Ministers’ Deputies
    CM Documents

    CM(2006)206 18 December 20061
    ——————————————

    985 Meeting, 31 January 2007
    7. Education and Culture

    7.1 Steering Committee for Education (CDED)
    a. Abridged report of the 5th plenary session (Strasbourg, 18-20 October 2006)
    b. Draft terms of reference of the European Language Portfolio Validation Committee (ED-EVC)

    Item to be prepared by the Rapporteur Group on Education, Culture, Sport, Youth and Environment (GR-C) at its meeting of 16 January 2007
    ——————————————


    The Steering Committee for Education (CDED) met in Strasbourg from 18 to 20 October 2006 with Mr Jeannot Hansen (Luxembourg) in the Chair. Forty-seven member states and signatories to the European Cultural Convention attended the meeting.

    The agenda for the meeting appears in Appendix 1. The list of participants and full documentation may be obtained from the Secretariat.

    Texts adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the Committee of Ministers.

    1. The CDED took note of Recommendations 1720 (2005), 1717 (2005)  and 1682 (2004) adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly and Recommendation 174 (2005) of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe in the field of education, and of the Committee of Ministers’ replies to these texts.

    Third Summit of Heads of State and Government

    2. The CDED took note of the updating of the “road map for the implementation of the Action Plan” appended to the message adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 28 September 2005 for the attention of the steering committees involved in intergovernmental co-operation.

    Implementation of Chapter III of the Action Plan

    3. With a view to implementing the objectives set out in Chapter III 3 of the road map, on Education: promoting democratic citizenship in Europe, Chapter III 6, on Fostering intercultural dialogue, and Chapter III 2, on Building a Europe for children, the Directorate of Education had undertaken to launch certain initiatives, which were submitted to the Steering Committee for Education for examination.

4. The CDED considered two expert studies presenting the main points and conclusions relating to the setting up of a “centre of excellence in education for democratic citizenship and human rights and intercultural education” (which would also take account of the religious dimension) and held a wide-ranging exchange of views on the possible creation of such a centre. Many questions were raised in the course of the discussion, especially as regards the relationship of such a centre with the Council of Europe or with the work programme of the Steering Committee for Education in the fields concerned, and as regards the institutional format and the financial set-up. One delegation expressed a strong interest in carrying out such an initiative and stated its readiness to co-operate with the Council of Europe in the creation and financing of such a Centre. The CDED decided to conduct a written consultation with a view to the preparation by the Secretariat of an information/discussion document which will shortly be submitted to the Committee of Ministers to enable it to undertake a thorough analysis of this initiative.

    5. The CDED examined the report “Towards a future convention on intercultural education through pupil exchanges?” containing proposals on promoting and supporting pupils’ mobility by drawing up standards and setting up a pilot project as part of the follow-up to the Third Summit Action Plan. The report met with wide support and it was decided that the following aspects would be taken into account and further developed:

      a. identification of courses of action to overcome legal and administrative obstacles at national administration and school administration level;
      b. identification of courses of action to remedy the problems posed by the recognition of study periods abroad and the validation of knowledge and skills acquired abroad;
      c. the preparation of clear and simple regulatory frameworks for use by school administrations participating in this type of exchanges when organising the pupils’ departure but also their return and “reintegration” into their original schools;
      d. examination of exchange schemes for groups of pupils as well as individual pupils;
      e. examination of the possibilities offered by information and communication technologies for setting up joint virtual exchange schemes between individual pupils, classes and schools;
      f. the possibilities opened up by co-operation and/or joint exchange projects with the European Union;
      g. examination of exchange schemes for teachers;
      h. generally, a deeper insight into the principal ingredients of a possible convention on the creation of opportunities for intercultural learning for both secondary school pupils and teachers.

