Ministers' Deputies / Rapporteur Groups
Rapporteur Group on Education, Culture, Sport,
Youth and Environment
GR-C(2004)CB3 1 July 2004
Meeting of 17 June 2004
The GR-C met under the chairmanship of Ambassador Gilles Chouraqui, Permanent Representative of France, to discuss issues set out in Convocation GR-C(2004)OJ3.
1. Adoption of the agenda
1.1 The Agenda was adopted as proposed by the Chair in the Convocation for the meeting.
2. Discussion of the programme of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the European Cultural Convention
(GR-C(2004)2 addendum, GR-C(2004)20)
2.1 The Group considered and welcomed an updated detailed analysis of the budget of the 50th anniversary of the European Cultural Convention as approved by the Committee of Ministers at the Deputies' 884th meeting. The Group thanked the Polish Delegation for its statement on the Wrocław Conference, summarising information in a document tabled at the meeting. It stressed that the DGIV Steering Committees should be properly consulted in the preparations, and invited the Polish delegation and the Secretariat to move ahead rapidly in concertation with delegations. It was noted that any draft text for adoption would be submitted to the GR-C in due time. Delegations urged the Polish authorities to send out the invitations as soon as possible to secure participation at ministerial level.
2.2 The Group left the question of Belarus' participation in the celebrations, as a Party to the Convention, to be considered by the GR-EDS since the issue was broader than cultural cooperation.
3. 2003 Programme of Activities – Evaluation
3.1 Several Delegations asked the Secretariat to transmit more information, especially on budgetary matters, to the steering committees; the latter also complained of too much transversality leading to the loss of core activities in a particular field.
3.2The Secretariat replied that before the Committee of Ministers took decisions to abolish the Cultural and Sports Funds and the CDCC1, and to reduce the number of committees' plenary meetings from 2 to 1 per year, the former specialised committees of the CDCC used to discuss their programmes and budgets in detail. Now they were in the same situation as other steering committees and were given the amount of budgetary information that was necessary to enable them to fulfil their mandate.
3.3 Several delegations regretted the trend to reduce budgets in the DGIV areas and one stated that it was firmly against any budgetary cuts for 2005 in respect of the DGIV.
3.4 The Director of Cultural and Natural Heritage Department drew the Group's attention to the added value of the Council of Europe's cultural co-operation in comparison to the European Union and UNESCO. UNESCO, with which the Council of Europe co-operated closely, worked on cultural cooperation and policy on a world scale. The draft Constitution of the European Union would confirm its competence to support and supplement the action of its member states. The duty of helping countries update their policies and strategy in the cultural and heritage fields falls to the Council of Europe, in line with its conventions. The Council of Europe's aim was, as its Statute stated, to forge European political unity based on common European cultural traditions. In this respect, culture was a constructive political tool.
3.5 Summing up, the Chair noted that the Group had a positive general evaluation of the DGIV's performance and was appreciative of the programmes carried out.
4. Participation of young people in local and regional life
a. Draft recommendation Rec(2004)… of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the participation of young people in local and regional life
4.a.1 A Delegation maintained the substance of its amendments as set out in Appendix 7 to GR-C(2004)CB1. It proposed to modify its first proposal in the following way: “to express their opinions and present proposals in the state language or in their mother tongue widely spoken in the areas where the minorities constitute a significant part of the population”.
4.a.2 A number of Delegations could not accept this wording, either in its original or amended version, and considered that this was an inappropriate place to raise the sensitive issue of national language policy. They asked the Delegation at the origin of the amendment to show understanding.
4.a.3 As regards the second proposal, a number of Delegations also considered that voting rights could not be limited to young people and therefore thought the draft Recommendation an inappropriate context for the proposal. The Delegation at the origin of the amendment argued that the Charter and the Congress Recommendation dealt with young people and not all groups of the population. In addition, it repeated its argument that it was impossible to encourage young people to actively participate in local and regional life and elections, as the revised Charter and the Congress Recommendation both suggested, if permanently and legally residing young people were denied the right to do so.
4.a.4 Noting that no consensus had emerged, the Chair requested the Secretariat to organise an informal meeting to seek a compromise solution and report back to the next GR-C meeting.
b. Draft reply to Congress Recommendation 128 (2003) on the revised European Charter on the participation of young people in local and regional life
4.b.1 Given that the Group could not agree on the previous item, the draft reply to the Congress Recommendation was not discussed.
5. Recommendation 105 (2001) of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (CLRAE) - “Linguistic Diversity: A Challenge for European Cities and Regions” - Conclusions of the Rovinj Conference, Croatia, 22-23 March 2001 - Draft reply
(CONGRESS REC_105 (2001), GR-C(2004)9)
5.1 A number of Delegations suggested shortening paragraph 9 of the draft reply, by deleting the final phrase beginning “taking account in particular…”. A Delegation preferred the original form of the paragraph. It suggested adding to the reply a message that broader reforms of school curricula must not work against preserving and developing plurilingual school education including minority languages.
5.2 The Director of School and Out-of-school Education reminded the Group that education for plurilingual competence, including both foreign and minority languages, was a long-standing objective of the Committee of Ministers.
