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

Belgium:
Mr Philippe MAHOUX                 Minister  for  Education  of  the  French-
                                   speaking Community
Denmark:
Mr Ole VIG JENSEN                  Minister for Education

Germany:
Mr Dieter BREITENBACH              Minister   for   Science   and    Culture,
                                   Saarland

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

Spain:
Mr Gustavo SUÁREZ PERTIERRA        Minister for Education and Science

France:
Mr François BAYROU                 Minister for Education

Ireland:
Ms Niamh BHREATHNACH               Minister for Education

Italy:
Mr Giancarlo LOMBARDI              Minister for Education

Luxembourg:
Mr Erna HENNICOT-SCHOEPGES         Minister for National Education

Austria
Mr Erhard BUSEK                    Federal Minister for Education

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

Portugal:
Mr João de VALLERA                 Deputy Permanent Representative

Finland:
Mr Olli-Pekka HEINONEN             Minister for Education

Sweden:
Ms Ylva JOHANSSON                  Minister for Education

United Kingdom:
Mr Tim BOSWELL                     Parliamentary  Under-Secretary  of  State,
                                   Department of Education
Commission:
Ms Edith CRESSON                   Member

IMPROVING  AND  DIVERSIFYING   LANGUAGE  LEARNING  AND  TEACHING  WITHIN  THE
EDUCATION SYSTEMS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION - COUNCIL RESOLUTION

The  Council agreed  on  the following  Resolution,  which will  be  formally
adopted  at  a forthcoming  meeting after  final legal/linguistic  editing in
Finnish and Swedish:

"  Introduction

  Since their Resolution of 1976 comprising an  action programme in the field
  of  education, the Council and  the Ministers for Education  meeting within
  the Council have dealt with the promotion  of the teaching of the languages
  of the Union on many occasions.

  The  new powers  given to  the Community  under Article 126  of  the Treaty
  establishing  the   European Community  as   amended  by   the  Treaty   on
  European Union, in particular with  regard to  school education, include  a
  reference  to "the  teaching  and  dissemination of  the  languages of  the
  Member States".

  Bearing  in mind the  considerable achievements  of the ERASMUS  and LINGUA
  programmes  and the  resources available  under the  SOCRATES  and LEONARDO
  Community  action  programmes, and  the  achievements  of  earlier  schemes
  implemented by the relevant  international organizations, in particular the
  Council of Europe, this  Resolution aims to provide  a basis for reflection
  on how the educational systems  themselves can continue the construction of
  a Europe without  internal frontiers, and strengthen  understanding between
  the  peoples of  the Union.   The  promotion of  linguistic  diversity thus
  becomes  one of  the major  issues  in education.    While reaffirming  the
  principle  of equal status for each of  the languages of the Union, thought
  should  therefore be  given  to  the tools  appropriate  for improving  and
  diversifying the teaching and practice  of such languages, thereby enabling
  every  citizen  to  have  access  to  the cultural  wealth  rooted  in  the
  linguistic diversity of the Union.

  Moreover, Community  action in support  of Member States in  this field, in
  accordance with the  principle of subsidiarity, must  take into account the
  different national structures and situations.

  In the light of the above, the Council emphasizes the need to:

  -  promote, by  appropriate measures, qualitative  improvement in knowledge
     of  the languages  of the  European Union  within the Union's  education
     systems,   with  the  aim  of  developing  communication  skills  within
     the Union  and ensuring that  all Member States' languages  and cultures
     are disseminated as widely as possible;

  -  take steps to  encourage diversification in the languages  taught in the
     Member States, giving pupils during their  school career and students in
     higher   education  the  opportunity  to  become  competent  in  several
     languages of the European Union.

Such measures should  concern general and vocational education at  all levels
including    higher education,    while    respecting    the    autonomy   of
higher education establishments.