    6. As part of the work on the “White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue”, the CDED examined and approved a statement on the contribution of education to intercultural dialogue in Europe as set out in Appendix 2 hereto, and decided to forward it to the Council of Europe Co-ordinator for Intercultural Dialogue and the White Paper drafting group, to be taken into account in the drafting process.

    Implementation of Chapter V of the Action Plan

    7. The CDED examined the message from the Committee of Ministers inviting steering committees and committees of experts involved in intergovernmental co-operation to contribute, with the Secretariat’s assistance, to the preparation of a report for the 117th ministerial session on activities implementing the Action Plan. It decided to set up a drafting group comprising the former and current chairs of the Steering Committee for Education, tasked with drafting an assessment report on the work done in recent years, especially relating to relevance (appropriateness to the Organisation's fundamental values) and to added value (intrinsic and in relation to the work of other international organisations or other Council of Europe committees).

22nd session of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education (Istanbul, Turkey,
May 2007)

    8. The CDED took note of the preliminary draft programme of the 22nd session of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education, to be held in Istanbul (Turkey) on 4 and 5 May 2007, as set out in Appendix 3 hereto. It approved the proposed structure, which enabled the Council of Europe's completed and ongoing work in the field of education to be presented to the Ministers, and the Steering Committee for Higher Education and Research to be involved in the conference proceedings through a specific contribution.
    The CDED confirmed the general theme of the conference and reworded one of the related themes as follows: “Education policies for social cohesion in a multicultural Europe”.
    The CDED asked the Committee of Ministers to authorise the participation of the Governor of the Social Development Bank and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in the conference proceedings.
    Implementation of the 2006 Programme of Activities and orientations for 2007

    9. The CDED took note of the final evaluation report on the European Year of Citizenship through Education 2005 prepared by the Ad Hoc Committee of Experts for the European Year of Citizenship through Education (CAHCIT), congratulated the Secretariat on the work done and emphasised the importance of continuation of the work in the framework of the “Education for democratic citizenship and human rights” project. It hoped that the Ad Hoc Group’s draft terms of reference would be adopted as quickly as possible by the Committee of Ministers so as not to hamper the continuation of the project. With a view to ensuring the sustainability of the results achieved during the Year, the CDED urged that the following aspects be taken into account in the 2006-2009 programme as part of the “Education for democratic citizenship and human rights” project:

      a. strengthening of the network of EDC coordinators in all member states;
      b. consolidation of the work with a view to education for democratic citizenship and human rights being taken into account in legislative reforms relating to education, and the introduction of these subjects in school syllabuses;
      c. diversification of the profiles of the experts who will be involved in the next phase of the project;
      d. continuation of bilateral activities;
      e. use of information technologies and networking of teaching aids and resources with a view to their broadest possible use;
      f. continuation and development of co-operation with international organisations and other partners active in this sphere.

    10. The CDED conducted an initial examination of the draft recommendation on the religious dimension of intercultural education, drawn up as part of the project "The new challenge of intercultural education: religious diversity and dialogue in Europe". Generally, it gave the draft a favourable reception but felt that all the delegations should be consulted in writing before it was finalised. The CDED also took note of the final version of the publication “Religious Diversity and Intercultural Education: a reference book for schools” produced as part of the project.

    11. The CDED examined the progress reports on the following projects:

    - "Policies and practices for teaching sociocultural diversity". It considered the methodology adopted and results achieved during the initial phase to be particularly relevant;
    - "Education of Roma children in Europe". It took note with satisfaction of the final version of the “Reference framework for education policies for Roma”;
    - "Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and for the Prevention of Crimes against Humanity". It took note with great interest of the results of the third ministerial seminar held in Prague and Terezin on 24 and 25 April 2006 and undertook to organise workshops on this subject as part of the “Pestalozzi” programme for the training of education professionals;
    - "The image of the other in history teaching". It approved the objectives and planning of this project and responded favourably to the approach and methodology adopted.

