Chemin de navigation

Left navigation

Additional tools

Autres langues disponibles: FR DE DA NL IT PT EL

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

Mr Wilfried SCHRÖDER               Minister    for    Education,     Culture,
                                   Scientific Policy and Monuments  and Sites
                                   of the German-speaking Community

Mr Niels PULTZ                     Deputy Permanent Representative

Mr Dieter BREITENBACH              Minister   for   Science   and    Culture,

Mr Georgios PAPANDREOU             Minister   for   National  Education   and
                                   Religious Affairs

Mr Carlos BASTARRECHE              Deputy Permanent Representative

Mr François d'AUBERT               State  Secretary   to  the  Minister   for
                                   Education, Higher Education and  Research,
                                   with responsibility for Research

Ms Niamh BHREATHNACH               Minister for Education

Mr Giancarlo LOMBARDI              Minister for Education

Mr Giorgio SALVINI                 Minister   for   the   Universities    and
                                   Scientific and Technological Research

Ms Erna HENNICOT-SCHOEPGES         Minister for National Education

Ms Elisabeth GEHRER                Federal Minister for Education

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

Mr Eduardo MARÇAL GRILO            Minister for Education

Mr Olli-Pekka HEINONEN             Minister for Education

Ms Ylva JOHANSSON                  Minister for Schools and Adult Education

Ms Lil LJUNGGREN LÖNNBERG          State Secretary

United Kingdom:
Mr Eric FORTH                      Minister  of   State  for  Education   and


                               *            *

Ms Edith CRESSON                                       Member


1.   The  Council meeting on 6 May  1996 discussed the White Paper  "Teaching
and  learning:  towards  the learning  society"  presented  by  the  European
Commission  on  the initiative  of  Commissioners Edith  Cresson and  Pádraig
Flynn with the agreement of Commissioner Martin Bangemann.

The  considerations below  are the  Education Council's  contribution  to the
debate taking place on issues  which are central to education and training in
the Member States and  the European Union; the debate,  which began in Venice
(2 and 3 February 1996) on  the occasion of the inauguration of  the European
Year of Lifelong Learning, will continue throughout 1996 and beyond.

The considerations which follow  are not therefore intended as  the last word
on the subject but as  an intermediate stage both in internal national debate
and in a process  of analysis and discussion which  will involve the European
institutions  and the  other technical  bodies and  will  continue under  the
Irish and Netherlands Presidencies.

2.    The Education  Ministers wish  first to thank  the Commission for  this
further  contribution  to  the  analysis  of  the  major  issues  facing  the
development  of  the  Member  States'  education  and  training  systems,  an
analysis  which the  White Paper  on growth,  competitiveness and employment,
drawn  up  on  the  initiative  of  Jacques Delors,  and  various  Commission
documents on  vocational  training, higher  education  and distance  learning
have already developed significantly.

In this  connection, the conclusions of  the Madrid European Council  meeting
in  December 1995 and those of the  previous two European Council meetings in
Essen and Cannes  should also be mentioned, conclusions which  drew attention
to  the serious economic  and employment  situation in  the countries  of the
European  Union,  the  measures  to  be  adopted  to  improve  prospects  for
development  and  growth  and  the  importance  of  promoting  national   and
Community investment in research, development and education.

1996,  proclaimed by a decision of the European Parliament and the Council as
European   Year  of   Lifelong  Learning,   clearly  provides   an  important
opportunity for  an examination  of the issues,  requirements and medium  and
long-term objectives of education  and training in the Community, to be taken
forward in the various fora of  European cooperation and in individual Member

With  this in  mind  it  is necessary  to  use to  the  full the  opportunity
provided  by  the  presentation  of  this  White  Paper,  a  policy  document
analyzing  problems of education and training which  is also relevant for the
period  of  its presentation  at a  stage when  Articles 126  and 127  of the
Treaty  establishing the  European Community  have begun  to  bear fruit  and
which coincides  with the launch of the  new Socrates and Leonardo programmes
for Community cooperation.

A  further  important  aspect  is  the  White  Paper's  unified  approach  to
education and  training problems.   Policy debate cannot  be divorced from  a
method  of   analysis  which   looks  simultaneously   at  the  problems   of
individuals' education  and those of economic  growth and the development  of
the labour market as they are linked to vocational training.

Lastly, the  advantages should  again be emphasized  of holding a  Community-
level discussion which is consistent  with the debate going on in  individual
countries and in  line with  innovation and reform  in national policies  and
which, at the same  time, focuses on certain problematic  aspects which those
policies take  into  account.    In  this  connection,  it  is  necessary  to
highlight the central role of  teachers in the processes of innovation and of
enhancing the quality of education and training systems.

3.     The White  Paper describes  the society  of the  future as  a learning
society,  to which education  and training  systems need  to make  a suitable
response, including through Europe-oriented  strategies, with due regard  for
Member States' prerogatives.

In  the society  of the  future,  education and  training would  not just  be
required to  find solutions to the problems  of integrating young people into
working life; they will  have an increasingly central  role to play in  every
aspect of  personal development, in social  integration and in the  awareness
of  shared values,  in handing  on the  cultural heritage  and  in developing
individual self-reliance.

