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COUNCIL OF
THE EUROPEAN UNION

EN

C/05/118

Brussels, 23 and 24 May 2005

9060/05 (Presse 118)

PRESS RELEASE

2661st Council meeting
Education, Youth and Culture
Brussels, 23 and 24 May 2005

President Mr Jean-Louis SCHILTZ,
Minister for Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, Minister with responsibility for Communications
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 Octavie MODERT,
State Secretary for Relations with Parliament, State Secretary for Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development, State Secretary for Culture, Higher Education and Research
of Luxembourg

Main Results of the Council
The Council adopted:
  • a Directive limiting the sulphur content of liquid fuels used on seagoing vessels;
  • a Directive establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-using products.

CONTENTS1

PARTICIPANTS 5

ITEMS DEBATED

AUDIOVISUAL 7

– Media 2007 Programme 7

– Incitement to hatred in broadcasts from countries outside the European Union 7

CULTURE 8

– European Capital of Culture - members of the selection panel 8

– Mobility of European museum collections 9

– "Citizens for Europe" programme 9

EDUCATION 11

– Indicators in education and training - Council conclusions 11

– Plurilingualism 13

– Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (2005-2008) 14

YOUTH 14

– European cooperation in the youth field – Resolution 14

– Young people's participation in democracy - Resolution 17

– Youth information – Resolution 19

– Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (2005-2008) 21

OTHER BUSINESS 22

OTHER ITEMS APPROVED

TRADE POLICY

Anti–dumping - China - Silicon 23

ENVIRONMENT

Sulphur content of marine fuels * 23

ENERGY

Eco-design requirements for energy-using products 23

APPOINTMENTS

Economic and Social Committee 24

PARTICIPANTS

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

Belgium :

Mr Frank VANDENBROUCKE Vice-President of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Employment, Education and Training

Ms Fadila LAANAN Minister for Culture, Media and Youth (French Community)

Ms Isabelle WEYKMANS Minister for Culture and Media, Protection of Monuments, Youth and Sport (German-speaking Community)

Czech Republic:

Ms Petra SMOLIKOVA Deputy Minister for Culture

Ms Alena ŠTĚRBOVÁ Deputy Minister for Education, Youth and Sport

Denmark:

Mr Bertel HAARDER Minister for Education and Religious Affairs

Germany:

Mr Wolf-Michael CATENHUSEN State Secretary, Ministry of Education and Research

Estonia:

Mr Mailis REPS Minister for Education and Science

Mr Raivo PALMARU Minister for Culture

Greece:

Ms Marietta GIANNAKOU Minister for Education and Religious Affairs

Ms Margarita PAPADA-CHIMONA Secretary-General

Spain:

Ms María Jesús SANSEGUNDO GÓMEZ DE CADIÑANOS Minister for Education and Science

Ms Carmen CALVO POYATO Minister for Culture

Mr Cristóbal GONZALEZ-ALLER Deputy Permanent Representative

Ms Cándida MARTINEZ LÓPEZ Education Adviser to the Autonomous Community of Andalusia

France:

Mr Renaud DONNEDIEU de VABRES Minister for Culture and Communication

Mr Jean-François LAMOUR Minister for Youth, Sport and the Voluntary Sector

Ireland:

Ms Mary HANAFIN Minister for Education and Science

Ms Síle DE VALERA Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science (with special responsibility for Adult Education, Youth Affairs and Educational Disadvantage)

Mr Peter GUNNING Deputy Permanent Representative

Italy:

Mr Rocco BUTTIGLIONE Minister for Culture

Mr Paolo ROMANI State Secretary for Communications

Ms Grazia SESTINI State Secretary

Cyprus:

Mr Pefkios GEORGIADES Minister for Education and Culture

Latvia:

Ms Ina DRUVIETE Minister for Education and Science

Mr Helēna DEMAKOVA Minister for Culture

Lithuania:

Mr Remigijus MOTUZAS Minister for Education and Science

Mr Vladimiras PRUDNIKOVAS Minister for Culture

Luxembourg:

Mr Jean-Louis SCHILTZ Minister for Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, Minister with responsibility for Communications

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 Octavie MODERT State Secretary for Relations with Parliament, State Secretary for Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development, State Secretary for Culture, Higher Education and Research

Hungary:

Mr András BOZÓKI Minister for the National Cultural Heritages

Malta:

Ms Theresa CUTAJAR Deputy Permanent Representative

Netherlands:

Ms Maria van der HOEVEN Minister for Education, Cultural Affairs and Science

Ms Medy van der LAAN State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science

Austria:

Ms Elisabeth GEHRER Federal Minister for Education, Science and Culture

Ms Ursula HAUBNER State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Social Security, Generations and Consumer Protection

Mr Franz MORAK State Secretary, Federal Chancellery

Poland:

Ms Miroslaw SAWICKI Minister for National Education and Sport

Mr Maciej KLIMCZAK Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of Culture

Portugal:

Mr Mário VIEIRA DE CARVALHO State Secretary for Culture

Mr Jorge PEDREIRA Deputy State Secretary, responsible for Education

Slovenia:

Mr Milan ZVER Minister for Education and Sport

Ms Jelka PIRKOVIČ State Secretary, Ministry of Culture

Slovakia:

Mr Martin FRONC Minister for Education

Ms Agnes BIRÓ State Secretary, Ministry of Culture

Finland:

Ms Tuula HAATAINEN Minister for Education

Sweden:

Ms Agneta KARLSSON State Secretary, Ministry of Education and Culture

Mr Claes ÅNSTRAND State Secretary to the Minister for Education and Culture

United Kingdom:

Ms Tessa JOWELL Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Mr Bill RAMMELL Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Mr Peter PEACOCK Minister for Education and Young People (Scottish Executive)

Bulgaria:

Mr Roussi IVANOV Deputy Permanent Representative

Romania:

Ms Monica Octavia MUSCA Minister for Culture and Religious Affairs

Mr Mircea MICLEA Minister for Education and Research

Commission:

Mr Ján FIGEL Member

Ms Viviane REDING Member

ITEMS DEBATED

AUDIOVISUAL[1]

  • Media 2007 Programme

Pending the European Parliament's opinion, the Council adopted a partial general approach to the Media 2007 action programme as proposed by the Commission (11585/04), the aim of which is to provide financial support for the European audiovisual sector for the period 2007-2013.

The aim of the general approach is to establish the Council's position on the activities which are to be supported by the Community under the programme. The "partial" nature of this approach is due to the fact that the budgetary aspects have not been addressed, remaining unresolved until the future Community financial framework has been defined (Financial Perspective 2007/2013)[1].

The programme, which incorporates the present Media Plus and Media Training programmes, is intended to help the European audiovisual sector with a view to achieving the following objectives:

  • preserve and enhance European cultural diversity and its cinematographic and audiovisual heritage;
  • guarantee its accessibility to European citizens;
  • promote intercultural dialogue;
  • increase the circulation and viewership of European audiovisual works inside and outside the European Union;
  • strengthen the competitiveness of the European audiovisual sector in the framework of an open and competitive European market.

Proposed legal basis: Articles 150(4) and 157(3) of the Treaty - qualified majority in the Council and codecision procedure with the European Parliament.

  • Incitement to hatred in broadcasts from countries outside the European Union

On the basis of an information note from the Commission (8659/05) setting out the results of the meeting of the presidents of the national regulatory authorities in the field of broadcasting, held on 17 March 2005, the Council took note of the progress of work already initiated in the various fora concerned in connection with the fight against incitement to hatred in broadcasts from outside the European Union.

The 1989 Directive on television without frontiers[1] prohibits incitement to hatred for reasons of race, sex, religion or nationality in broadcasts.

Each Member State, and its relevant regulatory authorities, must ensure that channels under its jurisdiction, including television channels in third countries if they use a frequency, satellite capacity or link-up which is under the jurisdiction of that Member State comply with Community law.

The presidents of the national regulatory authorities in the field of broadcasting, meeting on 17 March 2005, discussed the matter of incitement to hatred in broadcasts coming from outside the European Union. The aim was to find concrete and workable solutions, respecful of common European values.

The regulatory authorities agreed in particular on the following points[2]:

  • they recalled their commitment to the principles of liberty, democracy and respect for human rights and pointed out that in the light of the principle of  freedom of expression and the media, the banning of television channels or other audiovisual media cannot be justified except by very serious violations of the principles of our democratic, pluralistic and open society.
  • they agreed to strengthen cooperation between the regulatory authorities and identified concrete measures to reinforce this cooperation, including intensification of exchanges of information in cases where an authorisation is withdrawn or a channel is banned;
  • they considered certain amendments which could be made to the Directive on television without frontiers;
  • they decided to exchange information on the channels authorised by Member States in order to ensure that European legislation was applied; acknowledging that this exchange of information will be more efficient if a contact point is established within each national authority, they agreed to draw up a list of contact persons and to publish this list on the Commission's internet site.

In the Council, delegations took note of the measures and proposals outlined to combat incitement to hatred in broadcasts. They recognised that in this context the Directive on television without frontiers should be revised, notably to enable the legal instrument to be adapted to the most recent technological developments. It was also acknowledged that if the measures to combat incitement to hatred were to be fully effective, neighbouring countries also needed to be alerted, particularly where, for technological reasons, broadcasts whose content did not comply with Community values must be restricted at source.

CULTURE

  • European Capital of Culture - members of the selection panel

The Council took note of the names of the leading figures proposed by the Luxembourg and United Kingdom delegations for the nomination of two members of the selection panel responsible for the designation of the "European Capitals of Culture" for 2010. The two members will be officially appointed by the Council in the second half of this year.

The two nominees proposed are Mr Claude Frisoni (Luxembourg) and Sir Jeremy Isaacs (United Kingdom).

It will be recalled that under Decision 1479/1999/EC[3] establishing a Community action for the European Capital of Culture event for the years 2005 to 2019, the Commission each year forms a selection panel which issues a report on the designation of cities as European Capitals of Culture.

The selection panel is composed of seven leading independent figures who are experts on the cultural sector, of whom two are appointed by the European Parliament, two by the Council, two by the Commission and one by the Committee of the Regions. In accordance with Decision 2000/C9/01[4] on the appointment by the Council of two members of the selection panel, the two States holding the Council Presidency during the ongoing year each nominate a leading figure for appointment by a simple majority by the Council for the following year.

