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Cultural and creative sectors - Council conclusions 7
TV without frontiers 8
Indicators and benchmarks - Council conclusions 10
Evidence-based policy making 11
Equal opportunities for all young people - Resolution 12
Future perspectives for youth policy - Council conclusions 13
The governments of the Member States and the European Commission were represented as follows:
Mr Bert ANCIAUX Flemish Minister for Culture, Youth, Sport and Brussels
Mr Geert BOURGEOIS Flemish Minister for Administrative Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Media and Tourism
Mr Olivier PAASCH Minister for Education and Scientific Research, German-speaking Community
Ms Vanya Yordanova DOBREVA Deputy Minister of Education and Science
Ms Ina KILEVA Deputy Minister of Culture
Mr Marek MORA Deputy Minister for Education, Youth and Sport with responsibility for the European Integration and International Relations Section
Mr Jalomír TALÍŘ First Deputy Minister for Culture
Mr Jeppe TRANHOLM-MIKKELSEN Deputy Permanent Representative
Ms Annette SCHAVAN Federal Minister of Education and Research
Ms Ursula VON DER LEYEN Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
Mr Bernd NEUMANN Minister of State in the Federal Chancellery, Federal Government Representative for Culture and Media
Ms Ute ERDSIEK-RAVE Minister of Education and Women's Issues of the Land Schleswig-Holstein
Mr Tõnis LUKAS Minister for Education and Science
Ms Laine JÄNES Minister for Culture
Mr Kenneth THOMPSON Deputy Permanent Representative
Ms Marietta GIANNAKOU Minister for Education and Religious Affairs
Mr Theodoros ROUSOPOULOS Minister of State and Government Spokesman
Ms Aurora DOMÍNGUEZ Under-Secretary for Labour and Social Affairs
Mr Cristóbal GONZÁLEZ-ALLER Deputy Permanent Representative
Ms Anxela BUGALLO Minister for Culture and Sports of the Autonomous Community of Galicia
Ms Laura SANCHEZ Minister for Education and University of the Autonomous Community of Galicia
Ms Micaela NAVARRO Minister for Equality and Social Welfare of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia
Mr Xavier DARCOS Minister for National Education
Ms Christine ALBANEL Minister for Culture and Communication, Government
Mr Vincenzo GRASSI Deputy Permanent Representative
Ms Olympia STYLIANOU Secretary General
Ms Helēna DEMAKOVA Minister for Culture
Mr Ainars BAŠTIKS Minister for Children and the Family
Ms Roma ŽAKAITIENĖ Minister for Education and Science
Mr Jonas JUČAS Minister for Culture
Ms Violeta MURAUSKAITE Undersecretary, Ministry of Social Security and Labour
Ms Mady DELVAUX-STEHRES Minister for Education and Vocational Training
Mr Jean-Louis SCHILTZ Minister for Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, Minister for Communications, Minister for Defence
Mr István HILLER Minister for Education and Culture
Mr Louis GALEA Minister for Education, Youth and Employment
Mr Peter W. KOK Deputy Permanent Representative
Ms Claudia SCHMIED Federal Minister for Education, Arts and Culture
Mr Johannes HAHN Federal Minister of Science and Research
Ms Doris BURES Federal Minister for Women, Media and Civil Service
Mr Roman GIERTYCH Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for National Education
Mr Kazimierz Michał UJAZDOWSKI Minister for Culture and National Heritage
Mr Pedro SILVA PEREIRA Minister for the Prime Minister's Office
Ms Maria de Lurdes RODRIGUES Minister for Education
Ms Isabel PIRES DE LIMA Minister for Culture
Mr Augusto SANTOS SILVA Minister for Parliamentary Affairs
Mr Manuel HEITOR State Secretary for High Education
Mr Jorge PEDREIRA State Secretary for Education
Mr Cristian ADOMNIŢEI Minister of Education, Research and Youth
Mr Virgil-Stefan NIŢULESCU Secretary General of the Romanian Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs
Mr Károly BORBÉLY President of the National Authority for Youth
Mr Milan ZVER Minister for Education and Sport
Mr Vasko SIMONITI Minister for Culture
Mr Ján MIKOLAJ Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education
Mr Marek MAĎARIČ Minister for Culture
Ms Sari SARKOMAA Minister for Education
Mr Stefan WALLIN Minister for Culture and Sport
Ms Lena ADELSOHN LILJEROTH Minister for Culture
Ms Nyamko SABUNI Minister for Integration and Equal Opportunities
Mr Bill RAMMELL Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education
Mr Shaun WOODWARD Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Creative Industries and Tourism
Ms Viviane REDING Member
Mr Ján FIGEĽ Member
Following the intervention of numerous delegations underlying the crucial role of the cultural and creative sectors for the achievement of the Lisbon objectives, the Council adopted conclusions on this topic (9021/07).
