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Conclusies Raad Onderwijs, Jeugdzaken, Cultuur en Sport (en)

Met dank overgenomen van Raad van de Europese Unie (Raad), gepubliceerd op dinsdag 27 november 2012.

COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

PROVISIONAL VERSION

Items discussed on 26 November 2012 only PRESSE 480 PR CO 64

PRESS RELEASE

3201st Council meeting Education, Youth, Culture and Sport

Brussels, 26 and 27 November 2012

Minister of Education and Culture of Cyprus

PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

Main results of the Council

Education

The Council took note of the state ofplay concerning the proposal for a regulation establishing the "ERASMUS FOR ALL " programme (2014-2020).

The Council reached political agreement on a proposal for a recommendation on the validation of non-formal and informal learning.

The Council also adopted conclusions on literacy and on the contribution of education and training to economic recovery and growth.

Culture and Audiovisual

The Council reached a partial general approach on the proposal for a regulation establishing the "Creative Europe"programme.

The Council adopted conclusions on cultural governance and on a European strategy for a better Internet for children.

The Council took note of a progress report from the Presidency on the proposal for a decision establishing a Union action for the European Capitals of Culture for the years 2020 to 2033.

PROVISIONAL VERSION

CONTTS1

26.-27.XI.2012

PARTICIPANTS................................................................................................................................5

ITEMS DEBATED

EDUCATION......................................................................................................................................8

"ERASMUS FOR ALL"......................................................................................................................8

Literacy................................................................................................................................................9

Contribution of education and training to economic recovery..........................................................10

Validation of non-formal and informal learning................................................................................11

Improving teacher quality and status.................................................................................................12

CULTURE AND AUDIOVISUAL...................................................................................................14

"Creative Europe" Programme...........................................................................................................14

European Capitals of Culture.............................................................................................................15

Cultural governance...........................................................................................................................16

Better Internet for children.................................................................................................................16

Any other business.............................................................................................................................18

OTHER ITEMS APPROVED

CULTURE

— European archives and the challenges of the digital era........................................................................................20

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

  • Access to books for impaired persons - World Intellectual Property Organization..............................................20

1 • Where declarations, conclusions or resolutions have been formally adopted by the Council, this is indicated in the heading for the item concerned and the text is placed between quotation marks

•  Documents for which references are given in the text are available on the Council's Internet site (http://www.consilium.europa.eu)

•  Acts adopted with statements for the Council minutes which may be released to the public are indicated by an asterisk; these statements are available on the Council's Internet site or may be obtained from the Press Office

PROVISIONAL VERSION 26 -27 X12012

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

  • Asset recovery - Egypt and Tunisia.......................................................................................................................20

EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA

  • Meeting of the EEA council (Brussels, 26 November).........................................................................................21

ERGY

  • EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council...........................................................................................................21
  • Decision of the Ministerial Council of the Energy Community/Moldova.............................................................21

APPOINTMTS

Committee of the Regions.....................................................................................................................................21

PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

PARTICIPANTS

Belgium:

Mr Pascal SMET,

Mr Olivier BELLE Bulgaria:

Mr Vezhdi RASHIDOV Ms Petya EVTIMOVA Mr Lazar KAMOV

Czech Republic:

Mr Petr FIALA

Mme Alena HANAKOVA

Denmark:

Ms Jonas BERING LIISBERG Germany:

Mr Georg SCHÜTTE Mr Guido PERUZZO

Estonia:

Mr JaakAAVISKOO Mr Rein LANG

Ireland:

Mr Ruairi QULNN

Ms Frances FITZGERALD

Mr Michael RING

Mr Jimmy DEIHAN Greece:

Mr Konstantinos ARVANITOPOULOS

Mr Andreas PAPASTAVROU Mr Athanasios KYRIAZIS

Spain:

Mr José Ignacio WERT ORTEGA Mr Miguel CARDAL CARRO

Mr José Pascual MARCO MARTINEZ Mr Miguel Angel SERNA OLIVEIRA

France:

MsAurelie FILIPPETTI

Ms George PAU-LANGEVTN

Ms Valérie FOURNEYRON

Italy:

Mr Francesco PROFUMO Mr Marco PERONACI

Cyprus:

Mr Giorgos DEMOSTHOUS Ms Olympia STYLIANOU

Latvia:

Ms Lauma SIKA

Mr Juris STALMEISTARS

Flemish Minister for Education, Youth, Equal Opportunities and Brussels Affairs Deputy Permanent Representative

Minister for Culture

Deputy Minister for Education, Youth and Science Deputy Minister for Physical Education and Sports

Minister for Education, Youth and Sports Minister for Culture

Deputy Permanent Representative

Secretary of State

Deputy Permanent Representative

Minister for Education and Science Minister for Culture

Minister for Education and Skills

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs

Minister of State with responsibility for Tourism and Sport

(Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport)

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Minister for Education, Religious Affairs, Culture and Sport

Deputy Permanent Representative General Secretary, Ministry of Education

Minister for Education, Culture and Sport

President of the National Sports Council (rank of State

Secretary)

Deputy Permanent Representative

Minister for Education, Culture and Sport of the

Autonomous Community of Cantabria

Minister for Culture and Communication

Minister with responsibility for Academic Achievement,

attached to the Minister for Education

Minister for Sport, Youth, Community Education and the

Voluntary Sector

Minister for Education, Universities and Research Deputy Permanent Representative

Minister for Education and Culture Permanent Secretary for Education and Culture

Secretary of State

Deputy Permanent Representative

PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

Lithuania:

Mr Gintaras STEPONAVICIUS Ms Audra MIKALAUSKAITE Mr Gintaras VYSNIAUSKAS

Luxembourg:

Ms OctavieMODERT,

Mr Romain SCHNEIDER

Ms Michèle EISBARTH

Hungary:

Ms Zoltan BALOG

MrlstvanSIMICSKÓ Mr Olivér VARHELYI

Malta:

Mr Mario de MARCO Mr Clyde PULI

Netherlands:

Ms Jet BUSSEMAKER Mr Dirk OLDBURG

Austria:

Mr Norbert DARABOS Ms Claudia SCHMIED Mr Harald GÜNTHER

Poland:

Ms Krystyna SZUMILAS Mr Bogdan ZDROJEWSKI Ms Joanna MUCHA

Portugal:

Mr Nuno CRATO

Mr Jorge Barreto XAVIER

Mr Alexandre Miguel MESTRE

Romania:

Ms Emilia-Carmen TOCALA

Ms Irina CAJAL MARIN

Slovenia:

Mr Uros VAJGL

Slovakia:

Mr Mare MAD'ARIC Mr Stefan CHUBODA

Mr Alexander MICOVCIN Finland:

Mr Jukka GUSTAFSSON Ms Paavo ARHINMAKI

Sweden:

Mr Jan BJÖRKLUND

Ms Lena ADELSOHN LILJEROTH

Ms Nyamko SABUNI

United Kingdom:

Mr Matthew HANCOCK Ms Angela CONSTANCE Ms Shan MORGAN

Minister for Education and Science

Deputy Minister for Social Security and Labour

Deputy Minister for the Interior

Minister for Culture, Minister for Relations with the Parliament, Minister for Administrative Simplification in the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister with responsibility for the Civil Service and Administrative Reform

Minister for Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development, Minister for Sport, Minister with responsibility for Economic Solidarity Deputy Permanent Representative

State Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration and Justice

Parliamentary State Secretary, Ministry of Defence Deputy Permanent Representative

Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Environment Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport

Minister for Education, Culture and Science Deputy Permanent Representative

Federal Minister for Defence and Sport

Federal Minister for Education, the Arts and Culture

Deputy Permanent Representative

Minister for National Education Minister for Culture and National Heritage Minister for Sport and Tourism

Minister for Education and Science

Secretary of State for Culture

State Secretary for Young People and Sport

Secretary of State and President National Authority for

youth and Sport

Secretary of State for Culture

Deputy Permanent Representative

Minister for Culture

State Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport

Deputy Permanent Representative

Minister for Education and Science Minister for Culture and Sport

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Education Minister for Culture and Sports Minister for Equal Opportunities