The "European Capital of Culture" event was instigated by the Council in 1985, on the initiative of Ms Mélina Mercouri, a Greek Minister, in order to help bring the peoples of Europe closer together. The support this event receives from the Community is explained in Decision 1419/1999/EC.

  • Mobility of European museum collections

The Council held an exchange of views on the mobility of European museum collections in readiness for the subsequent preparation of an action plan.

This exchange of views dovetails with the Work Plan for Culture 2005-2006[5] which specifies that a group of experts will submit a report during the first half of 2005. This report (8538/05) was submitted to the Council by the chairman of the group, Mr Ronald de Leeuw, director of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

The Presidency had suggested that the following outline questions be addressed by Ministers (8944/05):

  • To promote the mobility of collections among Member States of the European Union, which measures should be given priority in the action plan on collection mobility?
  • Do you believe action should be taken both at the level of museums and at the level of Member States and the European Union to facilitate collection mobility?
  • Do you think that the implementation of the action plan should be monitored and, if so, in what way?

Delegations reacted very positively to the possibility of promoting mobility of museum collections.

During the discussion, amongst the problems to be considered and resolved under any action plan, reference was made to the transport of works, possible insurance arrangements, non-seizability of works, need for an exchange of information on works to ensure that those in charge of other museums were aware of those works, the possibilities of using digital technology to disseminate works, and long/term lending.

Delegations acknowledged that action at this level should involve museums as well as Member States and the European Union. They thought that any support measures should not necessarily be binding and could be based on the exchange of good practice. They also pointed out that implementation of such an initiative should not lead to the introduction of cumbersome structures.

  • "Citizens for Europe" programme

The proposal for the "Citizens for Europe" programme designed to promote active European citizenship for the period 2007-2013 (8154/05) was submitted by the Commission and was the subject of an initial exchange of views in Council.

The Presidency had suggested that the following questions for guiding the exchange of views be addressed by Ministers (8654/05):

  • Do you think that this programme, which is devoted to citizens, helps to make European citizenship a reality? Does it encourage citizens to realise their citizenship fully and actively at European level and make this European area, which is based both on common values and on respect for its diversity, their own?
  • How do you see the European added value of the programme, which aims to focus on transnational actions and exchanges and encourage the mobility of citizens, and also of ideas, across Europe?
  • What is your perception of the special attention this programme gives to the participation of citizens and organisations of all Member States, particularly those which have only recently joined the EU?

Delegations warmly welcomed the proposed programme in that it aimed to bring citizens closer to the reality of Europe, to promote their active participation in democratic life and to enhance mutual understanding between citizens of the various Member States. It was acknowledged that there was real added value to be gained from the fact that such an initiative was being taken at European level. Delegations also recognised that particular attention should be paid to those Member States which had only recently joined the European Union.

The aim of the programme is to safeguard the continuity of the ongoing programme on civic participation[6]. As proposed, the programme aims specifically to:

  • promote the mobility of citizens from across Europe by bringing them together, in particular at local community level, to share and exchange experiences, opinions and values, to learn from history and to build for the future;
  • foster action, debate and reflection related to European citizenship through cooperation between civil society organisations at European level;
  • make the idea of Europe more tangible for its citizens by promoting and celebrating Europe's values and achievements, while preserving the memory of its past;
  • encourage the balanced integration of citizens and civil society organisations from all Member States, contributing to intercultural dialogue and bringing to the fore both Europe's diversity and unity, with particular attention to activities with Member States that have recently joined the European Union.

The proposed programme comprises, inter alia, actions such as town-twinning, support for research into and consideration of European policies, support for commemorations or for Europe-wide awards.

Legal basis proposed: Articles 151 and 308 of the Treaty – unanimity in the Council and codecision procedure with the European Parliament.

EDUCATION

  • Indicators in education and training - Council conclusions

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

"THE COUNCIL,

having regard to:

  1. the new strategic goal set for the European Union by the Lisbon European Council of 23-24 March 2000 and reaffirmed by the Stockholm European Council of 23 and 24 March 2001, "to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth, with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion";
  2. the conclusions of the Spring 2005 European Council, which underline that "human capital is Europe's most important asset"[7];
  3. the Lisbon European Council's affirmation that Europe's education and training systems need to adapt both to the demands of the knowledge society and to the need for a higher level and quality of employment. Hence, the mandate from the Lisbon European Council to the Education Council "to undertake a general reflection on concrete future objectives of education systems, focusing on common concerns and priorities while respecting national diversity with a view to contributing to the Luxembourg and Cardiff processes"[8];
  4. the Barcelona European Council conclusions of 15-16 March 2002[9], which endorsed the work programme,[10] including an indicative list of indicators to be used to measure progress towards the implementation of the thirteen concrete objectives through the Open Method of Coordination, with the aim for European education and training systems of becoming "a world reference for quality by 2010", and which called for the establishment of a linguistic competence indicator;
  5. the reaffirmation of the central role of indicators and the five reference levels in giving directions and measuring progress in the field of education and training towards the Lisbon goals[11];
  6. the Joint Interim Report of February 2004,[12] which underlined the need to improve the quality and comparability of existing indicators, particularly in the field of lifelong learning, and its request that the Standing Group on Indicators and Benchmarks and all existing Working Groups propose, by the end of 2004, a limited list of new indicators for development;
  7. the Commission's preliminary response to this request, outlining possible short, medium and long-term strategies in nine indicator areas[13];