The White  Paper identifies three major  factors of upheaval for  present-day
European society:

-    the spread  of information technology and its  radical transformation of
     the content and organization of work and the production process,

-    the globalization of the economy,

-    the  accelerated growth  and dissemination  of scientific  knowledge and
     the technologies derived from it.

A preliminary point that  needs to be made  relates to the general  framework
for the analysis of the problems facing our changing society.

The  White  Paper can  give  the  impression that  the  main  though not  the
exclusive stress is laid  on the economic dimension  of human activity.   The
title "Towards a learning society" also risks  being ambiguous if interpreted
simplistically to mean that there is a  linear relationship between learning,
economic development and employment growth.

The Council  takes the view  that the framework  for analyzing education  and
training problems  in  Europe now  and in  the future  should place  suitable
emphasis on  the cultural  and educational  aspects as  well as  the strictly
economic aspects of  development.  Economic  activity is  also part of  civil
life  and must  not ignore  the ethical aspects  of social  development.  The
philosophical and value-related dimension should have a significant place  as
a corrective  to what may  seem an  Enlightenment view  of social change,  in
which excessive hopes are placed in knowledge as an end in itself.

A broader  interpretation of  the problems and  challenges facing present-day
society  allows  for   the  influence  of  factors   other  than  information
technology  and the  globalization of the  economy in  expected developments,
e.g.  significant  demographic  changes,   the  confrontation  of   cultures,
environmental issues,  threats to the ways we live  together in democracy and
the serious  problem of social marginalization,  which is largely the  result
of the divide in terms of knowledge and the use of capacities to master it.

4.   The White Paper identifies  a twofold response to these challenges:  the
acquisition  of a  broad knowledge  base and  the  development of  employment
skills (employability).

It notes the danger  of a rift developing  in European society between  those
able  to understand,  those who can  only "consume" and  those who are pushed
out  of mainstream  society and  rely upon  welfare  support; in  other words
between those who know and those who do not know.

The White  Paper highlights  the need  to develop  the European dimension  in
education and training.   This is set  to be  the fundamental level at  which
certain instances and  means of cooperation between the Member States will be
carried out:

-    with  regard   to  procedures,  by  establishing  appropriate  fora  for
     discussing the issues,

-    with  regard to  funding, by  respecting the  individual  Member States'
     choices and accepting that the Community  can provide no further funding
     for the moment but recommending that education remain a priority,

-    with regard  to responsibilities, by adhering strictly to the Maastricht
     principles on Member States' responsibility  for the content of teaching
     and  the  organization  of  their  education and  training  systems  and
     restating the principle of subsidiarity.

To implement these  ideas the White Paper identifies five  general objectives
and a number of support measures:

-    to  encourage the  acquisition of  new  knowledge (a  number of  support
     measures are proposed: launching  a European system for  recognizing key
     skills,  a personal  skills  card and  a  European skills  accreditation
     system;  facilitating student  mobility;  supporting the  development of
     multimedia educational software),

-    to bring  schools and  the business sector  closer together  (opening up
     education  to the  world  of  work;  involving businesses  in  training;
     developing cooperation between schools and businesses),

-    to  combat  exclusion  (supporting  "second-chance"  schools  schemes by
     concentrating  resources  and  capacity  in  deprived  areas;  promoting
     European voluntary service initiatives),

-    proficiency  in  three  Community   languages  (providing  support   for
     language learning at
     pre-school  level  and during  vocational  training through  the  use of
     systems for assessing and guaranteeing language teaching quality),

-    to treat  tangible and  intangible investment  on an  equal footing  (by
     changes  in  the  fiscal  and  accounting  treatment  of expenditure  on


The  Education Council considers the objectives  laid down in the White Paper
as indications  of a  possible course  for the  development of  education and
training in the Member States and at European Union level; it  would like the
proposed measures  to be  the subject  of an  in-depth  discussion under  the
Irish  and Netherlands  Presidencies,  which would  also cover  any proposals
that might be brought forward by the Commission.

The  Council considers  it necessary to  make the preliminary  point that any
action which  may be decided on  upon completion of  the debate on the  White
Paper must observe:

-    the  principles  laid  down in  Articles  126  and  127  of  the  Treaty
     establishing the European Community,
-    the principle of subsidiarity enunciated therein,
-    the need to comply with the financial perspective set for education.

The  objectives defined in the White Paper and the measures it proposes raise
problems which cannot be ignored:

A.   Recognition of key skills

     With this  end in mind, the  need for transparency  in the certification
     of training routes, in order also  to ensure Community-wide mobility, is
     one  that  is   strongly  felt,  not   least  because  transparency   in
     certification  is  an  important  tool  for  promoting  the  quality  of
     training.   At present,  given the diversity  of education  and training
     systems, recognition  of non-formal routes appears difficult to achieve.
     This is  therefore a matter which deserves further detailed examination,
     bearing in mind, as  well, the experiments which  are under way in  some

     At this stage and on  the basis of the Council Resolutions of 3 December
     1992 and  5 December 1994, it would be possible and desirable to compare
     trials under way in  the Member States on certifying training routes and
     to  support  Member  States'  schemes  for  creating  new  certification
     models.  Many Member States see the need to avoid the risk  of excessive
     bureaucracy, which would adversely  affect the flexibility and  mobility
     of the market.