    12. The CDED expressed its very great satisfaction with the results of the Language Policy Division's programme, and noted in particular the projects concerning vulnerable groups such as migrants and Roma, the successful launch of the project on social inclusion and the languages of instruction/mother tongue, the innovative interdisciplinary work on a student document for intercultural experiences, and the forthcoming Policy Forum (6-8 February 2007) on the impact of the Division's highly influential work on common European competence standards, now adopted by the European Union for its Indicator of Language Competence.

    It approved the application by the city of Sheffield (United Kingdom) for a Language Education Policy Profile (14th application) and the revised terms of reference of the European Language Portfolio Validation Committee (ED-EVC) as set out in Appendix 4 and decided to submit them to the Committee of Ministers for adoption. It wished to bring to the attention of the Committee of Ministers the special relevance and high quality contribution of this programme to the promotion of social inclusion and intercultural dialogue.

    13. The CDED emphasised the vital importance to member states of an increase in the provision of training courses by the Council of Europe, and gave a very favourable reception to the recent developments in the “Pestalozzi” programme for the training of education professionals, in particular the holding of the first instructor training module in Strasbourg from 5 to 8 October 2006. It welcomed the organisation plan for these new European training modules, which follow on from the objectives set in the Third Summit Action Plan, and the contribution this made to all the teaching materials produced in the context of intergovernmental co-operation in various Council of Europe projects. The CDED welcomed the offer by Hungary, Austria and Greece to organise one of the European training modules. It noted with satisfaction the participation of teachers from southern Mediterranean countries in European workshops held in Donaueschingen and in training modules for teacher trainers as part of the co-operation with the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures.

    Round table: Final results of the "European dimension in history teaching" project

    14. The CDED heard and took note of the presentation of the final results of the "European dimension in history teaching” project, and in particular the publication “Crossroads of European histories" and the CD-ROM "Turning points in recent European history". The CDED instructed the Secretariat to include the conclusions and final results of, and possible follow-up to, the "European dimension in history teaching" in the resolution on concluded projects which would be submitted to the next Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education.

    Cross-sectoral co-operation

    15. The CDED took note of the cross-sectoral co-operation activities in connection with the preparation of the European Portfolio for youth workers and youth leaders working in the context of intercultural education/learning (co-operation with the CDEJ), and of the activities of the Committee of Experts on the Integration of Migrant Children (MG-R-IE).

    16. The CDED examined the draft recommendation on gender mainstreaming drawn up in co-operation with the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG). It decided to submit written comments and instructed the Secretariat to submit a revised version to it at the forthcoming March 2007 plenary session for final examination and adoption.

    Co-operation with other international organisations and observers

    17. The CDED took note of the statement by the European Union representative.

    Election of the Chair and Vice-Chair and partial renewal of the Bureau

    18. The CDED elected its Bureau as follows:

    Chair Mr César Bîrzéa (Romania);
    Vice-Chair Ms Roy Chourdaki (Greece);
    Members Ms Alida Matkovic (Croatia),
    Ms Stefania Wilkiel (Poland),
    Mr Gunnar Mandt (Norway),
    Mr Jyndrich Fryc (Czech Republic),
    Mr Valery Chinkov (Russian Federation)

    and noted that the term of office of Mr Jorma Kauppinen (Finland) will continue until the 2008 plenary session.

    Dates of the 6th plenary meeting in 2007

    19. The CDED decided to hold its 6th plenary meeting from 19 to 21 March 2007.

Appendix 1

    AGENDA

    1. Opening of the meeting

    2. Adoption of the agenda

    3. Statements by the Chair and the Secretariat

    3.1 Election procedure of the Chair and Vice-Chair and of certain members of the Bureau

    4. Adopted texts by the Committee of Ministers

    4.1. Terms of Reference of the Steering Committee for Education for 2006-2007 adopted at 952nd meeting on 11 January 2006

    4.2. Reply to the Recommendation 1720 (2005) of the Parliamentary Assembly on education and religion at 965th meeting on 24 May 2006

