European Union Ministers for Education, Youth, Culture and Sport are expected to put the political finishing touches to ongoing dossiers in their fields, as they meet in Brussels on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 November. The Education, Youth, Culture and Sport (EYCS) Council is expected to reach political agreement on a proposal for a recommendation on the validation of non-formal and informal learning and a partial general approach is expected on a regulation for the ‘Creative Europe’ programme. Additionally, among others, Council Conclusions are expected on literacy, the contribution of education to economic recovery and growth, cultural governance, the participation and social inclusion of young people with the emphasis on those with a migrant background, strengthening the evidence base for sport policy-making and establishing a strategy to combat the manipulation of sports results.
During the Council, which will be chaired by Cyprus’ Minister of Education and Culture, Mr. George Demosthenous, a number of ongoing files in the fields of education, youth, culture and sport are expected to reach political conclusions.
The meeting will begin with issues relating to education, as the Council will be briefed by the Presidency regarding the state of play on the proposal establishing the ‘Erasmus for All’ programme for the period 2014-2020.
Validating non-formal and informal learning
The ministers are expected to reach political agreement regarding a recommendation on the validation of non-formal and informal learning, which invites member states to put in place arrangements for validating these types of learning no later than 2018. Non-formal learning concerns learning that takes place through planned activities where some form of learning support is present, while informal learning is learning or skills resulting from daily activities related to work, family or leisure.
Literacy for All
The ministers are expected to adopt Council Conclusions on literacy, one of the priorities of the Presidency in the field of education and training. The Cyprus Presidency held a Conference on ‘Literacy for All’ in September and the Conclusions invite Member States to improve literacy, combining specific contributions from all relevant actors, organisations and authorities, as part of broader skills strategies. The issue was also discussed at the Informal Council of Ministers which was held in Nicosia in October.
The contribution of education and training in economic recovery
Council Conclusions are also expected on the contribution of education and training within the Europe 2020 strategy to economic recovery, growth and jobs, which seek not simply to underline but also to strengthen the key role of education and training in the framework of the ‘Europe 2020’ Strategy
Additionally, ministers will have a public debate - on the basis of a background paper prepared by the Presidency - on how to enhance the quality, competence and status of teachers at a time of scarce financial resources.
On cultural issues, ministers aim to reach a partial general approach on the proposal for a regulation establishing the ‘Creative Europe’ Programme for the period 2014-2020. The programme has a two-fold objective: promoting cultural diversity and enhancing the competitiveness of the cultural, audiovisual and creative sectors.
The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on cultural governance, which aims at putting culture at the heart of the public policy agenda, and on a European strategy for a better internet for children.
Youth participation and strengthening sport policy making
In the morning session on Tuesday, November 27, ministers are likely to adopt a resolution on the overview of the structured dialogue with young people on youth participation in democratic life in Europe.
During the afternoon, it is anticipated that Ministers for Sport will adopt three conclusions in the field of sport, on strengthening the evidence base for sport policy making, on a strategy to combat the manipulation of sport results and on promoting health-enhancing physical activities.
Furthermore, the Council is due to designate the three EU representatives on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Foundation Board for the period 2013 to 2015.