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (skills) Minister for Youth Employment Deputy Permanent Representative

PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

Commission:

Mr Joaquin ALMUNIA Vice President

Ms Neelie KROES Vice President

MsAndroullaVASSILIOU Member

The government of the acceding state was represented as follows:

Croatia:

Mr Zeljko JOVANOVIC Minister for Science, Education and Sport

Ms Andrea ZLATAR VIOLIC Minister for Culture

Ms Irena ANDRASSY Deputy Permanent Representative

PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

ITEMS DEBATED EDUCATION "ERASMUS FOR ALL"

In public deliberation, the Council took note of a Presidency's presentation regarding progress on the proposal establishing the "ERASMUS FOR ALL" programme for the period 2014-2020 (), one of a number of proposals whose linked to the adoption of next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)

Keeping its main key actions, the new programme includes a number of innovative proposals, such as knowledge alliances, sector skill alliances and the Erasmus Master's degree student loan guarantee scheme - aiming to promote mobility and access to affordable finance for students taking their Master's degree in another member state

At the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council on 10 and 11 May 2012, EU education ministers unanimously adopted a partial general approach on the proposal (), i.e. they reached preliminary agreement on the whole text, with the exception of any provisions with budgetary implications pending negotiations with the European Parliament. The provisions currently outstanding concern the total budget for the Programme, the breakdown between the various sectors and the Master's student loan guarantee scheme

On this last issue, the Presidency considered it important to conduct a detailed technical examination of the scheme proposed by the Commission and its implications1, partly in readiness for the future negotiations with the Parliament, which is known to be broadly in favour of the scheme, but also in readiness for an overall agreement on the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)

Further work on the proposal will be carried out after the EYCS Council, in the light of the amendments adopted by the Parliament's CULT Committee, whose vote is scheduled for tomorrow. The Presidency indicated that the respective positions of the Parliament and the Council appear relatively close in many areas, although there are of course divergences, but the Presidency will continue to work in order to provide a good basis to allow the Irish Presidency to finalise an agreement with the European Parliament in the first half of next year

See also: Presidency discussion paper ()

PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

Commissioner Vassiliou recalled that new Erasmus for All main features were EU added value, value for money, flexibility and streamlined procedures. She also underlined the importance of keeping the widely known ERASMUS brand name, not agreeing with the Parliament's suggestion for a new name

Regarding in particular, the Master's student loan guarantee scheme, Commissioner Vassiliou indicated that she will soon send an explanatory letter to ministers on this issue. Finally, the Commissioner called on member states to ensure that the new programme receives the level of financing it needs, considering what it represents for young European and its potential to boost growth and jobs

Literacy

The Council adopted conclusions on literacy (), one of the priorities of the Cyprus

Presidency in the field of education and training. Low literacy levels hold back economic growth and reduce its sustainability. Alarmingly, the latest results of the OECD's worldwide PISA survey1 on the performance of 15-year-olds in reading, maths and science show that one in five pupils has low reading skills. The need for action is equally urgent for adults: almost 80 million adults in Europe - a third of the workforce - have only low or basic skills, including poor reading and writing skills

The conclusions also call on member states and the Commission to use all the relevant actions of the current Lifelong Learning Programme and the future EU programme on education and training, as well as the resources of the European Social Fund, to support and disseminate innovative approaches to improving literacy attainment across the EU , in order to achieve the target they set themselves3, namely fewer than 15% of low performers in reading, maths and science by 2020

The Commission announced that it will establish a literacy network, to exchange best practices in member states, which will include a "Europe loves reading" week. Commissioner Vassiliou underlined that literacy also includes improving basic skills and indicated that the Commission will report on this initiative next year

http://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisa2009keyfindings.htm

See also the report of the UNESCO's High Level group Literacy for Development:

http://ec.europa.eu/education/literacv/what-eu/high-level-group/documents/literacy-fmal-report_en.pdf

Strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training ('ET 2020"), OJ C 119. 28.5.2009. pp. 2-10

PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

Contribution of education and training to economic recovery

The Council adopted conclusions on the contribution of education and training 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. The European Council has consistently emphasised the need for member states, while pursuing the consolidation of public finances, to ensure efficient investment in education and training as a "growth-friendly area"

At national level, the conclusions furthermore emphasise the need to ensure targeted and efficient investment, to improve the quality and status of teachers, and to develop skills in line with labour market requirements. At European level, they encourage the education and training sector to play a more prominent role in implementing the education and training aspects of Europe 2020, by ensuring that education ministers regularly debate European Semester-related issues and by promoting cooperation between the Education Committee and the Employment Committee and other relevant committees

The Europe 2020 country-specific recommendations, adopted by the Council in July 2012, highlighted a number of areas in which educational performance could be improved across the Union, such as reducing the number of early school-leavers, facilitating the transition of young people from education and training to the labour market, reinforcing vocational education and training, modernising higher education, and improving access to education for disadvantaged groups

The Commission urged member states to implement the country specific recommendations and recalled that they will be an important basis for the messages that the Education Council will send to the Spring European Council

The Commission also drew attention to a recently published analytical report on monitoring education and training and underlined the importance of the EURYDICE network, an extremely valuable source of information

PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

Validation of non-formal and informal learning

The Council is expected to reach political agreement regarding a recommendation on the validation of non-formal and informal learning1, also one of its priorities of the Cyprus Presidency. It invites member states to put in place arrangements for validating these types of learning no later than 2018 - in accordance with national circumstances and specificities- and seeks to define which principles and components should be taken into account for a validation process to be effective

The Presidency underlined that the primary focus of the education system should remain on formal education and on endeavouring to ensure high quality learning outcomes for all pupils and students but in today's situation of rising unemployment - particularly acute among young people - and lack of economic growth, making use of new learning opportunities and making the most of knowledge, skills and competences acquired outside formal education can play an important role in enhancing employability and mobility, as well as increasing motivation for lifelong learning, particularly in the case of the socio-economically disadvantaged or low-qualified groups

Some member states indicated that they already a have arrangements in place for validating learning outcomes, while others are preparing such arrangements

The Commission underlined the importance of formal and non informal learning validation in particular in the current difficult unemployment situation of many young people and therefore considered that the late implementation date of the recommendation would send a negative signal recalling that work on this issue had already started in 2010

Non-formal learning concerns learning that takes place through planned activities where some form of learning support is present (e.g. student-teacher relationships). Very common cases of non-formal learning include in-company training, structured on-line learning (e.g. by making use of open educational resources), and courses organised by civil society organisations

Informal learning is learning or skills resulting from daily activities related to work, family or leisure. Examples are project management skills or ICT skills acquired at work; languages learned and intercultural skills acquired during a stay in another country; ICT skills acquired outside work, skills acquired through volunteering, cultural activities, sports, youth work and through activities at home (e.g. taking care of a child)

PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

Improving teacher quality and status

Ministers held a public debate on how to enhance the quality, competence and status of teachers at a time of scarce financial resources

The Commission underlined that high-performing European education systems require high quality teachers. In particular, this implies improving teachers initial formation, making available individual support for young teachers to avoid "drop out" during their first years, reinforcing in-service training and making the teaching professions more attractive financially but also in terms of personal development

The debate was launched by three pre-selected 'lead speakers' from Ireland, Sweden and Spain with particularly relevant initiatives to describe

The Irish minister declared that the Irish education system was going through a reform, trying to learn from past mistakes. Its main axes were restoring respect for teachers, improving primary teachers formation, making teachers responsible for their own training and not dependent directly on the schools management. He considered that European education was not the best anymore and that 20% of the current functionally illiterate risk to be permanently unemployed

Sweden informed that his country has high recruitment requirements, paid good salaries, teachers were free of most administrative chores in order to concentrate in teaching tasks but pay is conditional on teachers performance