    4.3. Reply to the Recommendation 1717 (2005) of the Parliamentary Assembly on Education for leisure activities at 963rd meeting on 3 May 2006

    4.4. Reply to the Recommendation 1682 (2004) of the Parliamentary Assembly on Education for Europe at 651st meeting on 14 December 2005

    4.5. Reply to the Recomm endation 174 (2005) of Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe on youth education for sustainable development: the role of the regions at 952nd meeting on 11 January 2006

    5. Third Summit of Heads of State and Government

    5.1. Implementation of Chapter III of the Action Plan

    5.1.1 Concept of Centre of Excellence in Education for Democratic Citizenship, Human Rights, Intercultural
    Education and Education about Religious Diversity

    5.1.2 Secondary school based educational and intercultural exchanges

    5.1.3. The White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue

    5.2. Implementation of Chapter V of the Action Plan

    5.2.1 Efficiency and effectiveness of committees under the Programme of Activities of the Council of Europe

    6. 22nd session of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education, Istanbul, Turkey, 4 and 5 May 2007

    7. Implementation of the 2006 Programme of Activities and orientations for 2007

    7.1. Project: "Education for democratic citizenship"

    7.2. Project: "The New Challenge of Intercultural Education: Religious Diversity and Dialogue in Europe"

    7.2.1 Draft Recommendation on the religious dimension of intercultural education: principles, objectives and pedagogical approaches.

    7.2.2 Religious Diversity and Intercultural education: a reference book for schools

    7.3. Project: "Policies and practices for teaching sociocultural diversity"

    7.4. Project: "Education of Roma children in Europe"

    7.5. Project: "Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and for the prevention of crimes against humanity"

    7.6. "Pestalozzi" Programme for teacher trainers and education professionals

    7.7. Project: "The Image of the Other in History Teaching"

    7.8. Programme: "Language Policies for Democratic Citizenship and Social Inclusion"

    7.8.1. Progress report

    7.8.2. European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML)

    7.8.3 Terms of reference of European Language Portfolio Validation Committee

    8. Round Table: Final results of the Project "European Dimension in History teaching"

    9. Co-operation with other bodies of the Council of Europe, other international organisations and observers

    9.1 Draft recommendation on gender mainstreaming in education
    (Co-operation with CDEG)

    9.2 European Portfolio for youth workers and youth leaders working in the context of non-formal education/learning

    9.3 3rd meeting of the select committee of experts on the integration of migrant children
    (MG-R-IE) 7-8 September 2006

    9.4 Co-operation with International Organisations and Observer States

    10. Election of the Chair and Vice-Chair and partial renewal of the Bureau

    11. Dates of meetings of the 6th plenary session of the Steering Committee for Education

        in 2007

    12. Any other business

    13. Adoption of decisions

    Appendix 2

    PRELIMINARY DRAFT PROGRAMME
    of the 22nd session of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education
    “Building a more humane and inclusive Europe: role of education policies”

    Thursday 3 May 2007

    10 am - 1pm
    4 pm - 6 pm Registration of participants

    Morning Optional tourist programme

    Afternoon Social programme

    7 pm Welcome cocktail

    Friday 4 May 2007

    9.30 am Official opening

          Mr Terry DAVIS, Secretary General of the Council of Europe,
          or his representative

          Mr Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN, Prime Minister of Turkey

          Mr Hüseyin ÇELIK, Minister of Education of Turkey

    10 am Plenary session: “Building a more humane and inclusive Europe:

          role of education policies”

        Inaugural address by Mr Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN, Prime Minister of Turkey

    10.30 -11 am Break

    11 am -1 pm Debate on the general theme with the participation of representatives of the
    Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly, Congress of Local and
    Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and partner international organisations

    1 pm Lunch hosted by Mr Terry DAVIS, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, or his
    representative to Ministers or heads of delegations on invitation (Room …)

    Lunch hosted to other participants (Room …)