They could be designed to:

I. Improve the learning and teaching of the languages of the European Union

   A. Language learning:

      1. In  order  to  enhance  communication  skills  particular attention
         should be  paid to methods which  develop reading comprehension and
         writing as well as listening comprehension and speaking.
         It  is  therefore  desirable  to  encourage  contacts  with  native
         speakers of the language being studied:

         (a)  Through the opportunities for virtual  mobility offered by  the
              new technologies

             The  virtual mobility  of  pupils, in  the  absence of  physical
             mobility  or complementing  it, can  be  carried out  by  way of
             individual links between  teaching establishments and  exchanges
             of language teachers and assistants.

             Moreover,  multimedia resource centres  already  in existence or
             those  which  could  be created  in  Member States  for language
             teaching and learning  and open and distance learning,  could be
             networked.   Through  such a mechanism  the quality  of teaching
             products could be improved, innovative courses and materials for
             each Member State or common  to several States could be designed
             and good  practice for  all levels  of teaching,  including  the
             teaching of modern languages to young children,  could be passed
             on.

         (b)  Through physical mobility

             The opportunity should be offered  to as many pupils as possible
             to go on at least one  language visit to a country of the  Union
             of  which they  are learning  the language  during  their school
             career. 

             Special  attention  should  be  paid  to  enabling  pupils  from
             disadvantaged social and cultural backgrounds, from  rural areas
             and outlying regions  to benefit from language visits.

             Future  action by Member States and the Community should draw on
             the  extensive  experience gained  under  the  LINGUA  Community
             Action Programme, in particular  the joint educational projects.
             The following  measures could  improve the  quality of  language
             visits:

             -  ensuring that pupils receive  adequate background preparation
                for  their language  visits,  that  the  visits  comprise  an
                assessment element and  that they last at least  two weeks in
                secondary education;

             -  encouraging schools  to incorporate language  visits into  an
                educational project involving the  wider school community, so
                that  pupils who  remain  behind can  also  benefit from  the
                scheme,  during the  phase of  preparation,  as well  as when
                pupils  return from  their visits  and when  pupils are  on a
                visit to the school;

             -  using every opportunity  within individual education  systems
                to bring together pupils and teachers from Member States, for
                example  during residential classes away from the school base
                (winter sports, seaside and countryside activities, etc.);

             -  stepping up language preparation for students taking  part in
                exchange or mobility programmes.

      2. Promoting innovative methods in schools and universities
         With  the  aim of  improving language  skills  and in  view  of the
         inevitable timetable constraints  on language classes,  a range  of
         innovative  methods to  make  language teaching  and learning  more
         effective could be introduced, in particular:

         -   periods of intensive teaching and learning;
         -   the opportunity  for teaching  staff on  mobility schemes or  on
             sabbatical leave and visiting teaching staff whose mother tongue
             is one  of the  languages of  the European Union  to be  able to
             teach in that language;
         -   the teaching  of classes in  a foreign language  for disciplines
             other than languages, providing bilingual teaching.

      3. Teaching for young children

         In view of  the fact that  learning is  most effective if  begun in
         childhood at the most  flexible and receptive stage of intellectual
         development, and  seeking  to  encourage  schoolchildren  to  learn
         foreign languages,  it would be desirable  to establish or  develop
         early   teaching   of   modern   languages   in    primary schools.
         The Community could  provide support  for disseminating experiences
         and exchanging good practice in this innovatory field.

      4. Promotion of  the learning  of foreign languages  in technical  and
         vocational teaching

         A   growing   number   of   enterprises,   including    small   and
         medium-sized enterprises, need colleagues who can master several of
         the languages of the Union.

         It is therefore particularly important that pupils in technical and
         vocational education have  the opportunity to acquire  the language
         skills necessary to find work and to progress through their career.

         The relevant measures in this field could include in particular:

         -   an increase and diversification of pupil and teacher exchanges;

         -   the  establishment or  perfection of  language learning  methods
             which are adapted  to technical and vocational  teaching, taking
             into  account  the  links  between  general  education  and  the
             specific needs of each professional field;

         -   support  for language  teachers and  for the  relevant  staff in
             firms and educational centres;

         -   improvement  in transparency and  comparability in the  field of
             linguistic qualifications.