B.   Bringing schools and the world of work closer together

     The problems  of  unemployment, especially  youth  unemployment, in  the
     Member  States  make  this  a  central  theme  of  training  and  social
     policies.   Numerous  different experiments  designed to  facilitate the
     transition  process are  under way,  both in  the Member  States and  at
     European level,  within  Community  programmes,  most  recently  in  the
     Leonardo programme.  The very variety of these experiments makes  them a
     valuable resource for associating the work  done in schools and training
     establishments with  the  business sector.    A single  reference  model
     would be  reductive even if it  were implemented in accordance  with the
     ways in which education and training systems are organized.

     It should also be emphasized that the objective  must not be seen simply
     as mechanically adjusting training courses to cater exclusively  for the
     world of work, but  as ensuring that every  individual has the  capacity
     to adjust to change.

     As  stated  in  the  OECD,  there  should  be  a  strengthening  of  the
     partnership between  all sectors  of  society capable  of improving  the
     relationship between school and the world of work.

     It  is  also  necessary to  establish  greater  cooperation between  the
     bodies responsible for analyzing new occupational requirements.

     As the Delors White Paper  made clear, we must move towards  a "training
     society" in  which education and training serve not just as a key to the
     world of work but  are also a means of maximizing  the potential of each

C.   Combating exclusion

     Paradoxically,  the   development   of  scientific   research  and   the
     dissemination  of technology  risk widening  the  gap between  those who
     have knowledge and  control its use  and those who  may not possess  the
     new literacy.

     The real  challenge for  education systems is  to create  the conditions
     under which  everyone can be offered appropriate  education and training
     opportunities with lifelong learning in view.

     Accordingly, greater  efforts must  be made  to improve  the quality  of
     education and  initial training systems,  in order to  avoid individuals
     experiencing disadvantage  and failure.   To  deal with  the latter  two
     situations,  each  Member State  will  adopt the  measures  it considers
     necessary and will encourage a broader exchange of experience.

     Many Member  States do  not consider  that the  problems of  educational
     failure can be solved  by a single institutional  measure.  In order  to
     provide further  chances for  those who have  left the  education system
     early without any  qualifications, each Member  State will endeavour  to
     introduce and  develop such arrangements  as it  considers necessary  to
     offer those  people various  opportunities and will  encourage exchanges
     of experience to fuel further consideration of the subject.

D.   Knowledge of languages

     Community   cooperation  has   always   considered  this   objective  as
     fundamental  for   promoting  individual   mobility  and   intercultural
     education.  Against  this background, it is  essential to make full  use
     of current Community programmes.  Some Member States take  the view that
     the  attention they pay  to the languages  of the European  Union, which
     are considered important  and given priority  under the 1995  Resolution
     to promote  multilingualism, cannot of course,  in the context  of their
     national policies, rule out that paid to other languages.

     In  order  to  achieve  the  aim   of  proficiency  in  three  Community
     languages, the  Commission proposes  in particular  a quality  label for
     initiatives  encouraging  language learning.   Such  an idea  meets with
     objections from the  Member States.  The Commission takes  the view that
     this point warrants particular attention during the debate under way.

E.   Treating tangible and intangible investment on an equal footing

     This  proposal  to consolidate  the  levels  of  funding for  all  those
     involved  in education  and  training  is  not  a  simple  one;  it  has
     implications for the use  of public resources.  It raises accounting and
     fiscal problems  with regard to  expenditure on education  and training.
     Examination of the  state of the art  on this issue in  Member States is

     In conclusion,  the Council  is at  one in  considering  that the  White
     Paper offers  a background  on which,  over the  coming months,  to base
     examination of the  key aspects of approaches to  education and training
     in the next few years.

     A  strategy  for  further  Community  cooperation  cannot  in any  event
     disregard  two essential  aspects of  the  development of  education and
     training systems:

     -   the  role, the  responsibilities  and  the  professional  skills  of
         teachers,  to  whom  political  decision-makers  should  devote  the
         greatest attention,

     -   the quality of  the education and training systems,  which finds its
         true measure in the needs of society as a whole as reflected in  the
         expectations and demands made of such systems by pupils, parents and
         the community in general.

     In terms  of  continuing education  also, as  Ministers have  repeatedly
     stated  on other  occasions, a  sound  basic training  is essential  for
     individuals' full  personal  development  and  their  ability  fully  to
     develop their occupational skills.

     The  debate is set to continue, given  the complexity of the problems of
     education and training in a rapidly changing society and in view of  the
     growing  responsibilities devolving  on public  authorities, and  on the
     social  partners,  for designing  integrated  training  systems and  for
     offering   continuing   education,  which   will   concern   individuals
     throughout their lives.

     The analysis which will  be conducted can therefore be expected  to open
     up areas  for Community cooperation.   A contribution along  these lines
     will be  offered by the  reports that the  Commission will be  making in
     the light of the findings of the forthcoming specialized conferences.