REAFFIRMS that

  1. periodic monitoring of performance and progress through the use of indicators and benchmarks is an essential part of the Lisbon process, allowing the identification of strengths and weaknesses with a view to providing strategic guidance and steering for both short and long term measures of the Education and Training 2010 strategy;

RECOGNISES that

  1. it is desirable to develop a coherent framework of indicators and benchmarks to monitor performance and progress in the field of education and training;
  2. the development of the necessary data for new indicators can be a long-term project, at times lasting 5-10 years;
  3. enhanced cooperation in education and training could be used for the establishment of a coherent indicator framework supported by appropriate data sources, going beyond the 2010 Lisbon horizon;
  4. the establishment of the "research unit on lifelong learning" at the Joint Research Centre at ISPRA can significantly increase the Commission's research capacity in terms of the development of new indicators;

STRESSES that

  1. full use should be made of existing data and indicators while further efforts should be made to improve their comparability, relevance and timeliness;
  2. the development of new indicators shall fully respect the responsibility of Member States for the organisation of their education systems and should not impose undue administrative or financial burdens on the organisation and institutions concerned, nor inevitably lead to an increased number of indicators used to monitor progress;
  3. there is a need to continue to enhance cooperation with other international organisations active in this field (e.g. OECD, UNESCO, IEA), particularly in order to improve international data coherence;

INVITES the Commission:

  1. with regard to indicator areas where data collections already exist or EU surveys are planned, to further develop and submit to the Council strategies in the indicator areas of efficiency of investment, ICT, mobility, adult education, teachers and trainers, vocational education and training, social inclusion and active citizenship.
  2. with regard to indicator areas where no comparable data exist, to present to the Council detailed survey proposals for the development of new indicators, in the areas of:
  • learning-to-learn;
  • language skills;

and in any other area where new surveys might become relevant;

  1. with regard to indicator areas where international organisations (e.g. OECD, UNESCO, IEA) are planning new surveys, to cooperate with international organisations in order to satisfy the information needs of the EU in indicator areas such as ICT, adult skills and professional development of teachers, where other international organisations are already discussing the possibility of carrying out surveys;
  2. when developing such strategies and new instruments for data collection, including in cooperation with international organisations, to:
  • where necessary analyse their political relevance, also considering the relation between the development of human capital and integrated education and work policies;
  • present a detailed technical specification of the proposed new surveys;
  • include a timetable for the development work to be undertaken;
  • include an estimate of the likely costs and necessary infrastructure for such developmental works and subsequent data collection in the Member States involved and for the Commission;
  • specify appropriate management structures, enabling Member States to be involved in methodological and development work, and to be in a position to take the necessary decisions, ensuring the development of relevant and high quality data, in accordance with the timetable;
  1. with a view to reporting back to the Council, no later than the end of 2006, to:
  • take stock of initiatives taken in other survey areas, including the impact of ICT on teaching and learning, the labour market outcomes of mobility, and the social background of tertiary students;
  • assess progress made towards the establishment of a coherent framework of indicators and benchmarks for following-up on the Lisbon objectives in the area of education and training, including a reconsideration of the suitability of existing indicators used for monitoring progress."
  • Plurilingualism

The Presidency informed the Council of the outcome of the symposium held in Luxembourg on 10 and 11 March 2005, on "The Changing European Classroom – the Potential of Plurilingual Education" (8392/05).

The European Commission's Action Plan for the promotion of Language Learning and Linguistic Diversity 2004 - 2006 (COM (2003) 449 final) had already underlined the major contribution that the teaching of a subject through the medium of a foreign language (EMILE) can make to the Union's language learning goals.

At this conference, stakeholders from the education world in the European Union examined ways in which the study of subjects such as history, geography or biology and the acquisition of vocational skills through a foreign language could increasingly be incorporated in the Member States' education and vocational training systems.

The Luxembourg Presidency drew the following conclusions from the symposium:

1. There is a need for greater public awareness of the benefits of the EMILE approach and the contribution it could make to enhance individual and societal prosperity and social cohesion.

2. The promotion of EMILE could lead to increasing student and workforce mobility, thus reinforcing European citizenship.

3. Promotional bodies at national and EU level would be helpful to contribute towards the introduction, development, coordination and expansion of EMILE throughout the European Union.

4. Specific EMILE training for teachers and educational administrators should be encouraged, including a period of work or study in a country where the target language is generally spoken.

5. Ways of acknowledging EMILE participation of learners at different educational levels are to be investigated.

6. A wide range of languages should be promoted as a medium for EMILE initiatives.

7. The exchange of information and scientific evidence on good EMILE practice should be encouraged at European level.

  • Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (2005-2008)

The Council held an exchange of views on the proposal for integrated guidelines submitted by the Commission on 12 April 2005 (8008/05) in response to the following indicative questions suggested by the Presidency (8388/05):

  • How do Ministers of Education view the role attributed to education and training in these Integrated Guidelines, in both their economic and social dimensions?
  • How can we ensure the active participation of the Education Ministers in the new revised Lisbon strategy and the full continuation of all aspects of the "Education & Training 2010" work programme, as called for by the March 2005 European Council?
  • at national level through the biennial "Education & Training 2010" reports?
  • at European level through a joint Council/Commission report and through the active involvement of the Education Council in the preparation of the yearly streamlined contribution to the European Council?

