Ministers' Deputies / Rapporteur Groups
Rapporteur Group on Education, Culture, Sport,
Youth and Environment
GR-C(2008)CB2 rev 1 20 February 20082
Meeting of 7 February 2008
1. The Rapporteur Group on Education, Culture, Sport, Youth and Environment (GR-C) met on 7 February 2008 with Ambassador Eleonora Petrova-Mitevska, Permanent Representative of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, in the Chair. It discussed the following items in the light of the annotated agenda (document GR-C(2008)1). The agenda (GR-C(2008)OJ3) was adopted.
1. Report of the High-Level Task Force on Social Cohesion (TFSC)
CM(2007)175, CM(2007)175 corr (English only), CM(2007)175 add and CM/Del/Dec(2007)1014/6.6
2. Ambassador Yevhen Perelygin, Permanent Representative of Ukraine, introduced this item as Chair of the Rapporteur Group for Social and Health Questions (GR-SOC). He drew attention to two issues. Firstly he referred to the revised draft decisions that had been distributed, in the light of discussions that had already taken place within different rapporteur groups. Secondly the Ambassador encouraged the GR-C to discuss and define areas, and at a later stage, concrete projects which could respond to some of the recommendations of the High Level Task Force. In the light of the discussions in the rapporteur groups, the Secretariat would prepare a consolidated paper for the GR-SOC’s consideration.
3. Mr Alexander Vladychenko, the Director General for Social Cohesion then briefly presented the Report of the High Level Task Force on Social Cohesion (“task force”), highlighting three main conclusions. Firstly, that the concept of social cohesion is more relevant then ever for Europe today. Secondly, whilst many of the fundamentals are already in place, social cohesion still needs to be achieved in Europe and can contribute to solving some of Europe’s most pressing problems. Thirdly, the task force asserts that the Council of Europe, with its expertise and history of strong leadership in this field, has a key role to play, as the guardian of social Europe. Social cohesion should become a strategic concept for the Council of Europe, intersecting closely with the Organisation’s core objectives of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The Director General also drew attention to the action plan proposed by the task force to be implemented at different levels and the importance of addressing the transversal nature of social cohesion.
4. Mr Vladychenko then referred to three specific elements mentioned by the task force of particular relevance to the GR-C. The first was the proposal that the Council of Europe further develop education as a basis for social cohesion through the preparation of a programme to enhance the contribution of education and life long learning to improve both people’s capacity to cope with transitions and social mobility. It should also promote democratic skills as part of a concerted programme of civic education for all. The value for social cohesion of preserving historic, cultural and environmental heritage was also signalled. Secondly, the task force considered that social dialogue should be targeted at young people, be about them and be carried out with their participation. It recommends that a programme of activity be launched to reactivate democratic processes in order to identify remedies and means to repair the deficit of representation of young people. It also suggests that programmes be developed with social partners to improve the situation of younger workers. Thirdly, the task force indicated the need to develop the intercultural dimension of social cohesion, in particular with regard to the integration of migrants. Finally the Director General informed the group that an intersecretariat working group is being set up to promote transversality through the co-ordination and streamlining of social cohesion related activities.
5. In the ensuing discussions, several delegations underlined the need for any follow-up given to the report to fall squarely within the priorities set at the Warsaw Summit. In this respect, one delegation stated that activities should contribute as directly as possible to promoting the effective implementation of the rights provided for in the different Council of Europe legal instruments, so as to ensure that more and more citizens can effectively enjoy those rights, including cultural ones. Another delegation pointed out that the Warsaw Action Plan specifically refers to the integration of a youth perspective in all Council of Europe activities. Other delegations stated that it was imperative that the transversal element is fully addressed to ensure that the follow up to the report is carried out in a co-ordinated manner, and not on a sectorial basis. It was also mentioned that whilst there was a high number of interesting and relevant issues that emerged from the report, it should be understood that in the light of resources and organisation priorities, it may not be possible to respond on all levels. In this respect, the Secretariat was asked to prepare a position paper giving some indication for delegations as to priority actions that might be carried out in the fields of education, youth and cultural diversity, as a response to the report, but also in the light of, and in relation to, the work underway on the White Paper for Intercultural Dialogue.
