Letter from the Minister for Education
and Employment (Baroness Blackstone) to the Clerk of the Committee
EDUCATION AND YOUTH COUNCIL: 28 MAY 2001
I am writing to inform you of the outcome of the
Education and Youth Council, held in Brussels on 28 May. I represented
the UK at the Education session of the Council, accompanied by
Jane Davidson AM, Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning
(who attended both Education and Youth sessions). Paul Boateng
represented the UK at the Youth session only. I understand that
copies of relevant documents mentioned below were sent to you
on 16 May, along with the annotated agenda for the Council.
The Council discussed the follow-up to the report
on concrete future objectives of education and training systems
(presented to the Stockholm European Council in March 2001) and
agreed Conclusions which identified three priority areas for early
work: basic skills; ICT; and mathematics, science and technology.
There was support for a Commission proposal to establish three
working groups to take forward work on these areas.
The Council adopted a Resolution on the role of education
and training in employment related policies. The Resolution stresses
the importance of education and training to the European Employment
Political agreement was reached on the adoption of
the draft Recommendation on mobility for students, persons undergoing
training, volunteers, teachers and trainers. The recommendation
will be adopted on the basis of the Council's common position,
as amended by the European Parliament at second reading. As you
are aware, all of the Parliament's amendments were minor.
The Council adopted a Resolution on eLearning, underlining
the importance of ICT in education and training. In addition,
the Commission presented its eLearning Action Plan which aims
to set out the means by which the eLearning initiative might be
implemented. The UK (Jane Davidson) welcomed the thrust of the
Plan and stressed the role of ICT in promoting social inclusion.
The Council received information from the Presidency
about the forthcoming conference of European Education Ministers,
to be held in Riga on the theme eLearn for Life. The Commission
reported on its plans for future co-operation with third countries
in the field of education and training; it will be issuing a Communication
on this subject in the future. The Commission also updated the
Council on the progress of the European Year of Languages and
on the development of a European Curriculum Vitae.
The Commission informed the Council about consultations
which had taken place on the proposed White Paper for Youth Policy
and asked for approval for a paper with substantial content. There
was unanimous support for a White Paper and the need to promote
policies for young people. The UK (Paul Boateng) agreed with this
and commented on the need for cross-cutting measures when dealing
with youth policy.
The Council adopted a Resolution on combating racism
and xenophobia on the internet. The Resolution emphasises the
role of schools and other educational institutions as well as
Internet Service Providers and young people themselves in tackling
racism and xenophobia on the Internet.
The Council adopted a Resolution on promoting the
initiative, enterprise and creativity of young people. The Resolution
requires Member States and the Commission to take action within
their respective spheres of competence to promote these issues
amongst young people.
I am copy this letter to the Clerk of the Lords Committee.
6 June 2001