     Discussion will  also be useful because  the problems dealt with  in the
     White  Paper have  been or  are  being examined  in other  international
     fora, such as  the OECD,  the Council of  Europe and  UNESCO, also  very
     much aware  of the  global dimension of  education and  training issues,
     their  connection  with  the  labour  market  and employment  and  their
     cultural or purely educational implications.

     The  Commission's White  Paper fits  into  a framework  of analysis  and
     proposal   which   deals  with   the  most   important  topics   on  the
     international  agenda:   mobility  and   the  free  movement   of  human
     resources,  promotion of  multilingualism  and intercultural  education,
     processes of transition, development of the  role of the social partners
     in training systems, introduction  of new information technologies  into
     teaching and provision of equal opportunities  having due regard for the
     quality of training systems.

     The analysis  carried out  at Community  level should  perhaps be  given
     political significance  marking  Member  States'  cooperation  in  their
     search  for reasons for pursuing, through  means which include education
     and  training measures, the  European Union's overall  objectives in its
     three roles,  as an integrated economic area, as a community of citizens
     and as a protagonist in international relations.

     The  Community institutions,  each within its  role, must  contribute to
     defining  areas  for  common   action  which  strictly  adhere  to   the
     provisions of the Treaty.  Member  States' doubts and reservations about
     certain of the White  Paper's proposals (skills recognition,  a European
     apprenticeship  scheme, quality certification  of schools,  and "second-
     chance" institutions)  have to  be seen as  relating to  complex issues;
     before drawing up  coherent and specific action programmes involving the
     deployment of financial resources, it would  be useful to consider those
     issues further  and carry  out a  closer comparison  of the  experiments
     conducted in the Member States.

-    Council Resolution


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community,

Having  regard to the draft  Resolution submitted by  the Commission with the
contribution of the Italian Presidency,

Having regard to action to support the development of  high quality education
through  cooperation  between  the  Member  States,  while  respecting  their
responsibilities in this area,

Having  regard to Decision No 819/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the
Council  of  14   March 1995  establishing  the  Community  action  programme
"SOCRATES" [1] ,

Having regard to  Council Decision 94/819/EC of 6 December  1994 establishing
an  action  programme  for  the   implementation  of  a  European   Community
vocational training policy (LEONARDO DA VINCI) [2] ,

Having regard to Decision No 818/95/EC of the European Parliament and of  the
Council of 14 March 1995 adopting  the third phase of the  "YOUTH FOR EUROPE"
programme [3] ,

Whereas Decision No 1110/94/EC of the European Parliament and  of the Council
of 26 April 1994 concerning the  fourth framework  programme of the  European
Community activities in the field  of research and technological  development
and demonstration (1994 to 1998) [4]  , also makes provision for  research in
the area of the application of information  and communication technologies in
responding to common social needs;

Whereas Commission  communication  COM(96)  12  final  concerning  the  draft
Decision of the European Parliament  and of the Council regarding  the second
amendment  to  Decision 1110/94/EC  makes provision  for  an increase  in the
global  amount  of  the  Community's  financial  contribution  to the  fourth
framework programme, and  the allocation of financial resources to activities
relating to educational multimedia software;

Having regard  to Council Decision 94/802/EC  of 23 November  1994 adopting a
specific  programme for  research  and  technological development,  including
demonstration, in the field of information technologies (1994 to 1998) [5] ,

Having regard to  Council Decision 94/801/EC  of 23 November 1994  adopting a
specific  programme for  research  and technological  development,  including
demonstration,  in the  field of telematics  applications of  common interest
(1994 to 1998) [6] ,

Having regard  to Council Decision  94/915/EC of 15 December  1994 adopting a
specific programme  of  research  and  technological  development,  including
demonstration, in the field  of target socio-economic research (1994 to 1998)
[7] ,

Having  regard to  the Commission  proposal  of 30  June 1995  for a  Council
Decision  adopting  a   multiannual  Community  programme  to  stimulate  the
development of  a European multimedia content  industry and to encourage  the
use of  multimedia content  in the emerging  information society (INFO  2000)
[8] ,

Having  regard  to  Council  Decision  95/563/EC  of  10  July  1995  on  the
implementation of  a programme encouraging  the development  and distribution
of  European audio-visual  works (MEDIA  II -  Development and  distribution)
(1996 to 2000) [9]  , and Council  Decision 95/564/EC of  22 December 1995 on
the implementation of a training programme for  professionals in the European
audiovisual industry (MEDIA II - Training) [10] ,

Having regard to the Council Resolution  of 4 April 1995 on "culture  and the
multimedia", which  recognized the  urgency of taking  action to support  the
establishment and  development of  a  market  in cultural  multimedia  whilst
respecting Europe's linguistic and cultural diversity [11] ,

Having  regard  to the  Commission's  White  Paper "Growth,  competitiveness,
employment: the  challenges and  ways forward into  the 21st century",  which
stresses the importance of education  and training as catalysts in a changing

Having  regard to  the  Communication from  the  Commission to  the  European
Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social  Committee and the Committee
of  the Regions  "Towards  the  information  society  in Europe:  a  plan  of

