16-17 May 2013: Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council, Brussels, Belgium
A meeting of the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council will be held in Brussels on 16 and17 May.
Education, Erasmus for All and Youth
On 16 May, the Council is expected to adopt conclusions on the social dimension of higher education. Many countries share the Commission’s concern about high drop-out rates and the need for a better alignment between what is being taught in higher education and the diverse learning requirements of students.
The Council will invite Member States to adopt national measures to ensure that people from all social groups can access and successfully complete higher education. These measures include improved financial support and counselling for students, providing more opportunities to transfer from vocational training to higher education, and increasing the flexibility of courses to make it easier to combine work and studies.
The Irish Presidency will update Ministers on the negotiations between the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on Erasmus for All, the new programme for education, training, youth and sport, due for launch in January 2014. The programme is expected to have a budget of around €14.5 billion for 2014-2020, a 40% increase compared to the current programmes. The European Commission will be represented by Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth), and Vice-President Joaquín Almunia (Competition).
Over lunch, Commissioner Vassiliou will take part in a ‘structured dialogue’ with Ministers and the European Youth Forum. The dialogue, which gives youth representatives a say in shaping European youth policy, is a follow-up to the [ http://www.dcya.gov.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=/eu-presidency-2013/EU-Youth-Presidency-Events.html ]EU Youth Conference which took place in Dublin in March and which focused on the contribution of youth work to social inclusion and employability.
Culture and audiovisual
Cultural, audiovisual and sport issues will be addressed on 17 May. In addition to an exchange of views on the proposed EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and cinema communication, Ministers are expected to give the green light to a continuation of the European Capital of Culture initiative, on the basis of the Commission’s [ http://ec.europa.eu/culture/our-programmes-and-actions/doc/ecoc/ec-proposal-post-2019.pdf ]proposal. The proposal lists the [ http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-815_en.htm?locale=en ]countries which will host the title from 2020 to 2033. The Council will also officially designate Aarhus and Paphos as European Capitals of Culture in 2017, as well as Valletta in 2018. The other European Capital of Culture for 2018, which will be a city in the Netherlands, will be designated next year.
Commissioner Vassiliou will join Ministers and representatives from the sport movement in a lunchtime structured dialogue focused on the fight against doping.
The Council will also adopt conclusions on ‘dual careers’ for athletes, which aim to ensure that sportspeople are prepared for life after their sports careers are over. The idea is to encourage them to continue with education or vocational training in tandem with their sports training.
The conclusions build on the [ http://ec.europa.eu/sport/news/20130123-eu-guidelines-dualcareers_en.htm ]EU Guidelines on Dual Careers of Athletes, which outline policy measures in support of dual careers in high-performance sport.
The live webcast of the EYCS Council meeting will start at 10.00 am CET [ http://video.consilium.europa.eu/default.aspx?siteLanguage=en ]here.
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