It emerged from the discussion that education policies have a vital role to play in pursuing the revised Lisbon strategy's goals of growth and employment. This vital role will need to be reflected in the reports which Member States are invited to submit annually on the implementation of their national plans by demonstrating the extent to which education and training have contributed to the positive results obtained.

However, it was stressed that education and training serve wider goals than those concerning the economy and employment, for example in the areas of culture, citizenship and personal development. Monitoring the results obtained in the framework of this broader perspective justifies pursuing in parallel the process provided for in the "Education & Training 2010" programme, comprising biennial national reports and the Council's contribution, in its "Education" formation, to the yearly streamlined report submitted by the Commission to the Spring European Council.

YOUTH

  • European cooperation in the youth field – Resolution

The Council adopted the following Resolution:

"THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE MEMBER STATES MEETING WITHIN THE COUNCIL,

Whereas:

1. The European Commission's White Paper entitled "A new impetus for European youth"[14], presented on 21 November 2001, sets out a new framework for European cooperation on youth affairs.

2. The Council, in its conclusions of 14 February 2002[15], recognised the White Paper as the starting point for developing a European framework for cooperation on youth affairs.

3. In its Resolution of 27 June 2002[16] the Council

(a) adopted the open method of coordination as the new framework for cooperation on youth policy and approved four thematic priorities: participation, information, voluntary activities and greater understanding and knowledge of youth;

(b) invited the Commission, no later than the end of the first implementation exercise for the four thematic priorities, to prepare an evaluation report in association with the Member States on the framework for cooperation, covering in particular an evaluation of the open method of coordination and, as appropriate, suggestions for its modification, and to submit that report to the Council for consideration.

4. In its resolution of 25 November 2003[17], the Council recalled that implementation must be flexible, incremental and appropriate for the youth field, and must respect the powers of the Member States and the principle of subsidiarity.

5. On 15 November 2004 the Commission submitted to the Council a communication on the evaluation of activities conducted in the framework of European cooperation in the youth field[18].

6. On 21 February 2005, the Council adopted a contribution to the Spring European Council on the basis of a commission Communication ("Working together for growth jobs - A new start for the Lisbon strategy") on the Mid-term review of the Lisbon Strategy which states that "we still need a vision for society which can integrate both the ageing and the young".

7. The Spring European Council on 22 and 23 March 2005 adopted a European Pact for youth as one of the instruments for fulfilling the Lisbon objectives.

EMPHASISE THAT trends among young people are changing constantly, hence the need for regular adjustments to youth policy priorities.

WELCOME the assessment given by the Commission in its communication entitled "Follow-up to the White Paper on a New Impetus for European Youth: evaluation of activities conducted in the framework of European cooperation in the youth field", which points out that political cooperation has paved the way for:

  • the consultation and closer involvement of young people and their organisations at all levels of political debate,
  • the development of regular and structured dialogue between young people and their organisations, administrations and policymakers,
  • the direct involvement of young people and their organisations in the discussions on the European Constitution,
  • a higher profile for measures targeting young people,
  • exchanges of examples of good practice,
  • the launch of the European Youth Portal.

SHARE THE VIEW of the Commission who, in its communication of 27 October 2004, highlights the following points as warranting closer consideration:

  • priorities for European cooperation with regard to youth policy,
  • the effectiveness of the open method of coordination as it affects young people,
  • a reassessment of the balance between the flexibility and effectiveness of the open method of coordination in the youth field,
  • the need for young people and their organisations to be consulted constantly and in a structured way, at both national and European level.
  • the need for a better understanding of the situation of young people in order to take into account the youth dimension in other policies and to influence such policies.
  • the need for all actors (policymakers, youth organisations) at all levels (local, national and European) to be mobilised in order to have a real impact.

AGREE

  • to further develop the procedures for implementing the open method of coordination once the common objectives for a given priority have been agreed; this could involve:
  • taking stock of the national situation in respect of these objectives, using a set of methods determined by each Member State,
  • setting out priority lines of action,
  • assessing the progress achieved since the initial review,
  • consulting young people in an appropriate fashion at the various stages of the process.
  • to ensure consistency between the open method of coordination and the European Pact for Youth.

INVITE THE COMMISSION

to propose implementing procedures, taking into consideration the above agreed principles in view of a future implementation by Member States, bearing in mind the Conclusions of the Spring European Council, the national reports relating to the common objectives on Participation and Information, and taking into account the views of young people and their organisations."

  • Young people's participation in democracy - Resolution

The Council adopted the following Resolution:

"THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE MEMBER STATES MEETING WITHIN THE COUNCIL,

Whereas:

1. The European Commission's White Paper entitled "European governance"[19], presented on 30 July 2001, places openness and participation at the top of its list of five principles underpinning good governance.

2. The European Commission's White Paper entitled "A new impetus for European youth"[20], presented on 21 November 2001, sets out a new framework for European cooperation on youth affairs.

3. The Council, in its conclusions of 14 February 2002[21], considered the White Paper to be a starting point for developing a framework for cooperation on youth affairs.

