member States. The resolution therefore encourages Member States to supplement their strategic documents and, by developing national youth policies, give special attention to measures to increase the involvement in society of young people with fewer opportunities. Before the afternoon session, the current Council President, Slovenian Minister Milan Zver, will discuss the topic with young people.


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Date: 19.05.2008