Spain was of the view that the teacher must be not only a teacher but also an advisor and that teaching should be a collective experience. The minister underlined that the profession must remain attractive not only at the beginning of the career, therefore ongoing teacher training was vital

Most member states acknowledged that teachers are at the core of all education and training systems and are a determining factor in educational success: teachers should remain a role-model for students. Improving the quality and the status of teachers is therefore a major consideration for all member states, even in the current financial constraints

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PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

Several member states emphasized that teachers nowadays and in the years ahead are faced with important socio-economic, demographic, environmental and technological challenges and to respond adequately to them it is necessary to continually upgrade teachers' skills and competences. Some member states put more focus in scientific and didactic aspects of teacher's formation, while others considered that these should include technological skills and social competences

Some member states suggested mobilizing the European Social Fund for financing teachers quality training and underlined the importance of teachers mobility under the different European programmes in this field, such as COMIUS

PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

CULTURE AND AUDIOVISUAL "Creative Europe" Programme

In public deliberation, the Council reached a partial general approach on the proposal for a regulation establishing the "Creative Europe" Programme for the period 2014-2020, (), and bringing together the three current independent programmes: CULTURE, MEDIA and MEDIA MUNDUS. The "Creative Europe" programme has a two-fold objective: promoting cultural diversity and enhancing the competitiveness of the cultural, audiovisual and creative sectors. The Commission proposes a budget of EUR 1,8 billion, of which 15 % would be allocated to the cross-sectoral strand, 30 % to the CULTURE strand and 55 % to the MEDIA strand

In particular, the aim of this second partial approach1 is to reach agreement on the provisions relating to the Guarantee Facility -aiming at improving access to financing for small and medium-sized enterprises operating in the cultural and creative sectors - and the main outstanding issues concern: funding of commercial cultural projects, indicators, implementing provisions. The budget proposed by the Commission for the Facility is EUR 200 million

The Presidency concentrated its work on the provisions regarding the Guarantee Facility, introducing a number of changes to the proposal in order to ensure geographical balance and a balanced sectoral representation, which is very important in particular for smaller member states and member states with restricted linguistic areas. The structure and the tasks of the Guarantee Facility have also been specified, as well as the roles of each participating actors

The reporting obligations of the Commission are reinforced by introducing mid-term and final reports that the Commission will have to establish and submit to both the EP and the Council. The Commission considers that the reinforced reporting obligation will increase the administrative burden and the costs of the Programme's implementation

A new provision was also introduced concerning the grants and the Guarantee Facility specifying that the annual work programme for the Facility should include three sets of criteria and the annual allocation to the European Investment Fund. The Commission opposes this change, arguing that the level of detail requested is excessive and will unnecessarily complicate implementation

l

The first one was reached at the May EYCS Council ()and did not include the provisions with budgetary implications, pending the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework (2014-2020)

PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

The rapporteur of the Culture and Education Committee of the European Parliament, which is the leading committee for this file, presented her draft report on 8 October. The vote in the committee is scheduled to take place on 18 December 2012

European Capitals of Culture

In public deliberation, ministers were briefed by the Presidency on progress regarding the proposal for a decision establishing a European Union action for the European Capitals of Culture for the years 2020 to 2033 ().

The current decision establishing a Community action for the European Capitals of Culture establishes the order of entitlement for member states to designate a European Capital of Culture until 2019. Since the application, evaluation and selection process takes about 6 years, it is necessary to launch negotiations now on the continuation of this action beyond 2019 in order to have a framework ready by 2013

The Commission proposal, submitted in July 2012, retains the general structure of the current action as well as a number of existing elements, such as the chronological order of the member states entitled to host a European Capital of Culture, a selection based on year-long cultural programmes created specifically for the event, eligibility of cities which may involve the surrounding region, if they so wish, and a two-stage selection process

The main changes proposed to the current system are the following:

•  strengthening selection criteria by increasing the number from two to six and by making their description more detailed;

•  establishing a single European panel responsible for both selection and monitoring procedures which would no longer be composed of national experts but exclusively of experts appointed by EU institutions;