5.3 The Chair invited this Delegation to present its concrete proposals in writing. The Group agreed to resume consideration of the draft reply at its next meeting.
6. Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1630 (2003) – Erosion of the Mediterranean coastline: implications for tourism – Draft reply
(REC_1630 (2003), RAP-MED/GR-C(2004)1)
6.1 The Rapporteur on Co-operation in the Mediterranean Basin presented the draft reply to the Recommendation, stressing the importance of the region in both economic and environmental terms. The Group appreciated the work done by the RAP-MED and recommended the submission of the draft reply to the Deputies for adoption without debate.
7. Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1620 (2003) - Council of Europe contribution to the higher education area – Draft reply
(REC_1620 (2003), GR-C(2004)6)
7.1 The Group considered the draft reply and recommended it for submission to the Deputies for adoption without debate with the following slight modifications: up-dating of tense for those events which had already taken place and deleting quotations from the Assembly text, used as headings for the paragraphs.
8. Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1621 (2003) - Promotion of art history in Europe - Draft reply
(REC_1621 (2003), GR-C(2004)4)
8.1 The Secretariat informed the Group that, if the Committee of Ministers ever wished to prepare a draft recommendation to member states on the promotion of art history on the basis of the Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation, the CD-PAT would make additional proposals.
8.2 The Group considered the draft reply and recommended it for submission to the Deputies without debate.
9. Ad hoc Committee of Experts for the "European Year of Citizenship through Education" (CAHCIT) – 1st Meeting - (Strasbourg, 27-28 April 2004)
9.1 The Group considered the list of decisions of the first meeting of the Ad hoc committee and voiced its general satisfaction with the report. Some delegations asked for additional information on the aims, specific goals and tools (such as teacher-training material) of the European Year of Citizenship through Education. The Secretariat agreed to send the delegations the full report of that meeting. It recalled that a concept and policy for citizenship and human rights education had been worked out over previous years. The global aim of the year was to encourage their cohesive implementation in member states. A full pack of practical instruments to support this implementation, including teacher training material, would be ready for the Year's launching. Being a transversal project, the “Year” would involve a wide range of sectors.
9.2 The Deputies would be informed of progress at one of the forthcoming meetings of the GR-C.
10. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
(GR-C(2004)14 and Addendum)
10.1 The Secretariat (the Head of the Sports Department) gave the latest information on relations with WADA and the draft UNESCO anti-doping convention (see Appendix).
10.2 The Group took note of this information.
11. Any other business
12. Date of the next meeting
12.1 The date of the next meeting would be confirmed later.
Item 10: World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
Statement of the Head of the Sports Department
The Head of the Sports Department presented, on the basis of communications made at the second
meeting of the European Coordination Forum for WADA, meeting on 16 June, a further verbal update of
the information included in GR-C(2004)14 and Addendum:
· 121 countries had signed the Copenhagen Declaration.
· The Executive Committee of UCI was due to sign the World Anti-Doping Code on behalf of Cycling on
· 197 National Olympic Committees have accepted the Code (the only Council of Europe member state not to sign so far being Bulgaria).
Europe had already paid 91.65% of its dues for 2004. The WADA Director General had specifically acknowledged the rapidity and efficiency of the system for the payment of Europe's contributions adopted by the Committee of Ministers.
The meetings of the Forum and Monitoring Group due to take place between 17 and 19 November would now take place between 8 and 10 November 2004.
WADA had presented to the Forum its preliminary draft budget for 2005. At this stage, this planned for a 7.2% increase in income for 2005, following the zero growth for 2004. Several governments had expressed their concern at this projected increase. Others had indicated that properly argued and costed increases might be acceptable.
With regard to the European representative on the WADA Executive Committee, to be appointed at the 10th Conference of European Ministers responsible for Sport (Budapest, 14-15 October), the Danish government had signaled its willingness for Minister Mikkelsen to continue in this post.
The Forum had expressed its unanimous support for a European governmental representative to succeed Mr Pound as Chair of the WADA Foundation Board. As it was unlikely that the necessary processes could be completed in time with the timetable proposed by WADA, an extension of Mr Pound's term of office until the completion of that process could be envisaged. This matter too would be discussed by the Sports Ministers at Budapest.
With regard to the draft Unesco convention, the preliminary analysis by the Secretariat in doc GR-C(2004)14 had been confirmed. The Monitoring Group would discuss the state of progress at the Friday session of its meeting on 17/18 June, and the Secretariat would not wish to anticipate the results of this discussion. However, there were already indications that the political aspects of the subject would also need to be discussed by the Sports Ministers in Budapest in advance of the UNESCO ministerial meeting scheduled for 6/8 December in Athens. At the second meeting of the Forum, the possibility of preparing a further protocol to the Anti-Doping Convention to cover the commitments of the Copenhagen Declaration not already included in the Anti-Doping Convention and the existing additional protocol had been raised by one delegation.
Note 1 Council for Cultural Co-operation
Note 2 See Appendix to this Synopsis
Note 3 Up-dating of information given in GR-C(2004)14 Addendum, page 2, 3rd paragraph.
Note 4 Up-dating of information given in GR-C(2004)14, page 2, item 3.