Taking  note of  the outcome  of the  G7 meeting  in  Brussels on  25 and  26
February   1995   on   the   information   society   and   particularly   the
recommendations on pilot projects in the area  of transcultural education and

Having regard to the  potential offered by the use of  educational multimedia
for third  countries in  the interest  of international  cooperation, and  in
particular the countries of central and eastern Europe, the countries of  the
Mediterranean basin, and developing countries,

Taking note of the  two Reports of June  and December 1995 from the  Advisory
Group on Competitiveness forwarded to the President of  the Commission and to
the  Heads   of  State  and  Government   on  the  improvement  of   European

Taking note,  as contribution to  the discussion, of the  report of  the Task
Force "Multimedia  educational software", which  took stock of the  situation
as  regards such  software in Europe  and proposed  a plan of  action in this

Having regard to  the Commission White Paper "Teaching and  learning: towards
the learning society" which recommended inter alia  measures to encourage the
development of  multimedia instruments  conducive to  the acquisition  of new

Having  regard to  the  Communication from  the  Commission to  the  European
Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social  Committee and the Committee
of  the Regions  on  a methodology  for the  use  of  Community resources  in
implementing information society applications  and on the need  for effective
coordination between research and educational programmes,

Having  regard  to  the advantages  of  coordinated  action  for the  use  of
educational  multimedia  software  in   services  in  schools  and   training
establishments in order to:

-    improve  the   quality  and  effectiveness  of  education  and  training
     systems, inter alia by introducing new patterns of teaching,

-    strengthen  social cohesion  ensuring equal  opportunities of  access to
     users, particularly to those of the  less-favoured regions and the small
     and medium  size enterprises,  allowing them to  play an active  role in
     the information society,

-    give teachers,  students  and  apprentices  access  to  the  information
     society  by making them aware of  the use of these new  tools and of the
     training about it,

-    encourage  a  solid partnership  between educational  establishments and
     the  suppliers  of  hardware,  software and  services  with  a  view  to
     creating a  big  market in  multimedia applications  and services  truly
     adapted to teaching needs,

Whereas the use of software and multimedia  educational services requires the
active   participation   of   local   authorities,   schools   and   training
establishments, teachers, trainers, and the business sector  so that the best
teaching methods can be tested and used;

Having  regard  to the  contribution  of  multimedia telematics  networks  in
linking  up education and training  establishments, teachers, pupils, and the
outside world in order to  provide access to information and to exchange  and
compare ideas and teaching experience,

Taking note of the results  obtained within Community programmes, and of  the
richness and diversity of actions in progress, and of experience acquired  by
the Member States in the  development and exchange of methods relating to the
use of information and communication technology  for educational and training


Within the  framework and  the limits of  their respective political,  legal,
budgeting, educational and training systems, to:

-    develop  or  follow  up  their  actions   in  the  fields  of  research,
     experimentation,  evaluation  and  use   of  the  new  information   and
     communication technologies in education and training  systems as part of
     an enhanced  approach to pedagogical needs  and methods which  take full
     account  of the  teacher's role,  give the  pupils and  students  a more
     active and  participative role,  customize learning, encourage  a cross-
     curricular slant,  and secure  cooperation between teachers  in defining
     teaching projects and in responding to specific needs,

-    intensify the initial and  in-service training of teachers and  trainers
     in  using multimedia  software and  on-line  services and  their use  as
     tools to better  prepare their teaching  activities.  Special  attention
     should be  paid  to  the  analysis and  understanding  of  the  role  of
     teachers and  trainers,  to  providing  teachers  with  the  results  of
     research on  the  introduction of  multimedia  into teaching,  awareness
     actions showing the potential benefits  of multimedia and the conditions
     of its correct  use, to support and promotion  of teachers' initiatives,
     and  to cooperation  between educational  and training  institutions and
     the business sector on experiments in new teaching practices,

-    encourage  research   activity  on  products  and   learning  processes,
     including  distance  learning, the  creation  and  design of  multimedia
     educational   software;  particularly   in   partnerships  between   the
     educational world, editors and multimedia  companies, in order to comply
     with pedagogical and educational  guidelines of the Member  States, with
     reference to the European dimension of education, for:

     =   the development  of methods  for the  design of multimedia  teaching
         material taking into  account the variety of  languages and cultures
         in collaboration with teachers or trainers,

     =   methods to  support the  development and  adaptation of  educational
         multimedia software, involving  teachers and trainers in  the design
         of these products,

     =   reflection  on the  appropriate  conditions  of  use,  on  financing
         schemes and on new ways to share resources,

     =   ways of opening up access to multimedia libraries and to educational
         software for schools and training establishments,

     =   the  definition of quality  criteria for educational  software where
         they  deem  appropriate  and  the  study of  measures  in  order  to
         encourage synergy with multimedia intended for the home market and a
         satisfactory level of consumer information,

-    promote actions  to develop and if  necessary set up  infrastructures in
     order gradually  to allow, to  the greatest possible number  of users in
     educational  and  training  systems,  access  to  appropriate  hardware,
     software and  on-line multimedia services of good quality, as well as to
     the  appropriate  training  and  backup.   This  could  be  achieved  by
     installing  this   equipment  at  the  places  concerned  e.g.  schools,
     vocational training  centres, universities,  public libraries,  resource
     centres,  socio-educational  centres  for  young  people  and  families,
     associations,  etc.   Special  attention should  be  paid to  developing
     where appropriate multimedia support  centres within the Member  States,
     and  to communication  between teachers and  education partners,  and to
     training in its broadest sense,

