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The  Governments of  the Member States  and the  Commission  of the  European
Communities were represented as follows:

Belgium:
Mr Luc VAN DEN BOSSCHE             Minister    for    Education    of     the
                                   Flemish-speaking Community

Denmark:
Mr Niels PULTZ                     Deputy Permanent Representative

Germany:
Mr Fritz SCHAUMANN                 State   Secretary,  Federal   Ministry  of
                                   Education,    Science,     Research    and
                                   Technology

Mr Dieter BREITENBACH              Minister   for   Science   and    Culture,
                                   Saarland

Greece:
Mr Georgios PAPANDREOU             Minister   for   National  Education   and
                                   Religious Affairs

Spain:
Mr Jerónimo SAAVEDRA ACEVEDO       Minister for Education and Science

Mr Alvaro MARCHESI                 State Secretary for Education

France:
Ms Françoise HOSTALIER             State  Secretary   to  the  Minister   for
                                   Education, with responsibility for  School
                                   Education

Ireland:
Ms Niamh BHREATHNACH               Minister for Education

Italy:
Mr Giancarlo LOMBARDI              Minister for Education

Luxembourg:
Ms Erna HENNICOT-SCHOEPGES         Minister for National Education

Austria
Ms Elisabeth GEHRER                Federal Minister for Education

Netherlands:
Mr Jozef Maria M. RITZEN           Minister  for Education,  Cultural Affairs
                                   and Science

Portugal:
Mr João de VALLERA                 Deputy Permanent Representative

Finland:
Mr Olli-Pekka HEINONEN             Minister for Education

Sweden:
Ms Ylva JOHANSSON                  Minister for Education
Ms Lil LJUNGGREN LÖNNBERG          State Secretary

United Kingdom:
Mr Robin SQUIRE                    Secretary of State for Education

Commission:
Ms Edith CRESSON                   Member

Joint Council  meeting with the associated  countries of Central and  Eastern
Europe and the Baltic States

As  well  as  the  participants in  the  Education  Council,  the  folllowing
representatives of the  associated countries  of Central  and Eastern  Europe
and the Baltic States also attended the meeting:

Bulgaria:
Mr Ilcho DIMITROV                  Minister   for   Education   Science   and
                                   Technology

Hungary:
Mr Zoltán SZABÓ                    State   Secretary  at   the  Ministry   of
                                   Culture and Education
Mr Zoltán BÁTHORY                  Deputy State Secretary at  the Ministry of
                                   Culture and Education

Poland:
Mr Ryszard CZARNY                  Minister for National Education

Romania:
Mr Liviu MAIOR                     Minister for Education

Slovak Republic:
Ms Eva SLAVKOVSKÁ                  Minister for Education

Czech Republic:
Mr Ivan PILIP                      Minister for Education and Youth
Mr Jan KOUCKY                      Vice-Minister  for  Education,  Youth  and
                                   Sport

Estonia:
Mr Peeter KREITZBERG               Minister for Education
Ms Ena GRAUBERG                    Deputy State Secretary at the  Ministry of
                                   Finance

Latvia:
Mr J. GAIGALS                      Minister for Education

Lithuania:
Mr Vladislovas DOMARKAS            Minister for Education

SOCIAL  PARTICIPATION  AS  A  FACTOR  FOR  QUALITY   IN  EDUCATION  PRIOR  TO
UNIVERSITY EDUCATION

At the close of a wide-ranging  exchange of views based on a Presidency note,
the Council adopted the following conclusions:

  "The Council  has received  with interest the  Presidency discussion  paper
  entitled "Social participation  as a factor for  quality in education prior
  to university  education", since it deals with a very topical issue in many
  Member States where it is the subject of study or practical development.

  The Council considers  it appropriate, with due  regard for the distinctive
  features of  the separate  educational systems,  to encourage  at Community
  level  the   exchange  of   information  and   experience  concerning   the
  contribution made by the processes of social  participation towards quality
  in  education,  which  processes can  enrich  the  individual's educational
  reality.

  This exchange  could enable work on  various aspects to begin  at Community
  level,   such  as:   greater  knowledge  of   Member  States'   systems  of
  participation, through the exchange of information and experience, analysis
  of  the impact  that the  various participatory  sectors have  on different
  education systems, study of initiatives  taken in each country to encourage
  participation at the various levels  of the education system, initiation of
  studies permitting an  assessment of the results  of such participation and
  the  relationship between  the  quality of  the latter  and the  quality of
  education.