4. In its Resolution of 27 June 2002[22], the Council

(a) adopted the open method of coordination as the new framework for cooperation on youth policy and approved four thematic priorities : participation, information, voluntary activities and greater understanding and knowledge of youth;

(b) invited the Commission, no later than the end of the first implementation exercise for the four thematic priorities, to prepare an evaluation report in association with the Member States on the framework for cooperation, covering in particular an evaluation of the open method of coordination and, as appropriate, suggestions for its modification, and to submit that report to the Council for consideration.

5. In its Resolution of 25 November 2003[23], the Council:

(a) adopted common objectives for the first two priorities, namely participation by and information for young people, setting increased participation by young people in the system of representative democracy as one of the common objectives for the participation priority;

(b) recalled that implementation of the common objectives must be flexible, incremental and appropriate for the youth field, and must respect the powers of the Member States and the principle of subsidiarity;

(c) invited the Commission to convene, where appropriate, representatives of the national administrations dealing with the youth field, in order to promote the exchange of information on the progress made and on best practice,

6. The European Union is founded on both principles of representative democracy and participatory democracy.

HAVE TAKEN NOTE OF the work accomplished under the Irish Presidency, in particular at the informal Ministerial Conference in Clare, and of the discussions launched as part of cooperation with the Council of Europe.

ARE AWARE THAT:

(a) young women and men continue to have a keen involvement and interest in societal issues;

(b) young people's readiness for active citizenship does not automatically lead them to engage with the institutions of representative democracy;

(c) young people's participation and interest in the institutions of representative democracy tend to decline in many EU Member States;

(d) this lack of interest in democratic institutions is often reflected in a reluctance to make a long-term commitment to youth organisations, low turnouts at elections, declining membership of political parties and their youth sections.

RECALL, HOWEVER, THAT:

(a) representative democracy is one of the mainstays of our society;

(b) democracies need the participation of all their citizens;

(c) in particular, the participation of young women and men in the institutions of representative democracy is crucial if democracy is to function properly;

(d) young people do not form a homogenous group, and the issue of their non-participation in the institutions of representative democracy presents various challenges, depending on gender, level of education, ethnic origin or other factors.

EMPHASISE:

(a) the value of an ongoing dialogue at national level between young women and men and political leaders in creating a climate conducive to participation in the institutions of representative democracy;

(b) the importance of the Commission guideline on a structured dialogue between young people and political representatives;

(c) the key role played by non-formal education and by youth-oriented information in providing quality civic education on a broad basis;

(d) the special importance of youth organisations and associations in providing opportunities for young women and men to learn about democratic mechanisms and active, critical citizenship;

AGREE:

(a) that action to achieve these objectives cannot target young women and men alone but must also be directed at the institutions of representative democracy themselves;

(b) that the commitment of those participating in representative democracy should be highlighted and encouraged;

(c) that when implementing the common objective of increasing the participation of young women and men in the system of representative democracy, particular attention should be paid to creating a climate which encourages young women and men to participate, taking into account the important role played by the education system, youth organisations, political parties and the family;

(d) that particular care should be taken to tailor measures to their target groups and the groups' specific characteristics;

(e) to involve young people and youth organisations in developing specific implementing measures.

INVITE MEMBER STATES TO:

  • encourage political parties' awareness of the importance of increasing their youth membership, having more young women and men on their organisational bodies and more young women and men on their lists of candidates;
  • encourage, where applicable, the placing of young people on the electoral register;
  • mobilise the support of regional and local authorities for young people's participation in representative democracy;
  • make young people aware of the importance of participating in representative democracy and, in particular, through casting their votes.

INVITE THE COMMISSION AND THE MEMBER STATES:

  • under the common priority regarding greater understanding and knowledge of youth, to make an inventory of the existing knowledge about obstacles to young people's active participation in representative democracy;
  • to pool measures already undertaken and examples of good practice for achieving the common objective of increasing participation by young people in the system of representative democracy, at both Member State and European level ;
  • to strengthen dialogue between young people and political leaders, for example by introducing regular meetings;
  • to meet in 2006 to review progress on this objective on the basis of national reports on the participation priority."
  • Youth information – Resolution

The Council adopted the following Resolution:

" THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE MEMBER STATES MEETING WITHIN THE COUNCIL,

Whereas:

1. The European Commission's White Paper entitled "A new impetus for European youth"[24], presented on 21 November 2001, sets out a new framework for European cooperation on youth affairs.

2. The Council, in its conclusions of 14 February 2002[25], recognised the White Paper as the starting point for developing a European framework for cooperation on youth affairs.

3. In its Resolution of 27 June 2002[26] the Council

(a) adopted the open method of coordination as the new framework for cooperation on youth policy and approved four thematic priorities: participation, information, voluntary activities and greater understanding and knowledge of youth;

(b) invited the Commission, no later than the end of the first implementation exercise for the four thematic priorities, to prepare an evaluation report in association with the Member States on the framework for cooperation, covering in particular an evaluation of the open method of coordination and, as appropriate, suggestions for its modification, and to submit that report to the Council for consideration.