    3 pm Working Groups

    Group A: Children’s rights from an educational perspective
    Introduced by George Moschos

    Group B: Education policies for social cohesion in a multicultural Europe
    Introduced by Jadgish Gundara

    4.30 pm Break

    5 pm Working Groups

    Group A: Education policies for social cohesion in a multicultural Europe
    Introduced by Jadgish Gundara

    Group B: Children’s rights from an educational perspective
    Introduced by George Moschos

    [6.30 pm Meeting of the Drafting Group]

    8 pm Official dinner

    Saturday 5 May 2007

    9 am Plenary session: Contribution from the Steering Committee for Higher Education and
    Research (CDESR)

    10.30 am Break

    11-12.30 am Plenary session: "Education at the Council of Europe: results of achieved projects
    and future orientations

    Debate

    12.30 am Closing session

          Summing up by Mr Hüseyin ÇELIK, Minister of Education of Turkey

          Adoption of the political texts

    1.30 pm Closing of the conference

          Address on behalf of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe

    Address by Mr Hüseyin ÇELIK, Minister of Education of Turkey

    2 pm Press conference

    Lunch

    Afternoon Optional tourist programme

Appendix 3

    Position Paper of the CDED on Intercultural Education and Intercultural Dialogue in Europe

    Background

    Europe’s cultural and social diversity involves permanent interactions, cooperation policies and activities meant to value differences as well as similarities of people, groups and communities. Over the past few years, the Council of Europe has defined a working method and platform of cooperation facilitating the application of these principles, namely intercultural dialogue.

    The method is clearly defined in a series of political documents adopted shortly after the turn of the 21st century, of which the most important are the following:

      · Declaration on Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention, adopted by the Ministers responsible for Cultural Affairs (Opatja, 22 October 2003);
      · Declaration on Intercultural Education in the New European Context, adopted by the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education (Athens, 10-12 November 2003);
      · Faro Declaration on the Council of Europe’s Strategy for Developing Intercultural Dialogue (Faro, 28 October 2005).

    In addition to the above mentioned political documents dedicated explicitly to intercultural dialogue, it is worth mentioning the Action Plan outlined by the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005). Alongside priorities defined by the Action Plan, fostering intercultural dialogue is seen as a crucial tool for building a more humane and inclusive Europe.

    The Road Map for the implementation of the Action Plan directs attention to CDED as a key actor in promoting intercultural dialogue in Europe.

    Intercultural education as a prerequisite for intercultural dialogue

    It is not enough for people, groups and communities to simply co-exist in the same cultural and social space for dialogue to emerge all by itself. Sustainable and effective dialogue requires a culture of change and mutual understanding as well as cultural awareness and the commitment to learn and lives together. To this end social learning and the acquisition of adequate competences need to be encouraged.

    In more concrete terms, the culture of dialogue and systematic cooperation cannot develop between people and communities unless they are educated in this sense.

    This implies measures at various inter-related levels:

      · defining favourable public policies, especially in the areas of education, culture, youth and social inclusion;
      · creating support systems to implement these policies such as joint projects, regulatory frameworks, training and information activities;
      · developing the competences and skills required for active and sustainable dialogue, actually practised in the day-to-day life off all people.

    These competences must be developed in a systematic manner by professionals in education and specialised institutions. This learning process should be initiated early on and be continued throughout people’s lives based on a lifelong perspective.

    The new challenge of intercultural education in Europe

    From its creation in 1949, the Council of Europe has been the main promoter of intercultural education as a major policy issue. It can even be said that alongside citizenship and human rights education, intercultural education is an emblematic activity of the Council.

    In general, experience of the Council of Europe in this area could be analysed chronologically into three distinct stages:

      a) the interval between 1970 and 1980, when intercultural education was promoted as an approach meant to integrate particularly the migrant children (e.g. programmes of compensatory education for the “culturally different”);
      b) the ‘90s focused on promoting minority rights (see the context of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities); intercultural education was closely linked to issues such as cultural identity, equal participation and access;
      c) the period immediately following the year 2000, when intercultural education took on a new dimension, that of social learning.