  The Council welcomes the  interest shown by the  European Commission.   The
  Council asks the Commission to encourage appropriate measures, as described
  in the SOCRATES programme (Chapter III, action 3.1)."

RESPONSE OF EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS TO THE PROBLEMS OF RACISM AND XENOPHOBIA 
- RESOLUTION

"THE COUNCIL  AND REPRESENTATIVES  OF THE  GOVERNMENTS OF  THE MEMBER  STATES
  MEETING WITHIN THE COUNCIL:

  1.  Having regard  to the conclusions on  racism and xenophobia  adopted by
      the European Councils in Corfu  on 24 and 25 June 1994, Essen on  9 and
      10 December 1994 and Cannes on 26 and 27 June 1995;

  2.  Having regard to the conclusions of the  Council of 12 June 1995 on the
      recommendations in  the final  report of  5 May 1995  submitted by  the
      Consultative  Commission  on  Racism  and  Xenophobia  set  up  on  the
      instructions of the Corfu  European Council, in particular  section III
      A thereof, relating  to the report of the Subcommittee on Education and
      Training;

  3.  Whereas the continued existence of racist  and xenophobic attitudes has
      a disruptive effect  on social cohesion, the strengthening  of which is
      one of the objectives of the European Union;

  4.  Whereas  the  European  Parliament  and  the  Council  have  repeatedly
      acknowledged the crucial role which must be played  by education in the
      prevention and  eradication  of racist  and  xenophobic prejudices  and
      attitudes;

  5.  Whereas  the   Council  and   the  Representatives  of   Member States'
      Governments meeting within the Council stressed in their  Resolution of
      29 May 1990, the  importance  of  youth  and  educational  policies  in
      combating racism and xenophobia;

  6.  Whereas the Cannes European Council noted  the significance of the work
      carried  out  by  the  various  Council  bodies  and  the  Consultative
      Commission and asked it to extend its work in order to study,  in close
      cooperation with the  Council of Europe, the feasibility  of a European
      Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia;

  7.  Whereas  the Council, in  its conclusions  of 30 May 1995,  stated that
      the measures  proposed by  the Consultative  Commission  on Racism  and
      Xenophobia should  be examined  at greater  length in various  sectoral
      Councils, including the Education Council;

  8.  Whereas,  in accordance  with these  conclusions,  the Council,  at its
      meeting on  12 June 1995, agreed  to instruct the  relevant bodies  and
      fora  to  study the  implementation  of  the Consultative  Commission's
      proposals and suggestions and invited those  bodies to take due account
      of the proposals which they considered particularly relevant;

 9.   Whereas the Council at its meeting  on 5 December 1994, held an initial
      discussion  on  the   education-related  aspects  of   a  comprehensive
      European Union strategy against racism and xenophobia;

10.   Whereas the  Socrates programme bases all  its measures on  respect for
      the principle  of equal opportunities and  refers in Chapter II, Action
      2,  to Community support  for transnational projects  for the education
      of  the  children of  migrant  workers, and  the  children of  those in
      itinerant   professions,  travellers  and  gypsies,  and  intercultural
      education;

11.   Whereas the  United Nations  has declared  1995  International Year  of
      Tolerance  and whereas  the  Council of  Europe,  on the  basis of  the
      Vienna  Declaration  of  9 October 1993,  and  as a  follow-up  to  the
      Resolution of the  Conference of  European Ministers  for Education  in
      Madrid  on  23 and  24 March 1994  on  education  for democracy,  human
      rights and  tolerance, agreed to  conduct during 1995,  as part  of its
      plan  of  action,  a  European  campaign  against  racism,  xenophobia,
      anti-semitism and intolerance,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS RESOLUTION:

1.  General considerations

      Education  and  training have  a  role  of  great importance  involving
      efforts at local national and European  levels for combating racism and
      xenophobia.

      A fundamental  task of  educational systems is  to promote respect  for
      all people,  whatever  their  cultural  origin  or  religious  beliefs.
      Moreover, they  can make a  unique contribution to  improving knowledge
      of European cultural diversity.

      Development of the  teaching notably of history and  the human sciences
      can intensify  awareness of  European cultural diversity  and eliminate
      stereotypes.

      In  accordance  with  the  European  Convention  on  human  rights  and
      international  legislation,  in  particular   with  Article 2  of   the
      Convention  on the  Rights of  the  Child all  children, regardless  of
      their parents' situation, have a right to a basic education.