4. In its resolution of 25 November 2003[27] the Council

(a) adopted common objectives for the first two priorities, namely participation by and information for young people;

(b) agreed on the following common objectives in the area of youth information:

(i) improving access for young people to information services,

(ii) increasing the provision of information for young people,

(iii) increasing participation by young people in youth information;

(c) recalled that implementation must be flexible, incremental and appropriate for the youth field, and must respect the powers of the Member States and the principle of subsidiarity;

(d) invited the Commission to convene, where appropriate, representatives of the national administrations dealing with the youth field, in order to promote the exchange of information on the progress made and on best practice.

RECALL THAT

  • youth information is important for each Member State and common objectives cannot be implemented unless the subsidiarity principle is upheld;
  • the promotion of information supply services which take into consideration the specific needs of young people is crucial to providing young people with access to information;
  • young people form a heterogeneous group whose needs vary depending on their age, gender, socioeconomic circumstances and geographical location;
  • by its very nature, youth information is a highly diverse area affecting many young people in different circumstances;
  • participation by young people in producing and disseminating information remains the key to providing them with information to meet their needs;
  • implementing the common objective with regard to information has resulted in an Internet portal, which the Commission has launched in association with the Eurodesk, ERYICA (European Youth Information and Counselling Agency) and EYCA (European Youth Card Association) networks.

AGREE THAT, TO IMPLEMENT THE COMMON OBJECTIVES IN THE INFORMATION PRIORITY AREA, SPECIAL ATTENTION SHOULD BE FOCUSED ON

  • stepping up networking among youth-oriented information structures in various sectors at local, national and European level;
  • continuous training of those involved in youth information with regard to content, most suitable methods and use of available technology, so that young people can recognise quality information easily.

CALL ON THE COMMISSION AND THE MEMBER STATES

  • to use existing means and work with established European networks to propose guiding principles in order to enable youth information structures to develop quality assessment;
  • to raise the profile of quality youth information in Europe and thus make it more accessible;
  • to promote and develop cooperation, networking and the exchange of good practice between national youth information sites and portals across Europe, together with analyses of the use of such sites and portals;
  • with this in mind, to use European programmes when working with youth information to develop
  • a greater insight into young people's information needs,
  • an exchange of experience between youth information experts at various levels at European seminars and training sessions,
  • a regularly updated database of innovative approaches and examples of good practice, with particular reference to networking among youth information structures in various sectors."
  • Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (2005-2008)

The Council held an exchange of views on the proposed integrated guidelines submitted by the Commission on 12 April 2005 (8008/05) in response to the following indicative questions suggested by the Presidency (8625/05):

1. How do you see the implication of youth policy in the revised Lisbon process on national level, and how do you see your role in the implementation of the European Youth Pact and integrated guidelines at national level?

2. European youth policy is based around its Open Method of Coordination covering "active citizenship of young people" and the European Youth Pact covering employment, social integration and education. How can these two instruments be coordinated in order to guarantee the best possible results for young people?

3. How do you envisage to take into account the views of young people in the process of setting up national Lisbon action programmes, in those aspects related to young people?

The delegations recognised the vital role of policies for youth in the framework of the revised Lisbon strategy. For the implementation of the European Youth Pact and integrated guidelines, delegations described their internal procedures for consulting and calling for the participation of young people in decision-making in the various policies which concern them (employment, social field, etc).

The positive results obtained in youth policy at national level will be reflected yearly by the Member States in reports which they will submit in the framework of the implementation of the Lisbon strategy.

OTHER BUSINESS

The Council also discussed the following items:

(a) Review of the "Television Without Frontiers" Directive

  • Contribution by the Belgian, Austrian, Czech, Estonian, Irish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Netherlands, Polish, Portuguese, Slovenian and Swedish delegations making known their concerns at not being able to regulate broadcast services that are primarily targeted at their countries, but being produced by a broadcaster established in another Member State, are not subject to regulation by the target-country (8806/05).

(b) Proposal amending the "European Capital of Culture" Decision

  • Contribution by the Commission

(c) Culture 2007 Programme (2007-2013)

  • Contribution by the Estonian, Hungarian and Latvian delegations recalling their proposal to include in the Culture 2007 programme support for measures to commemorate the victims and preserve the main sites and archives connected with Stalinist deportations (8808/05).

(d) Fourth centenary of the first edition of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

  • Contribution by the Spanish delegation on the celebration of this anniversary (8809/05).

(e) World Meeting of Ministers for Culture in favour of cultural diversity (Madrid, 11 and 12 June 2005).

  • Contribution by the Spanish delegation to invite its counterparts to this international meeting (8810/05).

(f) UNESCO convention on cultural diversity

  • Contribution by the Presidency on the progress of negotiations (8811/05).

(g) Briefing on the ministerial meeting of 27 and 28 October 2005 in the context of the Presidency of the Council of Europe

  • Contribution by the Portuguese delegation to invite its counterparts to this meeting (8907/05).

(h) Commission communication " Mobilising the brainpower of Europe: enabling universities to make their full contribution to the Lisbon Strategy" (8437/05).

  • Presentation by the Commission of its communication. Discussion of this subject will have to continue under coming presidencies.

(i) Council of Europe seminar "Teaching remembrance" (Kraków, 4 and 5 May 2005)

  • Contribution by the Polish delegation on the outcome of the seminar (8850/05).

(j) Initiatives in the fight against anti-Semitism and racism

  • Contribution by the French delegation on possible initiatives in education (8812/05).

