10-11 May 2012: Council for Education, Youth, Culture and Sport, Brussels

10-11 May 2012: Council for Education, Youth, Culture and Sport, Brussels
For the first time the Council for Education, Youth, Culture and Sport will discuss the detail of the European Commission’s proposals for the new ‘Erasmus for All’ and ‘Creative Europe’ programmes, which will start in 2014.

EU Ministers will discuss a Presidency text, which endorses the overall objectives of the Commission’s proposal and its scope. Some, however, are expected to raise the possibility of a separate ‘chapter’ on youth policies. The Commission believes youth policies would be better addressed through a single, better-funded programme.
Ministers are expected to adopt conclusions on the employability of graduates from education and training, which will introduce a new benchmark aimed at increasing the employment rate of graduates to 82% by 2020. This is more than 5 percentage points higher than the current EU employment rate of graduates (76.5%). Ministers are also expected to adopt conclusions on fostering the creative and innovative potential of young people and to hold a policy debate on engaging young people to release their potential.

Ministers will discuss the proposed Creative Europe programme which seeks to increase investment in the growth-enhancing cultural and creative sectors, to overcome challenges such as market fragmentation and lack of artistic mobility, as well as to seize the opportunities created by the digital shift.

The Commission has proposed a €1.8 billion budget for Creative Europe (2014-2020), which encompasses the existing Culture programme and MEDIA/MEDIA Mundus programmes for cinema, in distinct strands to reflect their specific nature. It would provide funding for 300 000 artists and cultural professionals to reach new audiences beyond their home countries and offer distribution support for more than1 000 European films. The Commissioner and Ministers are expected to confirm the designation of Donostia-San Sebastian (Spain) and Wrocław (Poland) as 2016 European Capital of Culture

The Council is also expected to adopt conclusions on combating doping in recreational sport.

Vice-President Neelie Kroes will welcome draft conclusions on a European Commission Recommendation which aims at making European cultural heritage more widely available and boosting growth in Europe’s creative industries. The Commission presented this proposal last October, in which EU Member States are asked to step up their efforts, pool their resources and involve the private sector in digitising cultural material. The digitised material should be made available through Europeana, Europe’s digital library, archive and museum.

The goal is for 30 million objects to be placed in Europeana by 2015; at getting more in-copyright and out-of-commerce material online; and at adapting national legislation and strategies to ensure the long-term preservation of digital materials.

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President responsible for the Digital Agenda, and Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will represent the Commission. Vice-President Kroes and Commissioner Vassiliou will take part in a press conference on culture, audiovisual and sport at 1pm on 10 May. A press conference with Commissioner Vassiliou on education and youth will take place at around the same time on 11 May.

Press conferences and public deliberations can be followed by video streaming: http://video.consilium.europa.eu
Video coverage of the event will be available on: http://tvnewsroom.consilium.europa.eu
Find out more: http://www.consilium.europa.eu//uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/educ/130082.pdf