II.   The role  of the  educational systems in  contributing to the  struggle
      against racist and xenophobic attitudes

      The political,  cultural and linguistic pluralism characteristic of the
      European Union has  helped to emphasize  respect for  and the value  of
      diversity.   Thus, both  in educational  circles and  in political  and
      social milieus,  pluralism  is increasingly  regarded  as an  enriching
      factor and a distinguishing mark of the People's Europe.

      On the other  hand, one measure of  the quality of  educational systems
      in  a pluralist  society  is their  ability  to  facilitate the  social
      integration of  their pupils or  students.  Consequently,  an important
      aim of a quality educational system should be to encourage  equality of
      opportunity.

      To that  end, European educational systems  should continue as  well as
      enhance their efforts at  promoting education in values which encourage
      attitudes  of  solidarity  and  tolerance,  as   well  as  respect  for
      democracy and human rights.

      Educational systems  are able  to make a  valuable contribution to  the
      promotion of respect, tolerance  and solidarity towards individuals  or
      collectivities of  different  ethnic or  cultural  origin or  religious
      beliefs by measures such as the following:

      -   use  of teaching materials  (manuals, texts, audiovisual resources,
          etc.) reflecting the cultural diversity of European society;

      -   specific integration  initiatives aimed at pupils and students who,
          given their social situation,  may be susceptible to racist  and/or
          xenophobic influences.   In particular, specific programmes  should
          be implemented in areas where the  incidence of social exclusion is
          most pronounced;

      -   reinforcing  areas of  education which  can help  provide  a better
          understanding  of   the  nature  of  a  multicultural  society,  in
          particular, history, human sciences and language teaching;

      -   promoting  the   formation  of  partnerships   between  educational
          establishments  and  between pupils  with  the  aim of  encouraging
          activities which will  check the  growth of  racist and  xenophobic
          attitudes.

      The teacher plays  a crucial role in forming pupils'  attitudes from an
      early age.  The  new challenges posed by teaching of children with very
      different  social   and  cultural  backgrounds   makes  a   significant
      professional demand on  teachers.  Within  this context, the  education
      and development  of present  and future teachers  is an important  area
      for cooperation between Member States.

Exchanges of  experience, in  order to take  advantage of cultural  diversity
between different educational  institutions, contribute to the improvement of
cooperation in education.

The  administration of  schools  plays a  very  important role  in  promoting
acceptance of and respect for other cultures.  However, schools  alone cannot
resolve the  problems  concerned.   Cooperation  between  schools  and  their
environment    is   therefore   desirable.      Educational   establishments,
particularly  schools,  can  promote  partnerships  with  representatives  of
parents, teachers  and children,  enhancing the quality  of the education  in
various school  activities and  enabling schools  to be  a meeting-point  for
families of diverse origin.

In conclusion,  THE COUNCIL  AND THE  REPRESENTATIVES OF  THE MEMBER  STATES'
GOVERNMENTS:

INVITE the Member States:

1.  to foster  the provision of education  and training of  quality, enabling
    all children to fulfil their potential and play a role in the community;

2.  to  enhance the  flexibility  of educational  systems  so that  they  can
    respond to complex situations and thus promote plurality in curricula;

3.  to  promote educational  and curricular  innovations which  contribute to
    the  development  of  concepts such  as  peace,  democracy,  respect  and
    equality  between cultures,  tolerance,  cooperation, etc.  and encourage
    the  preparation of  educational materials  designed to  foster attitudes
    and values favourable to understanding and tolerance;

4.  to encourage  initiatives promoting cooperation between schools and their
    local communities;

NOTE that in  a communication,  to be prepared  by the Commission  concerning
action already completed under existing Community programmes,  as well as the
possibilities for future  action relevant to the struggle against  racism and
xenophobia, there will be a section devoted to education and training;

INVITE the Commission, in cooperation with the Member States:

1.  to  exploit fully  and ensure  coherence among  all Community  programmes
    which  promote  education and  training aspects  of the  struggle against
    racism  and  xenophobia, in  particular  those  which assist  initiatives
    among the local community;

2.  to exploit  in particular  the parts of  the SOCRATES programme  involved
    with  the problems  concerned, including  schools partnerships, exchanges
    of experience on intercultural matters and teacher training;

3.  to assist in  the exchange of experience by collecting  and disseminating
    information  about the  contribution of  European educational  systems in
    combating  racism  and  xenophobia  and  the  integration  of  people  of
    different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds;

4.  to  ensure that  in the  field  of education  appropriate cooperation  in
    combating racism  and xenophobia  is achieved  between the  Community and
    international organizations, especially the Council of Europe."