-    take steps to:

     =   experiment, in the  context of working out and  encouraging flexible
         patterns  of  school or  university organization,  their integration
         with the  information and  communication technologies,  in order  to
         increase their effectiveness and dissemination,

     =   ensure equal opportunities in  access to the benefits of  multimedia
         technologies for  personal and professional development,  and favour
         their use in rural areas or those suffering from industrial decline,

     =   experiment with the  use of these new tools  to fight against social
         exclusion and scholastic failure,

-    encourage the  evaluation and  dissemination of best  teaching practices
     based on experiments  and on the use of  multimedia educational software
     and  services,  spread  the information  on  products  and  services and
     consider  locally  the establishment  or consolidation  of demonstration
     and promotion fora on this basis,

-    seek out the most efficient  management methods for coordinated  actions
     between cultural,  educational  and  training  programmes  and  research
     programmes,  taking  account  of   the  opportunities  offered  by   the
     appropriate Community instruments.


-    undertake, with the  collaboration of the  Member States, a  comparative
     study and follow up  of the most advanced  pilot experiments on the  use
     of multimedia  educational products  and services in  Europe and  in the
     world,  and disseminate  the  results of  this  analysis  to the  Member

-    take account of the fields  of education and training in the  context of
     its overall initiatives on the information society,

-    use all  the potential  offered by multimedia  software and  services in
     implementing  relevant  Commission-driven  actions   in  the  areas   of
     education,  training,  languages and  culture,  including  international

-    identify and  encourage support activities  which could be  developed at
     European level, including  information on products  and services and  on
     the  locally performed evaluation of these,  as well as on the procedure
     used,  the dissemination of information inside and outside the Community
     about  European  products  and  services  in  the  field  of  multimedia
     educational  software, the  establishment  of  links between  producers,
     users  and  managers of  education  and  training  systems in  order  to
     promote quality in products and services and their use,

-    encourage, in  the  framework of  community  programmes, pilot  projects
     using among other things national networks  in order to link educational
     and  training  institutions  in   different  Member  States  which   are
     interested  in  using new  multimedia  technologies  to promote  virtual
     mobility,  exchange  of  information  and   experience,  plurilinguistic
     practices and different themes of interest,

-    establish a coordinated  approach for its  own actions in  the field  of
     multimedia   educational   software   under   the   different  Community
     programmes and instruments concerned  and initiatives to develop  trans-
     European  telecommunications  networks,  around  converging  objectives,
     while respecting  the  decisions  and  the  procedures  applicable,  and
     paying special attention to external visibility,

-    encourage  dissemination  and exploitation  at  European  level of  best
     teaching   practices  based  on  the  use  of  multimedia  software  and
     services, making as much use as  possible of existing structures, at all

-    submit  no later  than 31 December 1997 a  report on  progress achieved,
     obstacles   encountered   and   additional   action   needed   for   the
     implementation of these actions looking ahead to the year 2000."

-    Council conclusions

In  its   communication   of   13 December 1994   on   the   recognition   of
qualifications  for  academic  and  professional   purposes,  the  Commission
explained  in  detail  the scope  of  Community  competence in  the  field of
recognition of  diplomas and  other educational qualifications.   Because  of
the different legal  bases and the  specific objectives  to be achieved,  two
complementary aspects of "recognition" need to be taken into consideration:

-    recognition of  diplomas  for  professional  purposes,  which  has  been
     implemented  at Community  level by  the adoption  of Council Directives
     introducing  systems  for the  recognition of  the diplomas  required to
     practise regulated professions within the European Union,

-    recognition of qualifications  (and periods of study) for academic ends,
     in  particular for  the purpose  of  studying in  another Member  State,
     which  falls  under  the  competence  of  the  Member  States  and  more
     specifically of  higher education  establishments,  as a  result of  the
     autonomy under which they operate.

Community action in the second  area involves, in accordance with the  second
indent of  Article 126(2) of the Treaty  establishing the European Community,
encouraging the  academic recognition  of diplomas  and periods  of study  in
order to foster student mobility at Community level.

The implementation  of the ERASMUS  programme, now part  of the new  SOCRATES
programme,  has contributed  significantly to  the encouragement  of academic
recognition,  especially as  regards periods of  study undertaken  in another
Member State  within the context  of interuniversity  cooperation programmes.
In  addition,  the  introduction,  on a  voluntary  basis  of  the  ECTS (the
European Credit Transfer System)  and other types of credits should  make for
transparency  in  studies  at  higher  education  level  leading  to improved
academic recognition in the context of the  mobility activities encouraged by
the SOCRATES programme.

Despite  the different mechanisms characterizing  Community action in the two
areas  of recognition,  the  realization  of  the fundamental  principles  of
freedom of  movement and freedom of  establishment within the European  Union
creates an expectation among  Community nationals of being able to obtain the
necessary  information on  the recognition  of their  qualifications in every
Member State, whether for academic or for professional purposes.