6. Following on from this context, Ms Battaini-Dragoni, the Director General for Education, Culture, Youth, Sport and Environment informed the Group that in her view, many proposals emerging from the report were already reflected in some way in the current programme of activities of her Directorate General or could be integrated without too much difficulty. In particular, with regard to education, she mentioned the last Ministerial Conference on Education for an Inclusive Society (Istanbul, May 2007), the follow up of which could be enhanced in the light of the relevant issues in the Task Force report. With regard to culture, she mentioned that the Steering Committee for Culture (CD-CULT) had expressed interest for looking into the role of culture as a tool in integration and inclusive policies and could therefore pursue the issue of access to culture or cultural services. She also mentioned the intercultural cities programme, which was an interesting and concrete illustration of how culture can contribute to social cohesion. The Director General highlighted the importance of cultural rights and recalled the conference being organised later in the year by the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) on access to rights in a multicultural society. In her view, this was a prime example of where transversal co-operation could be promoted, indicating that cultural diversity can be an obstacle to the enjoyment of these rights. She considered that it would be important for the Council of Europe to look at the obstacles that citizens face when trying to access their cultural rights. Finally with regard to the youth field, again the Director General considered that in the framework of the Agenda 2020, a number of relevant issues emerging from the task force are being addressed such as the access of young people to jobs, health service, housing, education and social protection.
7. The Chair concluded that the draft decisions would be circulated to all delegations for possible comments before being transmitted to the Deputies for adoption at their 1019th meeting on 27 February 20083.
2. Ad hoc Committee European Co-ordination Forum on the World Anti-doping Agency
(CAHAMA) – Draft terms of reference
8. The Chair invited the Deputy Secretary General to introduce this item, thanking her for her presence. The Deputy Secretary General first highlighted the particular added value of the CAHAMA, as the only pan-European body where senior officials from European states can prepare European positions on political issues to be decided in WADA governing bodies, in the light of the unique technical expertise of the Monitoring Group of the Anti-Doping Convention. She recalled that the events which took place in November in Madrid last year relating to the election of the Chair of WADA were a trigger and an illustration of the need to bring European representatives together in order to discuss and improve coordination of the European Ministers of Sport and of European representatives in the governing bodies of WADA. On this last point, she recalled the meeting which had taken place on 25 January 2008 at the initiative of the Minister for Sport of Slovenia which had provided an opportunity to explore with Mr Fahey, the newly elected Chair of WADA, ways in which European representation might be improved within WADA. The Deputy Secretary General suggested that there were three particular issues, which had become apparent in the light of events in Madrid and were floored during discussions in Ljubljana, and which would merit CAHAMA’s attention.
9. The first question raised related to the issue of European representation in WADA, and whether, given the importance of, for example, Europe’s budgetary contributions, its anti-doping policies, its specialist anti-doping laboratories, it was appropriate for Europe to be represented by only 5 of the 18 public authorities members of the Foundation Board or whether this would need to be reviewed. Similarly, it was pointed out that there was only one European representative on the Executive Committee of the Foundation Board. The Deputy Secretary General pointed out that the CAHAMA, as a preparatory body, could assume an important role in addressing these questions, and carrying out the groundwork in preparing decisions for the Committee of Ministers and consequently for the Conference of the Ministers of Sport which will take place in Greece at the end of the year. However, she recalled that ultimately, these questions cannot solely be addressed on a European level but would need to be addressed within the framework of the UNESCO Convention which is the only worldwide intergovernmental forum on anti-doping.
10. A second question concerned the possible review of internal procedures of WADA, such as the need for quorum or who can take initiatives and possible amendments to the WADA statutes. It had been agreed that CAHAMA could make proposals in this respect. A third issue referred to was the need to clarify the role of the informal meetings of public authorities before the foundation board and the executive committee. This issue, which needed to be looked at WADA’s level rather than a European one, would be addressed during a forthcoming expert meeting in Montreal.
11. The Deputy Secretary General went on to highlight the important preparatory work that has already been carried out by the CAHAMA and which has been much appreciated by the Foundation Board of WADA. She also informed the Group of an informal meeting of the European Union’s Director Generals for Sport which had taken place in Ljubljana this week. This meeting resulted in a decision to set up an anti-doping working group within the structures of the EU. She welcomed the idea of the Council of Europe and the EU joining forces in this area but, given the unique and pan-European nature of the CAHAMA and its valuable expertise, she would follow closely developments in the EU..