CONCLUSION OF  COOPERATION AGREEMENTS  IN THE FIELD  OF HIGHER EDUCATION  AND
TRAINING BETWEEN THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY AND THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA

The Council  adopted the Decision concerning  the conclusion of an  Agreement
for cooperation  in higher education and  training between the Community  and
the United States of America.

Pending completion  of the  internal  consultation procedures  in one  Member
State, it  also reached  political agreement on  the Decision concerning  the
conclusion of a  similar Agreement between  the Community  and Canada.   That
Decision will be formally adopted at the next meeting.

Both  Agreements  will  last  for  five years.   The  financing  to  be  made
available by the Community for the cooperation  activities eligible amount to
ECU 6,5 million in  respect of  the USA  and ECU 3,24 million  in respect  of
Canada.   The planned cooperation  should supplement the bilateral programmes
and provide a "European added value".

EUROPEAN YEAR OF LIFELONG LEARNING (1996)

The Commissioner,  Ms Cresson, described the state  of preparations  for this
thematic year which will begin  in a few weeks  time.  Her contribution  gave
rise to a brief exchange of views.

The  Decision to designate  1996 as the "European  Year of Lifelong Learning"
was  adopted  by the  Council and  the European  Parliament  last July.   The
Decision  was   signed  by  the  Presidents   of  the  two  institutions   on
23 October 1995.

During  the  European  Year, information,  awareness-raising  and promotional
actions will  be undertaken concerning  opportunities for  lifelong learning.
The aim is the promotion  of personal development and sense of initiative  of
individuals,  their  integration  into   working  life  and  society,   their
participation in  the democratic decision-making process and their ability to
adjust to economic, technological and social change.

EDUCATIONAL MULTIMEDIA SOFTWARE

The  Council held a debate introduced by a  presentation by Ms Cresson of the
objectives being  pursued by  the Commission  in this area  through the  Task
Force which was set up in March 1995.

The debate confirmed the great interest generated by this initiative.

In conclusion, the President  asked the Commission, in  drawing up the  final
report of its Task Force, to take account of the Ministers' comments.

EDUCATION AND  TRAINING  ASPECTS  OF  THE  EURO-MEDITERRANEAN  CONFERENCE  IN
BARCELONA (27 AND 28 NOVEMBER 1995)

The Council took note of the Presidency's information note on these aspects.

The draft programme  for the Barcelona Conference contains a  pillar entitled
"Partnership in Social and Human Affairs".

This  pillar of the draft programme for the  Conference includes a section on
the  development of  human resources  which  is based  on the  idea that  the
Euro-Mediterranean  partnership  must raise the  level  of  education in  the
region, especially in  the countries of the Southern Mediterranean.   To that
end  it proposes  regular dialogue  on education  policy which,  in its first
stage,  would  concentrate  on  vocational  training,  higher  education  and
research.

PROGRESS ON THE PREPARATION OF THE WHITE PAPER ON EDUCATION AND TRAINING

The Council heard  a presentation by Ms CRESSON of the main topics covered by
the White Paper being  drawn up by the Commission, which deal  with the major
challenges facing education and training as the year 2000 approaches.

The  White Paper  - which  could be adopted  by the  Commission in November -
will give rise to a wide-ranging debate.

JOINT COUNCIL MEETING WITH THE ASSOCIATED COUNTRIES OF CENTRAL EUROPE

In the  context of the  structured dialogue and the  strategy to  prepare for
accession, the Education Council held an initial  meeting with the associated
countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CCEE).

The subject on the  agenda for the meeting was the participation  of the CCEE
in the  Community programmes  SOCRATES, LEONARDO and  JEUNESSE POUR  L'EUROPE
III recently  adopted by  the  Council for  the period  1995-2000.   In  this
connection,  the  associated  countries  indicated  their  priorities,  their
forecasts  regarding  the timetable  and  the  specific preparatory  measures
initiated by each of them.

At the close  of the discussion, during  which the Ministers of  all the CCEE
spoke, as  did several members of  the Council and  Commission, the President
was able  to express his  pleasure at  the interest  shown by the  associated
countries in participating in  these programmes, in a manner suited  to their
respective national  situations and educational systems.   He also noted  the
very enthusiastic way in  which the Ministers of  the Union had responded  to
this prospect.

Lastly, the  President stressed that  the abovementioned programmes would  be
the first to be effectively opened up to the  associated countries of Central
and  Eastern Europe.   They  could therefore  serve as  an experiment  and an
example for participation in other Community programmes.