OTHER ITEMS APPROVED

TRADE POLICY

Anti–dumping - China - Silicon

The Council adopted a Regulation terminating the partial interim review of the anti-dumping measures applicable to imports of silicon originating in China (8492/05).

ENVIRONMENT

Sulphur content of marine fuels *

Accepting all the amendments passed by the European Parliament at second reading, the Council adopted, by qualified majority[28], a Directive limiting the sulphur content of liquid fuels used on board seagoing vessels (7952/05 and 12891/2/04; see also 8830/05 ADD 1).

The main purpose of the Directive is to extend the scope of Directive 1999/32/EC, which lays down the maximum permitted sulphur content of heavy fuel oil, gas oil and marine gas oil used in the Community, to all petroleum-derived liquid fuels used on board ships operating in Member States' waters.

The new provisions should lead to a substantial reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions (over 500 000 tonnes per year), to the benefit of highly populated ports and coastlines and acid-sensitive ecosystems.

Among other things, the Directive will:

  • remove existing derogations relating to marine gas oil;
  • give effect to the 1,5% sulphur limit applying within SOx emission control areas agreed through the International Maritime Organization;
  • apply the same limit to all passenger ships operating on regular services to or from Community ports;
  • require ships at berth in Community ports to use fuel containing no more than 0,1% sulphur;
  • provide for the use of approved abatement technologies as an alternative to low-sulphur fuel.

The Directive also takes account of the new rules laid down by the MARPOL Convention regarding the prevention of air pollution from ships, which entered into force in May 2005[29].

ENERGY

Eco-design requirements for energy-using products

The Council approved the amendments passed by the European Parliament at second reading (8014/05) to a draft Directive establishing a framework for the setting of eco-design requirements for energy-using products. Consequently, the Directive is deemed to be adopted in the form of the common position (11414/1/04 REV 1) as amended. The aim of the Directive is to:

  • ensure the free movement of energy-using products within the EU,
  • improve the overall environmental performance of these products and thereby protect the environment,
  • contribute to the security of energy supply and enhance the competitiveness of the EU economy.

The text is in principle applicable to any product using energy to perform the function for which it was designed, manufactured and put on the market, with the exception of means of transporting people or merchandise. All energy sources are covered, although it is likely that only products using electricity, solid, liquid and gaseous fuels will be the subject of implementing measures.

The Directive amends Council Directive 92/42/EEC and Directives 96/57/EC and 2000/55/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council. It provides for a deadline for implementation by the Member States of two years after the Directive's entry into force.

APPOINTMENTS

Economic and Social Committee

The Council adopted Decisions appointing:

  • Mr Marcos ALARCÓN ALARCÓN a member of the Economic and Social Committee in place of Mr Fernando MORALEDA QUÍLEZ for the remainder of the latter's term of office, which runs until 20 September 2006 (8030/1/05);
  • Mr Kaul NURM a member of the Economic and Social Committee in place of Mr Kalev KREEGIPUU for the remainder of the latter's term of office, which runs until 20 September 2006 (8032/05).


[]

[1] Article 2 of the Commission proposal is not part of the agreed text.

[1] Directive 97/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 June 1997 amending Council Directive 89/552/EEC on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the pursuit of television broadcasting activities, Official Journal L 202, 30/07/1997, p. 60; see: http://ec.europa.eu/avpolicy/regul/twf/newint_en.htm

[2] See Annex to 8659/05.

[3] Decision 1419/1999/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 1999 (OJ L 166, 1.7.1999, p. 1).

[4] Council Decision of 17 December 1999 (OJ C 9, 13.1.2000, p. 1).

[5] Council conclusions of 16 November 2004 (14380/04).

[6] OJ L 30, 2.2.2004, p. 6

[7] 7619/05, paragraph 34.

[8] SN 100/1/00 REV 1, paragraph 27.

[9] SN 100/1/02 REV 1.

[10] "Detailed work programme for the follow-up of the report on the concrete objectives of education and training systems" adopted by the Education Council on 14 February 2002.

[11] Council conclusions on benchmarks adopted on 5 May 2003.

[12] "Education and training 2010" – The Success of the Lisbon Strategy Hinges on Urgent Reforms, adopted jointly by the Council and the Commission on 26 February 2004.

[13] Staff Working Paper from the Commission, "New Indicators on Education and Training"
(SEC (2004), 1524).

[14] 14441/01 – COM(2001) 681 final.

[15] OJ C 119, 22.5.2002, p. 6.

[16] OJ C 168, 13.7.2002, p. 2.

[17] OJ C 295, 5.12.2003, p. 6.

[18] 13856/04 – COM(2004) 694 final.

[19] 11574/01 - COM (2001) 428 final.

[20] 14441/01 - COM(2001) 681 final.

[21] OJ C 119, 22.5.2002, p. 6.

[22] OJ C 168, 13.7.2002, p. 2.

[23] OJ C 295, 5.12.2003, p. 6.

[24] 14441/01 – COM(2001) 681 final.

[25] OJ C 119, 22.5.2002, p. 6.

[26] OJ C 168, 13.7.2002, p. 2.

[27] OJ C 295, 5.12.2003, p. 6.

[28] Italy and Malta voted against.

[29] http://www.imo.org/Conventions/contents.asp?doc_id=678&topic_id=258


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