Dods EU Alert: Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council

The Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council met on May 20-21 2014. The main results include teacher education, EU Work Plans for Youth and Sports and conclusions on cultural heritage.

By Dods EU monitoring

22 May 2014

The Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council met on May 20-21 2014. Please find the provisional Council conclusions here.

URL: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en/educ/142704.pdf

Main results of the Council

Education

The Council adopted conclusions on:

–effective teacher education, addressing concrete issues such as how to attract and retain the best candidates, how to ensure the relevance of teacher education programmes and how to better exploit the potential of new technologies and resources. Member states are also invited to use the funding opportunities in EU instruments, such as the Erasmus+.

–multilingualism and the development of language competences, inviting member states to adopt and improve measures aimed at promoting multilingualism and enhancing the quality and efficiency of language learning and teaching.

quality assurance supporting education and training, which cover specific issues such as the quality of cross-border education and the extent to which quality assurance arrangements could be developed in other areas of education and training, such as schools, work-based learning and non-formal learning.

It also held, in public deliberation, a policy debate on the subject: "Education crossing borders: new opportunities and challenges". The Secretary-General for Education and Religious Affairs of the Greek government and President the Council, Professor Athanasios KYRIAZIS, declared that “the three sets of conclusions constituted the basis for a rich debate on this issue which is increasingly important in Europe. The national and international higher education institutes and studies providers should work together to ensure the quality of cross-border curricula and diplomas”.

Youth

The Council and the representatives of the governments of the member states adopted two resolutions on:

–the EU Work Plan for Youth, which is a medium-term plan for 18 months, with key initiatives in specific youth policy areas, so as to enable the EU and its member states to address urgently the high youth unemployment rates and the consequences of the current crisis for young people.

–the structured dialogue process, which is a forum for continuous joint reflection on the priorities, implementation and follow-up of European cooperation in the youth field, involving a wide range of young people and youth organisations.

The Council also adopted conclusions on promoting youth entrepreneurship to foster social inclusion, focusing on creativity, innovation and green jobs and inviting member states to recognise the importance of entrepreneurial education from an early age, highlighting the role of non-formal and informal learning to ensure the autonomy and the personal development of young people, as well as to facilitate their successful integration into the labour market.

In this context, ministers also discussed, in public deliberation, how to foster an entrepreneurial mindset among today's younger generation. The discussion brought together experiences and proposals from member states and had the contribution of an external guest speaker, Mr Konstantinos Kollias (President of the Economic Chamber of Greece). Mr Panagiotis Kanellopoulos, General-Secretary for Youth stated that "this issue is a priority for the Greek Presidency, given the still high youth unemployment rate in Europe and in particular in Greece."

Culture and Audiovisual

The Council adopted a recommendation for a decision designating Leeuwarden (Netherlands) as European Capital of Culture for the year 2018.

The Council also adopted conclusions on cultural heritage as a strategic resource for a sustainable Europe, underlining that cultural heritage, be it tangible, intangible or digital, is a strategic resource in which modern Europe - one of the richest regions of the world in terms of culture – should invest in order to make its social, economic and environmental development more sustainable. The conclusions call in particular for more resources to be invested in cultural heritage as a part of sustainable regional strategies developed both at national and European level The President of the Council Minister Panagiotopoulos said that “Europe is not only a cradle of culture but also a bridge between cultures”. He also recalled that “the best answer to anti-European movements appearing in the context of the European elections is our common culture and heritage of which we can be proud and which unites us all.”

The Council also held, in public deliberation, a policy debate on the topic "Addressing cultural policy challenges in the context of the next Work Plan for Culture beyond 2014". Since 2002, Council work plans for culture have been a framework for the EU's medium-term cultural policy-making.

Furthermore, ministers had an exchange of views on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement between the EU and the USA, on the basis of information from the Commission on the state of play of negotiations.

Sport

The Council and the representatives of the governments of the member states adopted a resolution on the EU Work Plan for Sport (2014-2017), which complements and reinforces the impact of activities launched under the Erasmus+ programme in this field. It also aims to further strengthen the cooperation in the field of sport between member states and the Commission.

The Council adopted conclusions on gender equality in sport, inviting member states to consider developing policies and programmes for eliminating gender stereotypes and promoting gender equality in education curricula and practices from an early age. The conclusions also invite member states, in cooperation with sports organisations, to promote the prevention of gender based violence in sport and the protection of victims and potential victims of sexual abuse and harassment in sport.

Ministers also discussed, in public deliberation, the economic, social and environmental sustainability of major sport events, against the background of member states experiences of hosting this kind of events, such as Olympic Games, World/European Championships. Ministers addressed in particular the issue of legacy.

Items debated:

EDUCATION

  • Teacher education
  • Language competences
  • Other business
    • University multirank
    • Enhancing children's media literacy
    • Work programme of the incoming Presidency

YOUTH

  • EU Work Plan for Youth
  • Structured dialogue
  • Youth entrepreneurship
  • Other business
    • 2nd European Youth Work Convention
    • Work programme of the incoming Presidency

CULTURE AND AUDIOVISUAL

  • European Capitals of Culture
  • Cultural heritage
  • Cultural policy
  • Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement
  • Other business
    • European film in the digital era
    • Work programme of the incoming Presidency

SPORT

  • EU Work Plan for Sport
  • Gender equality in sport
  • Sustainability of major sport events
  • Other business
    • World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
    • Financial fair play
    • Work programme of the incoming Presidency

OTHER ITEMS APPROVED

General affairs

  • "Single audit" in the EU cohesion policy

Common security and defence policy

  • EUBAM Libya

Transparency

  • Public access to documents

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