(See the full text of the conclusions at http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/07/st09/st09021.en07.pdf).
The Council reached, by unanimity, political agreement on a draft directive on the coordination of certain provisions concerning the audiovisual media services (9132/07+ ADD1).
The text agreed by the Council has been pre-negotiated with the European Parliament, in accordance with the joint inter-institutional declaration on practical arrangements for the co-decision procedure. It is, therefore, expected that the common position formalising today's political agreement will be adopted by the European Parliament with no amendments.
The draft directive seeks to address the significant technological and market developments of recent years while ensuring a competitive level playing field between media service providers. It establishes common minimum rules for all audiovisual media services irrespective of the transmission platform used for their delivery.
Within the notion of audiovisual media services, the text distinguishes between "linear" television broadcasts (e.g. scheduled broadcasting via traditional TV, the internet or mobile phones) which "pushes" content to viewers and on-demand services ("non-linear"), such as video on demand, which the viewer "pulls" from a network. Only the common minimum rules would apply to on-demand services (inter alia protection of minors and human dignity, qualitative rules on advertising), whilst additional rules, including the quantitative rules on advertising, would apply to television broadcasts.
Like the existing directive, the political agreement uses the principle of the country-of-origin to determine jurisdiction between Member States. However, the text agreed includes a Community mechanism allowing a "destination" Member State, in limited circumstances, to take measures against a provider established in another Member State. Co-operation between Member States in their handling of services provided across frontiers is also mandatory.
The draft directive would modernise and simplify the quantitative rules on advertising by giving more flexibility to television broadcasters. However, it would not increase the hourly amount of admissible advertising of 12 minutes per hour and it would continue to limit possible interruptions for cinematographic works, television films and news programmes.
Specific restrictions on advertising interrupting children's programmes are also retained. In addition the Directive will encourage the development of codes of conduct on the advertising of unhealthy foods addressed to children.
The draft directive forbids, in principle, product placement, except for certain categories of programmes, subject to strict conditions to protect the viewer.
The draft directive introduces a EU-wide right of broadcasters to have access to events of high interest to the public for the purpose of short news reports. It also seeks to improve access for people with disabilities to programmes.
Legal basis proposed: Articles 47 and 55 of the Treaty – qualified majority required for a Council decision; co-decision procedure with the European Parliament applicable.
The Council adopted conclusions on a coherent framework of indicators and benchmarks for monitoring progress towards the Lisbon objectives in education and training.
(See the full text of the conclusions at: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/07/st10/st10083.en07.pdf)
The Council held an exchange of views on evidence-based policy making in the field of education, covering, in particular, the following topics:
a) to further develop capacity in educational research;
b) to reinforce the use of such research and other evidence in educational policy and practice.
Delegations underlined that, for long-term policies in the field of education and training to be effective, they must be based on solid evidence.
A culture of evaluation was required within education and training systems. To enable Member States to fully understand and monitor what was happening in their systems, they needed channels for producing and accessing relevant research, a statistical infrastructure capable of collecting the necessary data, and mechanisms to assess progress as policies were implemented.
The debate provided input to the forthcoming Commission communication on the subject, which is expected shortly.
The delegations also emphasised the importance, at EU level, of peer learning and the exchange and dissemination of research results.
The Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, adopted a Resolution on "Creating equal opportunities for all young people – full participation in society" (8770/07).
(See the full text of the Resolution at http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/07/st08/st08770.en07.pdf)
The Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, adopted conclusions on future perspectives for European cooperation in the field of youth policy (8771/07).
(See the full text of the conclusions at http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/07/st08/st08771.en07.pdf).
Following the adoption of the conclusions, the Council held an exchange of views covering, in particular, the following topics:
1. The way ahead
Further development of the Council proposals; further discussion on future perspectives for European cooperation in the field of youth policy.
2. Youth Report
European youth report describing the general situation of young people in Europe, European cooperation in the field of youth policy and the further development of youth policy; elements figuring in such a report; entities involved in producing the report and in what way.