    A decisive moment in reshaping intercultural education as a European policy goal was the 21st Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education (Athens, 10-12 November 2003). Dedicated explicitly to intercultural education, the Athens Conference insisted on the social and citizenship dimensions of intercultural learning. Consequently, the Athens
    Declaration defines intercultural education as a twofold process:

      · learning to live together in a multicultural and diverse society (e.g. through developing intercultural competence);
      · fostering social inclusion and active participation (e.g. by through equity and affirmative action, open and non-discriminatory programmes, social mobility, empowerment, free access to any type of educational institution).

    This particular orientation will be continued and strengthened by the 22nd Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education (Istanbul, 4-5 May 2007). The Conference is a direct response to the Action Plan of the Third Summit: one of its objectives, namely “Building a more human and inclusive Europe” is the main theme of the conference and is approached from the perspective of educational policies which is the main theme of the Conference. Without mentioning intercultural education explicitly as was the case at Athens, the Istanbul Conference will make an in-depth analysis of the social dimension of intercultural learning by focusing on the specific case of children rights and social inclusion through education and training.

    Future action

    Intercultural education is an essential condition for European cooperation and the resolution of certain concrete issues confronting our societies. Starting from this premise, CDED will continue to support intercultural education through the activity programme it manages and the concrete actions and programmes it develops in cooperation with various partners at European, national and regional level. The political orientations defined by the Athens Conference and reiterated at the Conference in Istanbul will be sustained by adequate activities meant to strengthen the social and citizenship dimensions of intercultural education. Thus, the CDED will effectively promote intercultural dialogue and its educational background as a main topic of European co-operation.

    In concrete terms, our future actions will bear in mind the following issues:

      1. Shaping the intercultural competence for all. This is a key competence, an essential component of civic literacy. It is an aggregate competence, achieved through a series of specific competences relating to the ability to discover and communicate across cultures, sense of community and belonging, social dialogue, empathy, respect for and openness to cultural differences as well as critical reflection on other cultures, intercultural curiosity and sensitivity, valuing the languages of others, multiperspectivity, mutual understanding, peaceful conflict resolution. These competences are enhanced by ongoing CDED projects as well as by the new teacher training programme entitled “Pestalozzi”.

      2.

Promoting new forms of learning. Intercultural education presupposes new forms of learning, both in formal settings and by non-formal learning. We are referring to those forms of learning that foster interaction and active participation such as cooperative learning, experiential learning and learning in networks. These new forms of learning will be sustained by adequate educational materials such as the “EDC Pack” or the “Reference book for Schools on the religious dimension of Intercultural education”, and may be further supported by tools such as an Autobiography of key intercultural competences under development.

      3. Developing a values-oriented intercultural education. Intercultural dialogue is value-driven, just like the intercultural learning on which it is based. This means that intercultural education must be explicitly focused on the three generic values of the Council of Europe, namely respect for human rights, political pluralism and the rule of law. Thus, intercultural education becomes the main support of democracy learning and human solidarity.

      4. Assuring a global perspective of intercultural learning. Although the European dimension is a major component of intercultural dialogue, intercultural education should be neither Eurocentric nor should it be limited to a single reference space. Managing diversity and intercultural learning is achieved by transversal and plurilingual competences applied to a wide range of cultural and social environments. In concrete terms, this openness of intercultural education is achieved by knowledge and understanding of non-European cultures, by sustaining Euro-Arab dialogue and the introduction of global education in the school curriculum.

      5. Including social dimensions such as gender issues, children’s rights, inter-generation communication, inter-religious dialogue and second chance learners (e.g. those coming from vulnerable neighbourhoods). These aspects will strengthen social inclusion, equity and participation which are essential for a more cohesive and human Europe.