The  support  for  student  mobility manifested  on  many  occasions  by  the
European  Parliament and  Council and  the adoption  of Community  programmes
such  as   SOCRATES  and  LEONARDO DA VINCI   must  give   higher  education,
vocational  training  establishments  and   the  competent  authorities   the
incentive  to accept  and take into  account periods of  study undertaken and
diplomas obtained  in other Member  States with confidence in  the quality of
vocational training  and university standards in  these Member States and  by
unreserved   commitment  to   implementing   the  Community   Directives   on
professional  recognition  of   diplomas.    Synergies  should  therefore  be
established,  while respecting the universities' autonomy,  so that there can
be true  coherence between the  two areas of recognition  for the  benefit of
citizens of Europe who  wish to take advantage  of mobility in their  studies
or in their professional lives.

These difficulties  are much  greater in the  context of the  "non-regulated"
professions not covered by Community Directives.

Moreover,  the  introduction in  universities  in  certain  Member States  of
curricula designed to take account of the  requirements of the socio-economic
system, does not  always lead to  the anticipated results  on the  employment
market,  because  of  particular  rules  and attitudes  aimed  at  protecting
traditional diplomas and professions.


WELCOMES  the  outcome   of  the  debate  organized  by  the   Commission  in
cooperation with the Member  States, as well as the  opinions of the European
Parliament, the  Economic and  Social Committee  and the  other European  and
national  organizations  which have  offered  their  views on  the  issue  of
recognition.   It considers that this  discussion is an ongoing process which
has only  just begun,  and which  requires the  establishment of  a permanent
dialogue  with all interested parties.   It therefore  asks the Commission to
ensure  that  the  report  on  the  outcome  of  the  debate  is  given  wide
distribution and to encourage further reflection on the subject;

EMPHASIZES that  the dialogue  between the competent  authorities in the  two
areas  of  recognition must  be  integrated  with the  normal  activities  of
existing national structures;

INVITES   the  Member  States  and  the   Commission  to  encourage  improved
coordination  between the  national structures  concerned  with disseminating
information  in  the  two  areas  of  recognition,  such  as the  NARIC,  the
Euro-Info-Centres etc.,  and to reinforce databases  such as ORTELIUS, so  as
to promote greater transparency of higher education systems;

INVITES  higher  education  establishments,  professional  organizations  and
other competent  authorities to  continue discussions  so as  to ensure  that
sufficient provision is made  in curricula for  the needs of the  professions
at European level;

INVITES the Commission:

-    to  encourage representatives  of the  economic and  professional world,
     the  social partners  and  students to  participate  in all  appropriate
     "Thematic Networks" set up under SOCRATES,

-    to examine  more specifically among the  suggestions put forward  in the
     course of the debate, in cooperation with the Member States,

     =  possibilities  for  the  introduction  on  a  voluntary  basis  of  a
        European  administrative  annex to  the  diploma.   This  annex would
        consist of a description  of the studies pursued by the holder of the
        diploma,  the aim being to facilitate transparency and recognition of
        the studies  in States other than that  in which they were dispensed;
        it would  take into account  the experience that  other organizations
        such as the Council of Europe and UNESCO have had in this area,

    =   the  desirability  of  identifying  and  giving  wider  publicity  to
        procedures at  national  or Community  level  which might  facilitate
        amicable   settlement   of   disputes   concerning   recognition   of
        qualifications, in response to  individual requests sent directly  or
        preferably  through  the NARIC  network  or  through  the network  of
        coordinators of the various Directives,

    =   to submit a  report, by the  end of 1998, to the  European Parliament
        and  the  Council on  progress  achieved  in  this  area and  on  the
        situation regarding  the various  initiatives taken at  Community and
        national level.


The Council  took note of  the presentation by Ms  CRESSON of  two Commission
information notes,  one assessing  the quality  of higher  education and  the
other that of school education.

The first note was  largely based on the  results of European pilot  projects
conducted  by  the Commission  in  this area.    The Council  noted that  the
Commission  intended  to provide  it,  at  its  next  meeting, with  a  draft
recommendation on  the introduction  of assessment  systems in  this type  of

The  same sort of pilot schemes are  being planned by the Commission for non-
higher education.


The  Council took  note  of  the initiative  by  the  Hellenic Government  to
establish a European Centre for Classical Studies  as an important instrument
for the diffusion of the  common heritage and civilization for the benefit of
education both inside and outside Europe.

He requested the Permanent Representatives Committee to further consider  the
question.   The  Commission,  for its  part,  reiterated its  willingness  to
support this initiative.


The Presidency informed the  Council of the  outcome of this Conference  held
in Turin from 11 to 13 April 1996.


Commissioner CRESSON reported orally on the following topics:

-   the  progress -  which  she  regarded as  highly  satisfactory -  of  the
    European Year of Lifelong Learning (1996);

-   the  progress  of  cooperation  with  third  countries  (at  present  the
    associated countries of  Central and  Eastern Europe,  Cyprus, Malta  and
    Mediterranean countries) under  the Community education  programmes which
    are open to them (SOCRATES, LEONARDO and Youth for Europe III);

-   the  progress of  work on  drawing  up the  Green Paper  on Obstacles  to
    Mobility in  the education  sector, which the  Commission is planning  to
    publish in the next six months.

