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Brussels, 24 March 2011

Council for Education, Youth, Culture and Sport - informal meeting, Gödöllö, Hungary (28-29 March)

The EU Council for Education, Youth, Culture and Sport will hold Informal Ministerial meetings on Culture and Education in the Royal Palace of Gödöllö on 28-29 March. Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will represent the European Commission. The Informal meeting on Culture on 28 March will be chaired by Géza Szöcs, Minister of State for Culture. The informal meeting on Education on 29 March will be chaired by Rózsa Hoffmann, Minister of State for Education, Hungary.

Monday 28 March

Informal meeting of Culture Ministers

The meeting will exchange views on how culture can contribute to the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy, and the role of cultural diversity in this process.

Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou will underline the importance of the cultural and creative industries (CCI) as a motor for jobs, growth, export earnings, cultural diversity and social inclusion. According to the latest figures, these industries represent 4.5% of total European GDP and employ 3.8% of the workforce – around 8.5 million people.

With a view to maximising their contribution to the Europe 2020 strategy, the Commission adopted a Green Paper on 'unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries' (IP/10/466, 27 April 2010). The Commission received 350 responses to the Green Paper from the general public, public authorities, companies and civil society. On the basis of this input, it is planning follow-up measures which will include putting the right conditions in place to provide easier access to funding and better support for innovation, mobility and internationalism.

Commissioner Vassiliou will also reaffirm the Commission's support for the EU Culture programme and MEDIA fund for cinema, underlining that the Commission wants to maintain their funding and strengthen them in future.

Commissioner Vassiliou and Géza Szöcs, Minister of State for Culture, will hold a press conference at the House of Arts, Gödöllő, at 13:30.

More information

Analysis of the consultation launched by the Green Paper on "Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries" (24 March 2011)

EU funding for cinema: Barroso and Vassiliou pledge on future MEDIA programme (17 March 2011)

Hungarian Presidency website – education, youth, culture and sport

Tuesday 29 March

Informal meeting of Education Ministers

In the context of the 2011 European Year of Volunteering, the meeting will discuss what Member States can learn to promote 'active citizenship'.

The idea of citizenship education is to equip young people with a better understanding of the values which underpin European democracy, human rights and social responsibility, as well as helping them to acquire competences such as financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills which can improve their employability.

Commissioner Vassiliou will emphasise that by acquiring the attitudes, attributes and skills that will empower them to become active and responsible citizens, young people are more likely to respect each other and to play a role in their communities through, for example, volunteering. The Commission's Comenius programme, which encourages exchanges involving schools and teachers, supports partnerships between different countries aimed at boosting community engagement.

Commissioner Vassiliou and Rózsa Hoffmann, the Hungarian Minister of State for Education, will hold a press conference at the House of Arts, Gödöllő, at 13:00.

More information on civic skills.

Commissioner Vassiliou's website

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