      6. Promoting democratic governance in educational institutions. The process presupposes ensuring shared responsibility and joint action, democratic and self-development institutions, capable of providing high-capacity standards as well as cooperation with different cultural and social communities.

    These courses of action will be supported by the CDED in close cooperation with its traditional partners, namely government structures, political bodies, the civil society, educational institutions, cultural and social services, networks of experts and practitioners.

    As intercultural dialogue cannot be credible without the actual participation of the various global actors, the CDED will continue to appeal to its European and international partners, such us UNESCO and the European Union. The CDED will also seek for co-operation on intercultural education with other steering committees, particularly with the CDESR.

Appendix 4

    Draft terms of reference of the European Language Portfolio Validation Committee (ED-EVC)

1.

Name of Committee:

ED-EVC - European Language Portfolio Validation Committee

2.

Type of Committee:

Ad hoc Advisory Group

3.

Source of terms of reference:

Steering Committee for Education (CDED)

4.

Terms of reference:

i.

ii.

iii.

Having regard to:

- European Cultural Convention (1954), Article 2:
Each Contracting Party shall, insofar as may be possible,
a. encourage the study by its own nationals of the languages, history and civilisation of the other Contracting Parties and grant facilities to those Parties to promote such studies in its territory, and
b. endeavour to promote the study of its language or languages, history and civilisation in the territory of the other Contracting Parties and grant facilities to the nationals of those Parties to pursue such studies in its territory.

- Action Plan outlined by the Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Council of Europe at their 3rd Summit (Warsaw, Poland, 16-17 May 2005), and in particular Section III, paragraphs 1, 3 and 6;

- Recommendation No (98) 6 of the Committee of Ministers to member states concerning Modern Languages, and in particular Article 27 of the Appendix
Encourage the development and use by learners in all educational sectors of a personal document (European Language Portfolio) in which they can record their qualifications and other linguistic and cultural experiences in an internationally transparent manner, thus motivating learners and acknowledging their efforts to extend and diversify their language learning at all levels in a lifelong perspective.

- Resolution No.1 of the 19th Session of the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe (Kristiansand, Norway, 22-24 June 1997), and in particular Article 19:
[…] the Education Committee should concentrate on: […]
– the European Language Portfolio – a document in which the learner can note his/her most significant intercultural experiences and achievements in language learning (both formal and informal) in relation to internationally recognised levels, as described in the Common European Framework, thus facilitating educational and professional mobility; […]

- Resolution No 2 (Resolution on the European Language Portfolio) of the 20th Session of the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe (Cracow, October 2000), and in particular Recommendation 2.1:
[…] ask a competent body (such as a national committee) to examine ELP models for compulsory education, to establish whether they meet the agreed criteria, and to forward them with a recommendation to the European Validation Committee; […]

Under the authority of the Steering Committee for Education (CDED), and in relation with the implementation of Project 2006/DG4/891 – “Policies for Plurilingualism and Linguistic Diversity” of the Programme of Activities, the Validation Committee is instructed to:

- ensure the availability of procedures to assist developers of European Language Portfolios (ELP) in seeking accreditation of their models;

- examine applications for accreditation of ELP models and grant the right to use the logo and name “European Language Portfolio” (© Council of Europe) on ELP models on the basis of the characteristics set out by the CDED in the Principles and Guidelines (text contained in the Resolution on the European Language Portfolio adopted at the 20th session of the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe). In order to do this, the Validation Committee shall:

    - receive ELP models developed by

      a) national and regional authorities
      b) NGOs and INGOs
      c) independent education institutions
      d) private commercial or non-profit-making institutions

    - consider the opinions forwarded to it by the national committee for the ELP / national authority or relevant (I)NGO;

    - confirm that a given model conforms to the agreed Principles and Guidelines;

      or

    - clarify why the model submitted has been judged not to correspond sufficiently to the Principles and Guidelines. Such a model may be resubmitted for accreditation once the designers have taken account of the Validation Committee’s recommendations;

- bring forward proposals for future policy and further development regarding the ELP and submit them to the CDED for decision.