NOVEL FOODS

The Council adopted its common  position on the Regulation on novel foods and
novel  food   ingredients.    The   Austrian,  Danish,  German  and   Swedish
delegations voted  against (the Danish explanation of vote  is annexed).  The
common position  will now  be forwarded  to the European  Parliament, in  the
context of the co-decision procedure.

The Regulation will enter  into force one year  after its publication in  the
Official Journal.

The  grounds for  adopting the  Regulation are  the recent appearance  in the
food  sector of  a  number  of  new  raw materials,  new  processes  and  new
technologies the  purpose of which is to improve the nutritional and dietetic
aspects  of foodstuffs  or to  render their  treatment  or distribution  more
technically and economically effective.

The  purpose  of the  Regulation  is  to establish  evaluation  criteria  and
procedures  for the placing on the market of novel foods or food ingredients.
This is  an important text  for the  completion of the  single market in  the
agri-foodstuffs sector, for  consumer protection and information, and for the
provision of a legislative framework in the Union for new technologies.

The Regulation will  therefore establish  a Community procedure  - containing
decentralized elements - for  the scientific evaluation and  authorization of
novel foods.

In addition, the common position states that novel  foods or food ingredients
must  not constitute  a danger  for or  mislead the  consumer, nor  must they
differ from the foods or  food ingredients which they are intended to replace
to  such an  extent  that their  normal  consumption would  be  nutritionally
disadvantageous for the consumer.

The compromise  lays down  provisions on  labelling so  as systematically  to
inform  the   consumer  of  any  difference  between   a  novel  food  and  a
conventional food as regards  its nutritional properties or  characteristics.
In  addition,  the consumer  will  always  be informed  where  a  genetically
modified living organism is involved.

Thus,  labelling  will  be  informative  for  the  consumer,   practical  for
operators and easy for the public inspection authorities to monitor.

In  detail, the  common  position makes  provision  for  the consumer  to  be
informed of:

-   any  characteristic or food  property which renders a  novel food or food
    ingredient  significantly   different  from  an  existing  food  or  food
    ingredient.  In this case the  labelling must mention the characteristics
    or properties modified (composition,  nutritional value, intended use  of
    the food, etc.) accompanied by an indication of the  method by which that
    characteristic or property was obtained;

-   the  presence  in the  product of  material which  is  not present  in an
    existing equivalent  foodstuff, and which  may have implications  for the
    health of certain sections of the population, e.g. allergens;

-   the presence  in the  product of  materials not  present in  the existing
    equivalent foodstuff, and  which may give rise to ethical  concerns (this
    refers to specific groups of people with well-defined dietary habits);

-   the  presence  of a  genetically  modified  organism where  it  does  not
    correspond solely to modification of its agricultural characteristics.

The Commission will be  assisted in implementing these rules  by the Standing
Committee for Foodstuffs.

Other  Community   legislative  requirements  concerning   the  labelling  of
foodstuffs obviously remain applicable.

                                                  

                                                                        ANNEX

Novel foods and novel  food ingredients - explanation  of vote by the  Danish
delegation:

  "The  Danish   delegation  cannot  support  the   common  position  on  the
  Regulation on novel foods and novel food ingredients.

  In the Danish delegation's  view, the proposal does not  guarantee that the
  consumer  will be provided with  sufficient information about whether foods
  have  been produced using  gene technology.   Consequently,  consumers will
  not  be  in a  position  to  make  their  choices  on  a  satisfactory  and
  completely clear  basis.    The consumer  will  not  therefore be  free  to
  choose.    Only adequate  consumer  information will  ensure  the necessary
  confidence in and acceptance of new products and technologies.

  The Danish  delegation would like  this explanation of  the Danish vote  on
  the  question of  labelling  to be  forwarded  to the  European  Parliament
  together with the Council's reasons."

                                                      

OTHER DECISIONS
(Adopted without debate)

Research

The  Council  gave its  assent,  pursuant  to Article 55(2)(c)  of  the  ECSC
Treaty, for the granting  of financial aid by  the Commission to 29  projects
under technical coal research 1995.

The Community's financial contribution  totals ECU 18,5 million; 23  projects
were  retained under  the main programme  and six others  under an additional
programme  which  will   be  completed  only  insofar  as   redistributed  or
additional appropriations become available.

Appointments

The Council adopted the Decisions

-   on  the appointment  of members  and alternates of  the Committee  of the
    European Social Fund for the period 28 July 1995 to 27 July 1998;

-   on the  appointment of members and  alternates of the  Advisory Committee
    on the Training of Midwives for a period of three years.

* * *

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