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Qualifications for lifelong learning 7
Improving the quality of teacher education – Council conclusions 8
Education and training as a key driver of the Lisbon Strategy – Council Resolution 9
New skills for new jobs – Council Resolution 10
Towards a more multilingual Europe 11
Erasmus Mundus 12
Modernisation of universities 13
Student mobility: broadening the social dimension of Erasmus 14
First meeting of the EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council 15
European Agenda for Culture – Council Resolution 16
European Capitals of Culture 2011 17
Voluntary activities of young people – Council Resolution* 18
Transversal approach to youth policy – Council conclusions 19
European Youth Pact 20
ANY OTHER BUSINESS 21
OTHER ITEMS APPROVED
The governments of the Member States and the European Commission were represented as follows:
Mr Frank VANDENBROUCKE Vice-Minister-President of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Work, Education and Training
Mr Stefan Lambov DANAILOV Minister for Culture
Mr Václav JEHLIČKA Minister for Culture
Mr Jan KOCOUREK Deputy Minister for Transport, Rail and Water Transport Section
Mr Jens KISLING Deputy Permanent Representative
Mr Thomas RACHEL Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Education and Research
Mr Thomas GOPPEL Minister for Science, Research and the Arts, Bavaria
Mr Tõnis LUKAS Minister for Education and Science
Ms Laine JÄNES Minister for Culture
Ms Mary HANAFIN Minister for Education and Science
Mr Seán HAUGHEY Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science and at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with special responsibility for Lifelong Learning, Youth Work and School Transport
Mr Evripidis STYLIANIDIS Minister for Education and Religious Affairs
Mr Mihail-Georgios LIAPIS Minister for Culture
Mr César Antonio MOLINA SÁNCHEZ Minister for Culture
Ms Mercedes CABRERA CALVO-SOTELO Minister for Education and Science
Ms Aurora DOMÍNGUEZ GONZÁLEZ Under-Secretary for Labour and Social Affairs
Ms María José SALGUEIRO CORTIÑAS Minister for Culture of the Autonomous Community of Castile-Leon
Mr Juan José MATEOS OTERO Minister for Culture of the Autonomous Community of Castile-Leon
Ms Miren AZKARATE Minister for Culture of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country
Ms Christine ALBANEL Minister for Culture and Communication
Mr Nando DALLA CHIESA State Secretary for Universities and Research
Mr Akis CLEANTHOUS Minister for Education and Culture
Ms Baiba RIVŽA Minister for Education and Science
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
Ms Marie-Josée JACOBS Minister for the Family and Integration, Minister for Equal Opportunities
Ms Agnes VARGHA Deputy Permanent Representative
Mr Francis ZAMMIT DIMECH Minister for Tourism and Culture
Mr Peter W. KOK Deputy Permanent Representative
Ms Claudia SCHMIED Federal Minister for Education, Arts and Culture
Mr Johannes HAHN Federal Minister for Science and Research
Mr Andrzej WASKO State Secretary, Ministry of Science and Higher Education
Mr Tomasz MERTA Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of 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 José MARIANO GAGO Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education
Mr Anton ANTON State Secretary, Ministry of Education, Research and Youth
Mr Andras DEMETER State Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs
Mr Milan ZVER Minister for Education and Sport
Mr Vasko SIMONITI Minister for Culture
Ms Mojca KUCLER DOLINAR Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology
Mr Ján MIKOLAJ Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education
Mr Ivan SEČÍK State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture
Ms Sari SARKOMAA Minister for Education
Mr Stefan WALLIN Minister for Culture and Sport
Mr Lars LEIJONBORG Minister for Education
Ms Lena ADELSOHN LILJEROTH Minister for Culture
Mr Christer HALLERBY State Secretary to the Minister for Integration and Equal Opportunities
Lord TRIESMAN Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Intellectual Property and Quality
Mr Ján FIGEĽ Member
Mr Leonard ORBAN Member
The Council reached political agreement on a draft Recommendation on the establishment of a European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (14115/07).
The aim of the proposal is to provide a common language to describe qualifications, thereby increasing transparency, improving comparability and facilitating the recognition of different qualifications acquired under the various EU education and training systems.
In November 2006, pending the European Parliament's opinion, the Council had already agreed a general approach on the Commission proposal.
In accordance with the provisions of the Treaty and the joint declaration on practical arrangements for the codecision procedure, a series of informal meetings were subsequently held between the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission, with a view to reaching an agreement on this dossier at first reading.
A set of compromise amendments was agreed between the three institutions and was duly approved by the European Parliament at its plenary part-session in October 2007. The Council today confirmed its agreement on the amendments adopted by Parliament at first reading.
Formal adoption of the act will take place once the text has been finalised in all the official languages.
Proposed legal basis: Articles 149(4) and 150(4) of the Treaty – qualified majority required for a decision by the Council and codecision procedure with the European Parliament applies.
The Council and the Representatives of the governments of the Member States meeting within the Council adopted the conclusions in document 14413/07.
The Council adopted the Resolution set out in 13933/07.
The Council adopted the Resolution set out in 14415/07.
Following presentation by the Commission of its report on the implementation of the Action Plan "Promoting language learning and linguistic diversity", the Council had the opportunity for an exchange of views on the concept of a more multilingual Europe.