      5. Promotion of the learning of foreign languages in adult education

         It should be possible  to acquire foreign language knowledge  after
         the end of  formal education.  Appropriate opportunities  should be
         available  to  as   many  adults  as possible.    Career prospects,
         particularly through professional  mobility, are  thereby enhanced.
         Acquiring language skills should also be a means of introduction to
         the  different  cultures  and  traditions  of  the peoples  of  the
         Member States of the Union.  Thus mutual understanding and mobility
         of persons can be intensified.  The Community can play a supporting
         role in this connection.

   B. Language teaching: measures concerning teachers

      1. Training for language teachers 

         Taking  into account what has been  achieved in this area under the
         LINGUA programme, language training periods in Member States should
         be  developed  and strengthened  both for  future language teachers
         (initial training) and  for teachers  already  in post  (in-service
         training).

         It  would be  desirable  to  improve the  quality  of  the training
         provided, in particular by:

         -   ensuring  that  there  is  proper  background   preparation  for
             training periods and that they last at least two weeks;

         -   laying  emphasis on the improvement  of spoken skills, the study
             of   language  learning   strategy   and  teaching methods   and
             refreshing  knowledge  of  the  culture  of  the  country  whose
             language they are or will be teaching;

         -   encouraging the exchange  with Member States of higher education
             students working as language assistants in schools, endeavouring
             to  give  priority  to  prospective  language teachers or  those
             called  upon to  teach  their subject  in a language  other than
             their own.

      2. Language training for non-language teachers

         To encourage  the teaching  of foreign languages beyond  the strict
         confines  of the  language  class, in particular  in the  bilingual
         classes  referred  to  in  A(2)  and  in  technical and  vocational
         education, it would be desirable  that teachers of subjects  others
         than languages  should benefit from  appropriate language training,
         including  in higher education.   Member States, in accordance with
         their  own rules  and  objectives,  should determine  the  type and
         different  levels of language  competence which their  teachers may
         need.

         Similarly,  primary school teachers who are required to teach their
         pupils  foreign  languages should  be  provided  with  training  in
         languages and teaching methods.  For these  teachers, study periods
         spent  in the  country  whose language  they will  teach  should be
         geared  to  their   specific  needs.     The  emphasis  should   be
         particularly  on  the  spoken  language,  listening  comprehension,
         methodology and the use of new technologies.

     C. Assessment of pupils' and students' skills

        Teaching of the languages  of the European Union, to achieve  greater
        practical  effectiveness,  could be  accompanied  by  a programme  of
        exchanges  of  experience  devised,   where appropriate,  to  develop
        methodologies based on common  indicators for evaluating pupils'  and
        students' skills at the various levels of  teaching.  Such a project,
        which  should  be  carried out  in  close  contact with  the  Council
        of Europe,  as  well as  other  international  organizations such  as
        the OECD, would  provide each  Member State with objective  tools for
        analysis concerning the quality  of their foreign language  teaching,
        and the  adaptation of teaching to  different needs, and  would point
        to ways of strengthening them.

II.  Diversifying the learning and teaching  of the languages of the European
     Union

     -  In view of  the developments that  have taken place and  the progress
        that  has  been made  over  the last  ten  years in  the  teaching of
        languages in all  the Member States of the Union, pupils  should as a
        general  rule  have the  opportunity  of  learning  two languages  of
        the Union other  than their  mother tongue(s)  for a  minimum of  two
        consecutive years during compulsory  schooling and if possible for  a
        longer  period; the aim  of such teaching,  going beyond introductory
        tuition, is  the acquisition  of clearly  defined skills;  it is  for
        each Member State to specify those  language skills and to  determine
        the  different  levels of  competence  required  and the  appropriate
        forms of certifying achievement;

     -  the provision  of teaching for languages  which are less  widely used
        or less frequently taught should be  increased and diversified as far
        as  possible, at all  levels of teaching and  throughout all types of
        curricula;

     -  in view of  the difficulties in the  way of such  diversification, it
        will be  necessary to use all  the opportunities offered by  open and
        distance teaching and  the new technologies;  schemes to develop  and
        disseminate these  teaching and learning tools should receive special
        attention at Community level.