•  opening participation in the event to cities from candidate and potential candidate countries. An open competition would be organised every three years for cities from those countries which would be allowed to host the event

The vote in the competent Parliament committee is scheduled to take place on 23 April 2013 and the plenary vote is expected for 11 June 2013

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PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

Cultural governance

The Council adopted conclusions on cultural governance (), which is a tool that can help governments both to deliver cultural policies and to implement integrated policies in order to put culture at the heart of the public policy agenda

To this end, the conclusions recommend that new methodologies in cultural research should be adopted so that not only quantitative but also qualitative data are included. This approach would guarantee that cultural policy will not lose sight of the intrinsic value of arts to individuals and society. Member states are also invited to promote synergies and develop integrated strategies at local, regional, national and European level

Together with the Commission, member states approved the creation of an "information sharing system" which would allow early and regular information on EU activities and policies having an impact on cultural matters. Furthermore, member states agreed to take stock of the implementation of the conclusions by 2015

Commissioner Vassiliou underlined that in times of crisis we will have to ensure that cultural policies are implemented in an efficient and cost effective manner

Better Internet for children

The Council adopted conclusions on a European strategy for a better Internet for children (), responding to the Commission communication () adopted in May 2012, which will replace the Safer Internet Programme as from 2013. The Strategy proposes a series of actions to be undertaken by the Commission, the member states and the ICT industry, particularly in the following four areas:

  • stimulating quality content on-line for children and young people;
  • stepping up awareness and empowerment of children and their parents and teachers;
  • creating a safe on-line environment for children, notably by encouraging age-appropriate privacy settings and wider use of parental tools;
  • fighting child sexual abuse images, in particular through cooperation between industry, law enforcement authorities and hotlines

PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

These conclusions supplement the conclusions on the protection of children in the digital world adopted end of 2011 (), which dealt mostly with the third and fourth areas of the strategy. The present conclusions focus on promoting quality content on-line and on awareness-raising

In this context, ministers held a public debate (), on a better and safer Internet for Children . While in some areas it is relatively easy to identify who has a major role to play (governments/public authorities in education, industry in creating quality online content), there are other areas less defined, such as privacy-by-default settings and parental control tools

Many member states stressed the importance of digital education: children, parents and teachers should be equipped with necessary digital competences and skills that would allow them to enjoy Internet in a safe and responsible way

Some member states pointed to the need of coordinating the implementation of activities launched under the European Strategy at both national and European level, while promoting interaction involving notably children, government departments, competent institutions and industry

A number of member states underlined the importance of industry self-regulation, although it would need to be independently monitored and evaluated, as well as closely combined with awareness and empowerment initiatives. In this context, the Commission recalled the establishment in December 2011 of the CEO Coalition, a self-regulatory initiative gathering chief executives from the ICT industry, aiming to take action in a number of areas to make the Internet a safer place for children. The Coalition will publish its final report in January

Several ministers recalled the need for the continued and more intensive coordination of the work done within the EU funded network of Safer Internet Centres, and suggested its future financing through the Connecting Europe Facility

The Commission underlined that this is an inclusive initiative, all children must be equally protected. Implementation will be national, but Internet is a cross-border phenomena and therefore we need an European approach, and children and young people should be involved in the process

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PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

Any other business

•  Erasmus funding in 2012-2013

The Council took note of information from the Presidency on Erasmus funding in 2012-2013

Due to a difference between the expenditure budgeted for 2012 and member states' actual commitments, there is apparently a shortfall of around €180 million affecting the Lifelong Learning Programme, half of which is needed for the Erasmus exchange programme

However, since the Parliament and the Council were unable recently to reach agreement either on the proposal to amend this year's budget or on the Commission's proposal for the 2013 budget, the whole budget process has now had to start afresh. Accordingly, the Commission has prepared a new draft budget for 2013 and negotiations with the European Parliament have resumed on a draft amending budget for 2012 and on the draft budget 2013

The Commission deplored the current situation and confirmed that in the circumstances, there will be already serious problems with financing students grants for the 1st quarter of 2013