The debate focused on the following points:
Many delegations stressed the importance of multilingualism for economic and social development and mentioned various measures to promote them such as:
Pending the European Parliament's first-reading opinion, the Council established a general approach on a draft Decision extending the scope of the current Erasmus Mundus programme until the end of the current financial framework (2013). The Erasmus Mundus programme is intended to promote higher education in Europe so that it can compete at the highest international level.
The main changes in the new programme compared with the existing programme are as follows:
The general approach established by the Council will be the basis which the Slovenian Presidency can use for exploring the scope for a possible first-reading agreement with the European Parliament.
Proposed legal basis: Article 149(4) of the Treaty – qualified majority required for a decision by the Council; codecision procedure with the European Parliament applies.
The Council held a wide-ranging debate on the modernisation of universities as the basis of European competitiveness in a knowledge-based world economy.
The delegations briefly described the modernisation processes underway in their countries, which generally take the form of greater autonomy for universities – resulting in greater responsibility – the adoption of management by objectives and, consequently, the need to be accountable.
Moreover, they acknowledged that the quality of higher education is a crucial to innovation, which in turn is one of the key elements for maintaining the EU's level of competitiveness internationally.
The results of this debate will be reflected in the draft Resolution on the same subject, submitted to the Council in the two configurations concerned (Education and Competitiveness), which will be adopted by the meeting that takes place last (Competitiveness).
The Council discussed the possibility of stepping up social support for students from less favourable socio-economic backgrounds to extend access to the arrangements for mobility to all students.
The delegations were asked for their opinions on financial, and other forms of, support for students from less favourable socio-economic backgrounds.
The Council was briefed by the Presidency and the Commission on the outcome of the first EU-Russia PPC on Culture, held in Lisbon on 25 October 2007.
At that meeting the EU and the Russian Federation confirmed their commitment to applying the cultural aspects of the Road Map on the Common Space of Research and Education. The PPC also adopted a joint statement on the future direction of EU-Russia cultural cooperation.
The Council also took the opportunity to discuss the future of EU-Russia cultural cooperation.
The Council adopted the Resolution set out in 14485/07.
In accordance with Decision 1622/2006/EC , the Council designated Turku (Finland) and Tallinn (Estonia) "European Capitals of Culture 2011".
The concept of the "European Capital of Culture" was originated by the Council in 1985, at the initiative of Ms Melina Mercouri, Greek Minister for Culture, as a means of bringing European peoples closer together.
The event has proved a success in terms of media coverage, development of culture and tourism and increased awareness of inhabitants of the importance of their town being chosen.
The EU's support for this event for 2007 – 2019 is regulated by Decision 1622/2006/EC.
The Council adopted the Resolution set out in 14425/07.
The Council adopted the conclusions set out in 14426/07, containing a series of key messages for the European Council.
The Council held an exchange of views on the better consideration of youth issues in the implementation of the Lisbon strategy.
The adoption of the European Youth Pact by the March 2005 European Council indicated the recognition, at the highest level, of the importance of integrating young people into society and employment, and of making better use of the potential they represent.
There are three aspects to the Pact:
Since its adoption, the Pact has served as a tool for incorporating consideration of youth-related problems into national implementation of the Lisbon strategy.
The exchange of views also provided an opportunity to prepare the ground for implementation of an innovative working method that will enable the strategy objectives in the youth field to be attained.
In this context, the discussion also contributed to the assessment process (2009) of the framework for cooperation between Member States in the field of youth.
• Applications regarding the European Capital of Culture
event for the year 2012
Meeting on modernising universities in Europe
OTHER ITEMS APPROVED
The Council adopted a Regulation adapting the REACH Regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) by reason of the accession of Bulgaria and Romania (13366/07).
The Regulation amends the definition of phase-in substance so as to subject substances manufactured or marketed in Bulgaria and Romania before accession to the European Union to the same conditions as substances manufactured or marketed in the other EU Member States.
The Council adopted at first reading, further to agreement reached with the European Parliament, a Directive amending Council Directives 89/665/EEC and 92/13/EEC with regard to improving the effectiveness of review procedures concerning the award of public contracts (3634/07).
The main aim of this new Directive is to add essential clarifications to Directives 89/665/EEC and 92/13/EEC to ensure that the Community as a whole fully benefits from the positive effects of the modernisation and simplification of the rules on public procurement achieved by Directives 2004/18/EC and 2004/17/EC.
The Directive provides for minimum standstill periods during which the conclusion of the contract in question is suspended, irrespective of whether conclusion occurs at the time of signature of the contract or not. The standstill period should give the tenderers concerned sufficient time to examine the contract award decision and to assess whether it is appropriate to initiate a review procedure.
The Council adopted a Regulation on the conclusion of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement with the Republic of Madagascar and a Decision allocating among the Member States the fishing opportunities laid down in the Protocol to the Agreement for the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2012 (13153/07 REV 1 and 13154/07).
The fishing opportunities laid down in the Protocol, which was amended on 16 March 2007, were fixed according to three categories: (1) for the fishing category "freezer tuna seiners": 43 vessels; (2) for the fishing category "surface longliners over 100 GT": 50 vessels and (3) for the fishing category "surface longliners of 100 GT or below": 26 vessels.
In addition, 5 vessels are authorised to conduct exploratory line or bottom longline fishing for demersal species for two six-month periods.
 14478/06 + 14965/07.
 OJ C 148, 28.5.1999, p. 1.
 13346/07 + ADD 1.
 Commission proposal: 11708/07.
 OJ L 304, 3.11.2006, p. 1.