The Validation Committee will not be responsible for the implementation, dissemination or use of accredited ELP models, which are the responsibility of the relevant national/regional authorities or (I)NGOs.

5.

Composition of the Committee:

5.A.

Members

The Validation Committee shall be composed of nine (9) specialists in the field of language education policy for plurilingualism who are familiar with the relevant Council of Europe tools and documents, to be appointed by the Secretary General. The Council of Europe budget will bear their travel and subsistence expenses.

6.

Working Methods and Structures

i.

ii.

iii.

iv.

- The Validation Committee shall meet twice a year;

- the Validation Committee shall conduct its work in accordance with the Rules for the Accreditation of ELP Models adopted by the CDED;

- where necessary, in order to expedite the progress of its work, the Validation Committee may organise hearings and/or entrust a limited number of committee members with a specific task to be fulfilled by the next meeting;

- the Validation Committee may request, within the limits of budgetary appropriations, the Secretary General to have recourse where appropriate to the service of one or more consultants (cf. Resolution Res(2004)25 on service contracts of consultants).

7.

Duration

 

These terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2009.

Name of Committee:

European Language Portfolio Validation Committee – ED-EVC

Compliance with Resolution Res 2005)47:

Yes

Programme of Activities: project(s)

2006/DG4/891   Policies for plurilingualism and linguistic diversity

Project relevance:

1. Third Summit Action Plan: Chapter III – Articles 1 – 3 – 5 – 6
2. Contribution to core values: Right to quality education; democratic culture in education; intercultural dialogue; European standards; mobility
3. CM Decisions: Recommendation CM R(98) 6.
Other criteria:
1. Political justification/framework
- European Cultural Convention (1954), Article 2
- 19th and 20th Standing Conferences of European Ministers of Education of the CoE
2. Consolidation, promotion, implementation of CoE standards
Recommendation n° R (98)6 of the Committee of Ministers to member states
3. Relevance to CoE country strategies and country-specific needs
The European Language Portfolio (ELP) brings the standards developed by the Council of Europe in the field of foreign-language teaching within the grasp of teachers and learners and contribute to Council of Europe visibility.
4. Timeliness of project(s)
1st ELP was launched in the European Year of Languages 2001. Since then almost 100 portfolios have been accredited. New challenges include the accreditation of electronic portfolios, and the link with the Europass recently launched by the EU.

Project added value:

1. CoE as leading agency, most important facilitator
Standards of linguistic competence elaborated by the CoE have been adopted by the member states and the European Union (European Indicator of Language Competence and Europass); the ELP carries these standards to teachers and learners;
2. Project covering ‘new ground’
The ELP introduces standards at all levels of the education system while promoting autonomous learning.
3. Possibility of partnerships with other International Organisations
Concrete partnership with the EU already operational:
- the European Commission funds transnational ELP projects
- the ELP Language Passport is one of the component documents of Europass.
4. Avoiding duplication
No other international organisation has such a tool to offer citizens.
Reasons for entrusting this Committee with these specific tasks:
The ED-EVC validates ELP models on the basis of specific criteria that must respect the educational contexts and objectives of the member states while promoting common European objectives (eg. respect for linguistic/cultural diversity, mobility, lifelong learning); the analysis of a large number of ELP models at each meeting requires substantial expert work ahead of the meeting and in-depth discussion during the sessions, a task which the CDED could not undertake.
Each validated ELP model bears the Council of Europe logo and accreditation number in order to ensure that it can be recognised throughout Europe in spite of its individual characteristics; an accreditation procedure is therefore indispensable.

Financial information:

Two annual meetings of the Committee (9 members) immediately preceded by a Bureau meeting (4 members); participation of consultants according to relevance and need
Annual Budget: 18,000€

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. Unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise, it will be declassified according to the rules set up in Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.


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