The  Commissioner  also submitted  the  second  edition of  "Key  Figures  in
Education",  which gives  statistics  on the  state of  education  in the  15
Member States in 1995.


(Adopted  without debate.  In the case of acts of a legislative nature, votes
against or  abstentions are  indicated.   Any decisions including  statements
which the Council has decided  to make available to the public are  indicated
by an *; the statements in question can be obtained from the Press Service)


Year-to year management of TACs and quotas *

Following the  political  agreement  reached  at  the  Fisheries  Council  on
22 April 1996,  the Council  unanimously adopted  the Regulation  introducing
additional conditions for the year-to-year management of TACs and quotas.

The Regulation introduces a  system of increases in  quotas for species  that
are subject to analytical or precautionary TACs and also  a system of savings
and transfers  of quotas  for species  subject to  analytical TACs.  Requests
from  Member  States  shall  be decided  by  Management  Committee procedure,
except  for increases  in  TAC levels  which  remain the  prerogative of  the

As a general rule any  overdraft on quotas will be  regarded as a "loan"  and
should be paid back.  It will be up  to the Council  to identify a number  of
sensitive  stocks  where  overfishing  will be  subject  to  the  payment  of
"interest" on top of the loan through a system of penalty coefficients.

The new Regulation provides for the following:

-   The tolerated margin  for overfishing a stock subject to  a precautionary
    TAC will be 5%.
-   The maximum percentage of additional  permitted landings will be 10% of a
    Member States' quota, to  be deducted from the permitted landings  of the
    following year.
-   The maximum  percentage of transfer  to the following year  of quotas for
    species subject to analytical TACs will also be 10%.
-   Landings in  excess of permitted  landings are  to be  deducted from  the
    quotas for the following year.
-   In  addition,  penalties  will apply  for  the  overfishing  of sensitive
    stocks as  established  by the  Council. There  will  be four  levels  of
    penalties, depending on the extent of overfishing.
-   A  further 3% of  the overshoot  of a quota  concerning a  sensitive fish
    stock  shall also be deducted  for each  successive year in  which such a
    quota is overfished by more than 10%.

The  Regulation  will  apply  from  1 January  1997.  However,  the  rules on
deductions and penalties will only apply from 1 January 1998.

Autonomous Community quota for atlanto-scandian herring *

The  Council also  adopted  an  amendment  to   Regulation  (EC)  No  3074/95
fixing,  for  certain  fish stocks  and  groups  of  fish  stocks, the  total
allowable catches for  1996 and certain  conditions under which  they may  be
fished.  This amendment  to the  current TAC  and quota  Regulation has  been
introduced  in order to set an autonomous Community quota for 1996 of 150.000
tonnes  for   Atlanto-Scandian  herring,  in   accordance  with   the  recent
conclusions of  the North-East Atlantic  Fisheries Commission (NEAFC).   This
figure is a precautionary TAC available for all Members States.

The regulation  also includes a  temporary summer ban on  cod fishing  in the
Baltic Sea, the Belts and the Øresund from 10 June to 20 August 1996.

Transport: Protection of occupants of  motor vehicles in the event of a  side

Following the approval by the  European Parliament of its common  position of
23 November 1995, the  Council adopted  the Directive  on  the protection  of
occupants  of motor  vehicles in  the  event of  a side  impact and  amending
Directive 70/156/EEC.

The  Directive  aims to  reduce  the  number of  people  killed  or seriously
injured  in  road accidents  by  the introduction  of  new standards  for the
lateral-impact resistance of passenger cars and light vehicles.

It applies to  new vehicle types approved after 1 October 1998 and sets out a
new test procedure (mobile barrier  with a ground clearance of 300 mm), which
when fully implemented  will more realistically represent typical side-impact
accidents and should ensure a  reasonable level of resistance in the case  of
such impact.

The  Directive  incorporates the  technical  prescriptions  developed by  the
United Nations  Economic Commission for Europe  on the basis of  experimental
research  work  carried  out  by  the  EEVC  (European  Experimental  Vehicle

Together  with the Directive - still being examined by the Council - relating
to frontal impacts,  it establishes uniform legislation in the  Community for
crash tests.
[1]     OJ No L   87, 20.  4.1995, p. 10.
[2]     OJ No L 340, 29.12.1994, p.   8.
[3]     OJ No L   87, 20.  4.1995, p.   1.
[4]     OJ No L 126, 18.  5.1994, p.   1.
[5]     OJ No L 334, 22.12.1994, p. 24.
[6]     OJ No L 334, 22.12.1994, p.   1.
[7]     OJ No L 361, 31.12.1994, p. 77.
[8]     OJ No C 250, 26.  9.1995, p.   4.
[9]     OJ No L 321,  30.12.1995, p. 25.
[10]    OJ No L 321,  30.12.1995, p. 33.
[11]    OJ No C 247,  23. 9.1995, p.    1.


Side Bar