3. Exchange framework
Development of an exchange framework for those involved in local and regional youth policy; role of European, national and local levels and of young people; recording of results.
As an outcome from the debate, it was possible to note a large consensus on the initiative of elaborating regular reports on the measures taken at national, regional and local levels in favour of youth.
Informal forum with youth representatives
In the margins of the Youth Council, young people from Germany, France, Portugal, Slovenia and Finland, representatives from the Rome Youth Summit, the Cologne Youth Event and the European Youth Forum met and discussed with Youth-Ministers from Germany, France, Portugal, Slovenia and Finland and with Commissioner Figel about “Youth and the future of Europe” as well as about the topic “Equal opportunities and participation in society”.
The Council also addressed the following items:
(a) European capitals of culture event
(b) Work Plan for Culture - State of play
(c) Communication from the Commission on a European agenda for culture in a globalizing world
(d) Expert conferences organised by the German Presidency in the field of culture
(e) Facilitate the access of European youths to State subsidised cultural houses for a symbolic amount (e.g. one euro)
(f) Candidature of Wroclaw to EXPO 2012: The Culture of leisure in World Economies
(g) Expert conference: "More trust in content": the potential of co- and self-regulation in digital media (Leipzig, 9-11 May 2007)
(h) EU policy on the communication of EU activities: creation of a European Observatory on communication and "One minute for Europe" on TV
(i) Proposal for a Regulation establishing the European Institute of Technology: state of play
(j) Proposal for a Recommendation on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning: state of play
(k) Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Education and Research (Cairo, 18 June 2007)
(l) Possible inter-institutional declaration on a European Year to promote links between creativity, culture and education (2009)
(m) Access to higher education in the EU
(n) Communication from the Commission "A coherent framework of indicators and benchmarks for monitoring progress towards the Lisbon objectives in education and training"
(o) Communication from the Commission to the Council on the Framework for the European survey on language competences
OTHER ITEMS APPROVED
The Council decided to forward to the European Parliament, for its assent, a draft decision on the conclusion of the Protocol to the EU-Algeria Association Agreement to take account of the accession of ten Member States to the EU in May 2004.
The Protocol to the EU-Algeria Association Agreement was signed on 24 April in Luxembourg.
The Council adopted decisions on Community positions to be adopted within the EU-Lebanon Association Council on :
The EU-Lebanon Association Agreement (OJ L 143, 30.5.2006, p. 2.) was signed on 17 June 2002 and entered into force in April 2006. The agreement envisages the gradual liberalisation of trade and the establishment of a free trade area over a transitional period not exceeding 12 years from its entry into force. The agreement also provides for an appropriate framework for political dialogue and for the promotion of cooperation in particular in economic, social, cultural, financial and monetary matters.
The Council adopted a decision authorising the conclusion of agreements with Brazil and Thailand with a view to modifying trade concessions with respect to poultry meat products (salted poultry meat, prepared turkey meat and cooked chicken meat) (8488/07), as well as a regulation for implementing the agreements (9280/07).
The Council decided not to accept all the European Parliament's second reading amendments to three legislative proposals, which form a so-called third railway package:
It accordingly decided to convene the Parliament-Council conciliation committee with a view to negotiating a joint text.
The Commission presented these proposals in March 2004 with a view to making rail transport more competitive and more attractive.
The Council adopted a decision on the position to be adopted on behalf of the EU with regard to certain proposals submitted to the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES will take place in the Hague, Netherlands, from 3 to 15 June 2007.
The Council adopted a regulation establishing a framework for the production of Community statistics on the structure and activity of foreign affiliates, with a view to carrying out adequate assessments of the impact of foreign-controlled enterprises on the EU economy (3603/2/07 REV 2).
The new common framework for the systematic production of statistics in this field is intended to provide a more reliable basis in order to measure the effects of foreign control on employment, wages and productivity.
The Council adopted a decision appointing Mr MEIJER and Ms VAN WEZEL members of the European Economic and Social Committee, in place of Mr SLOOTWEG and Mr ETTY, for the remainder of their term of office, which runs until 20 September 2010 (8629/07).
The Council adopted a decision appointing Ms Evelyne HUYTEBROECK, Minister for the Environment, Energy, Tourism and Welfare of the Brussels Capital Regional Government, an alternate member of the Committee of the Regions in place of Mr CEREXHE for the remainder of his term of office, which runs until 25 January 2010 (8794/07).