•  Commission communication 'Rethinking Education"

The Council took note of a Commission presentation of its communication "Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes" (), which focus on skills development, covering a wide range of sectors including basic skills, languages and ICT. The communication also examines which reforms are required in education and training in order to facilitate such development

The Commission underlined that its communication is a comprehensive package, strengthening the role of education, in Europe 2020 strategy but in times of austerity funding must be very carefully planned and has to be cost-effective

•  Work programme of the incoming Presidency

The Council took note of information from the Irish delegation on the incoming Presidency's priorities for the next semester in the field of education, namely the pursuit of negotiations on ERASMUS FOR ALL and on the directive concerning recognition of professional qualifications, as well as modernization of higher education

PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

•  European Capitals of Culture 2013

The Council took note of information from the French and Slovak delegations on the main events of the programme for the future European Capitals of Culture 2013, Marseille and Kosice

•  State aid for films and other audiovisual works

The Council took note of information from the French delegation on its concerns relating to the impact of the Commission's recast of the current "Cinema Communication" - published in March and expected to be adopted by the Commission in December - on the competitiveness of European film industry

Several member states shared France's concerns, underlining that the European film industry is important for European economy and cultural identity

Commissioner Almunia recalled the need to update the cinema communication (dating from 2001) due to the important changes in the film industry occurred since then. He considers that the new draft Communication already takes into account many of the concerns expressed by member states but is willing to resume consultations in January, stressing the need to progress quickly

Furthermore he underlined that he is in general favourable to aid territoriality but within the internal market rules, which are compatible with protection of European cinema and culture

•  Work programme of the incoming Presidency

The Council took note of information from the Irish delegation on the incoming Presidency's priorities in this field for the next semester, in particular: securing agreements on Creative Europe, Europe for Citizens and Capitals of culture legislative files

It will also address culture in international relations, and pursue ratification and/or conclusion of bilateral agreements in this field launched by previous presidencies

PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

OTHER ITEMS APPROVED CULTURE

European archives and the challenges of the digital era

The Council took note of a Commission report on European archives and the challenges of the digital era ( and ADD 1).

The report focuses on the changing role of archives, the question of online versus on-site access to digital archives, the relationship between archives, the reuse of public sector information, digitisation, costs and funding

It is the second progress report submitted to the Council in implementation of the recommendation /EC on priority actions to increase cooperation in the field of archives in Europe1

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Access to books for impaired persons - World Intellectual Property Organization

The Council authorised the Commission to start negotiations for an international agreement within the World Intellectual Property Organization on improved access to books for print impaired persons

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Asset recovery - Egypt and Tunisia

The Council today took steps to facilitate the return of misappropriated funds to the Egyptian and Tunisian authorities. For more details, see press release .

l

Official Journal L 312. 29.11.2005. p.55

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PROVISIONAL VERSION

26.-27.XI.2012

EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA

Meeting of the EEA council (Brussels, 26 November)

The Council took note of preparations with a view to the 38th meeting of the EEA council that will take place in Brussels on 26 November

(EEA website: http://eeas.europa.eu/eeaf) ERGY

EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council

The Council took note of the agenda for the seventh meeting of the EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council on Energy that will take place in Nicosia (Cyprus) on 12 December 2012

Decision of the Ministerial Council of the Energy Community/Moldova

The Council adopted a decision establishing the EU position on a draft decision of the Ministerial Council of the Energy Community concerning the implementation of Article 9 of Directive /EC by the Republic of Moldova

The Treaty establishing the Energy Community entered into force in 2006. The Energy Community extends the EU internal energy market to South East Europe and beyond on the basis of a legally binding framework. It provides a stable investment environment based on the rule of law, and binds the contracting parties, together with the European Union. Through its action, the Energy Community contributes to security of supply in the wider European context

APPOINTMTS

Committee of the Regions

The Council appointed Mr Alain HUTCHFNSON (Belgium) as member of the Committee of the Regions for the remainder of the current term of office, which runs until 25 January 2015 ().

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