      The Community should  continue to encourage  Member States to exchange
      experiences and good practice regarding the design of educational  and
      teaching aids for the  study of the languages  of the Union in schools
      and  in  higher education.    In order  to ensure  that  teachers  are
      provided with  equivalent teaching resources for all  these languages,
      it  could  in particular  back  schemes for  adapting  educational and
      teaching  materials from the more  commonly taught  languages to those
      less frequently taught;

     -  multilateral  partnerships   between  schools  or   higher  education
        establishments can  be  used to  make pupils,  students and  teachers
        aware of  the advantages  of acquiring  a range  of language  skills.
        Periods for  increasing awareness of  one of the  partners' languages
        could   be  organized,   particularly   for  less   frequently taught
        languages;

     -  academic  teaching  normally  provides few  occasions  for  real-life
        communication; to consolidate efforts to diversify  language teaching
        and learning,  teaching establishments  should be encouraged  to draw
        on resources in the outside community  for language practice, such as
        families,   school-business   partnerships,  adult   and   vocational
        education organizations and leisure-time activities.

The Commission is invited to:

  -   support Member States'  actions which are aimed at  the abovementioned
      objectives, bearing in mind  the achievements of previous  programmes,
      as well as  the specific objectives and  the resources available under
      the SOCRATES programme;

  -   submit a  brief report  every three years  on the  progress of schemes
      undertaken in  support of  the modern language teaching  policy at the
      level of the Member States and the European Union."

EUROPEAN YEAR OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING (1996)

The Council agreed  on the common position on the  proposal for a Decision of
the European Parliament and  of the Council establishing 1996 as the European
Year of Life-long Education and Training.  The formal  adoption of the common
position and its forwarding to the European  Parliament under the co-decision
procedure  will take place after the text has been finalized in the languages
of the Union.

The text  largely takes account of  the European Parliament's amendments  and
of the amended Commission  proposal, since  it incorporates fully,  partially
or in essence 26 of the  39 amendments passed and included, in various forms,
in the revised proposal.

Under the terms  of the common position, the aim of the Year is the promotion
of the  personal development  and sense of  initiative of individuals,  their
integration  into working  life  and  society,  their  participation  in  the
democratic decision-making process  and their ability to adjust  to economic,
technological and social change.

During  the  European  Year  information,  awareness-raising and  promotional
actions will therefore be  undertaken concerning opportunities for  life-long
education and  vocational training.   Preparation  of the  actions will  take
place in 1995.

According to the  Council common position, the  themes for the European  Year
will be as follows:

1. The importance  of a high-quality general  education, open to all  without
   discrimination of any kind, including the ability  to learn by oneself, as
   a preparation for life-long education and training.

2. The promotion  of vocational training  leading to  qualifications for  all
   young people,  as a precondition for  a smooth transition  to working life
   and as a basis for further  personal development, for re-adaptation in the
   job market  and for achieving  equality of  opportunities between men  and
   women.

3. The  promotion  of continuing  education  and  training, in  harmony  with
   school education  and initial vocational training  and in relation to  new
   requirements  in  the world  of  work  and society,  whilst  ensuring  the
   quality and transparency of such education and training.

4. Motivation  of  individuals  for  continuing  education  and  training and
   developing  such education  and  training for  the  benefit of  groups  of
   people  who have  hardly  or  not  at  all  benefitted  from  it  but  who
   particularly need it, such as girls and young women.

5. Further cooperation  on education  and  training  between institutions  in
   these  areas  and the  economic  world,  in particular  small  and  medium
   enterprises.

6. The raising of awareness of  the social partners of  the importance of the
   creation of  new opportunities  for lifelong  learning in  the context  of
   European competitiveness and employment-intensive economic growth.

7. The raising  of awareness of  parents of the  importance of  education and
   training  of children  and young  people in  the  perspective of  lifelong
   learning and the role that they can play in this respect.

