6-17 May 2013: Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council Conclusions
EU Ministers for Education, Youth, Culture and Sport met in Brussels on 16 and 17 May. They adopted conclusions on the social dimension of higher education and also held, in public deliberation, a policy debate on the link between teaching professions of the highest quality and achieving better learning outcomes.
Concerning Youth, they adopted conclusions on:
– [ http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/13/st09/st09094.en13.pdf ]maximising the potential of youth policy in addressing the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy; calling in particular for measures to enhance cross- sectoral and inter-institutional cooperation in youth and youth related policy areas and highlighting the importance of increased synergies between instruments and initiatives already in place or recently adopted in the youth field, in particular the Youth Employment Initiative. The conclusions also seek to improve the accessibility of European funding programmes that support mobility, exchange and skills development. The next generation of European structural and investment funds will be instrumental in investing in young people and their skills and improving their employability and access to the labour market. Despite the high political priority attached to youth unemployment, youth policy has not yet made a specific contribution to Europe 2020.
– [ http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/13/st08/st08575.en13.pdf ]the contribution of quality youth work to the development, well-being and social inclusion of young people aiming to strengthen cooperation among member states in youth related areas such as health, education, employment, culture and sport.
The conclusions also call for mechanisms ensuring that quality youth work is results-oriented so that young people get maximum benefit from their activities. Quality youth work programmes and activities develop young people’s 21st century skills, including transversal skills such as social and civic competence, initiative taking, entrepreneurship, and cultural awareness and expression. This learning allows young people to participate in their communities, in wider society, in education and in employment. This is all the more crucial in the current economic crisis which has seen increasing levels of unemployment, social fragmentation and young people not in education, employment, or training (NEETs).
Ministers also held a policy debate, in public deliberation, on the subject “Europe’s young people: what can quality youth work contribute to addressing current challenges?”.
The Council designated Aarhus (Denmark) and Paphos (Cyprus) as the European Capitals of Culture for 2017 and Valletta (Malta) for 2018. It also reached a general approach on the proposal for a decision establishing a Union action for the European Capitals of Culture for the years 2020-2033.
Ministers had an exchange of views on cultural diversity in the context of the future Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement between the EU and the USA and held a public policy debate on the use of culture as a soft policy option in EU external relations.
Concerning sport, Ministers were briefed by the Presidency on the outcome of the recent World Anti-Doping Agency meetings in Montreal (11-12 May 2013). In this context, the Council held a policy debate on the role of public authorities in combating doping in sport, with the participation of the CEO of the
US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Travis Tygart. The Council also adopted conclusions on dual careers for athletes.
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