8. The  development of  the  European  dimension of  initial  and  continuing
   education and  training, the  promotion of  understanding and mobility  in
   Europe, as  well as  a European space  for cooperation  in education;  the
   raising of  awareness among  European citizens  of the  activities of  the
   European Union,  particularly with regard to  the academic and  vocational
   recognition  of  qualifications and  diplomas  under  the systems  of  the
   Member States and the promotion of linguistic abilities.

The total appropriation  for implementation of this  theme-based measure  was
set at ECU 8 million.

SOCRATES PROGRAMME

The Council took note  of a statement by  Ms CRESSON concerning the  measures
which the Commission  is proposing to take to implement  the recently-adopted
SOCRATES programme.

The  Presidency informed  the  Council that  the  French Government  will  be
organizing an event to mark the launch of the programme in June.

DRAFT COOPERATION AGREEMENTS WITH THIRD COUNTRIES

The  Council took  note  of an  oral  interim  report by  Ms  CRESSON on  the
progress  made  in  the   negotiation  of  EC/United  States  and   EC/Canada
Agreements in the field of higher  education and training, in accordance with
the negotiating briefs adopted by the Council on 21 November 1994.

EUROPEAN COOPERATION WITH REGARD TO POSTGRADUATE STUDIES

The Council  took note of a Presidency statement on European cooperation with
regard  to postgraduate studies, a key factor in the establishment of a high-
grade European scientific and technological community.

In  the light of the  interest expressed  by the Council,  the future Spanish
Presidency  stated that  it  intended to  continue  the examination  of  this
issue.

EUROPEAN COOPERATION IN THE FIELD OF HEALTH EDUCATION

The  Council  took  note  of  a  statement  by Commissioner  CRESSON  on  the
initiatives under way in this area.

The Health  Council is currently studying a proposal  for a Decision adopting
a  programme of Community action on  health promotion, information, education
and training.

EDUCATION SOFTWARE

The Council took note  of a statement by  Ms CRESSON on both  the educational
and economic issues in this field.

The Commission will set  up a task force to  identify possible initiatives to
be taken at Community level.

MISCELLANEOUS
(Adopted without debate)

Fisheries

The  Council adopted  a  series of  Regulations  laying down  the  definitive
arrangements  for TACs and fisheries  quotas in  1995 following consultations
with Norway,  which replace the ad hoc  arrangements for the period 1 January
to  31 March 1995  adopted  by  the  Council  at  its  meeting  on 19/20  and
22 December 1994.

These are Regulations amending the following Regulations Nos:

-  3362/94  fixing, for certain  fish stocks  and groups of  fish stocks, the
   total allowable catches for  1995 and certain conditions under which  they
   may be fished (1);

-  3376/94 laying  down for 1995  certain measures  for the conservation  and
   management of fishery resources  applicable to vessels flying the flag  of
   Norway;

-  3377/94 allocating  for 1995 the  catch quotas  between Member States  for
   vessels fishing in the  Norwegian exclusive economic zone and the  fishing
   zone around Jan Mayen;

-  3363/94 allocating  for 1995 certain  catch quotas  between Member  States
   for vessels fishing in Greenland waters;

-  3364/94 laying  down for 1995  certain measures  for the conservation  and
   management of fishery  resources applicable to  vessels registered  in the
   Faroe Islands;

-  3365/94  allocating for  1995 certain  catch quotas  between Member States
   for vessels fishing in Faroese waters.

The first amendment also authorizes  the exchange of quotas of anchovies  and
hake between France  and Portugal, following the adjustment of  the accession
arrangements for Spain and Portugal, and fixes  a precautionary TAC identical
to the 1994 TAC for shrimp stocks in French Guiana.

(1)  The Spanish delegation voted against this

Trans-European Networks

Following the  agreement in principle  reached at the  meeting of  the ECOFIN
Council on  20 March 1995  (press  release  5429/95 Presse 75),  the  Council
formally adopted  the common position on  the Regulation laying down  general
rules for  the granting of  Community financial  aid in  the field of  trans-
European networks.

This common  position will be forwarded to the  European Parliament under the
cooperation procedure (Article 189c of Treaty).

* * *

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