12. The Chair, together with several delegations, thanked the Deputy Secretary General for her presentation and her commitment to this issue. One delegation reiterated the importance of CAHAMA in preparing actions within WADA and emphasised the importance of cooperation in this field with the European Union. On this point, the Secretariat suggested that the theme of anti-doping could be considered as a specific field of co-operation to be mentioned in the Memorandum of Understanding between the Council of Europe and the European Union.
13. As to the terms of reference of CAHAMA, a number of amendments were proposed during the discussion but not agreed upon, delegations preferring to receive them first in writing. The Chair therefore invited delegations to submit their amendments in writing4 and other delegations would be invited to submit any comments they may have on them to the Secretariat before 5.00 p.m. on 14 February 2008. The Secretariat would then prepare a revised draft of the terms of reference, as appropriate which would be transmitted for consideration to the Ministers Deputies for possible adoption at their 1018th meeting on 20 February 2008.
3. European Diploma of Protected Areas
Draft Resolution CM/ResDip(2008)… on the revised regulations of the European Diploma of Protected Areas
CM(2008)11 and CM/Del/Dec(2007)1009/9.1
14. The Chair recalled that at their 1009th meeting (24 October 2007), the Ministers’ Deputies invited the Standing Committee to the Bern Convention to give its opinion on the proposal that it be instructed to prepare opinions for the Committee of Ministers on the granting, renewal or non-renewal of the European Diploma on Protected Areas and transmitted to that committee the draft resolution on the revised regulations of the European Diploma of Protected Areas. At its 27th meeting from 26 to 29 November 2007, the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention approved the proposal of the Committee of Ministers. In the light of this positive opinion, the Group examined the draft Resolution CM/ResDip(2008)… on the revised regulations of the European Diploma of Protected Areas, and agreed to transmit it to the Ministers’ Deputies for adoption without further debate at their 1018th meeting (20 February 2008).
4. European Conference of Ministers responsible for Spatial/Regional Planning of the Council of Europe (CEMAT) – Draft Resolution Res(2008)... on the rules governing the Landscape Award of the Council of Europe
15. It was recalled that on 9 January 2008, the GR-C decided to postpone consideration of the above-mentioned draft resolution pending a last review of the text by the Department for Legal Advice (DLAPIL). The Group examined the revised text of draft Resolution Res(2008)... on the rules governing the Landscape Award of the Council of Europe, as it appears in document CM(2007)188 corr. Following one editorial amendment (French only) and one technical clarification as to the exact nature of amendments brought during the legal review, decided to transmit it to the Ministers’ Deputies for adoption without further debate at their 1018th meeting (20 February 2008).
5. Documents distributed for information
a. Written communication by the Director General of DG IV
16. A number of comments were raised on the written communication of the Director General of DG IV (DD(2008)48). Firstly, the Azerbaijani delegation drew the attention to its country’s proposal to organise an informal Ministerial conference in the beginning of November 2008 in Baku, with the aim of bringing together Ministers from the Council of Europe member states as well as from ALECSO member states. The delegation stated that preliminary discussions had taken place with regard to preparations of this conference and that possible themes would be presented to the Ministers’ Deputies in due course. A number of delegations expressed their interest and support in this proposed conference. One of these delegations, while underlining the importance of promotion of intercultural dialogue, expressed the opinion that national delegations should be involved in preparatory works. Another delegation pointed out this was an important issue and it would be desirable that the whole of the Steering Committee for Culture (CDCULT) be consulted in addition to its Bureau. The Secretariat responded that such a consultation process was underway and that the GR-C would be regularly informed of the developments.
6. Other business
7. Date of the next meeting
18. In the light of the information provided by the Secretariat that the draft White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue would only be available in the two official languages towards the end of the week beginning 11 February, it was decided to postpone the meeting of the GR-C which would be devoted to the examination of that document from Tuesday, 19 February 2008 to Thursday, 13 March at 3.00 p.m. The next regular meeting of the GR-C is scheduled for Tuesday, 22 April 2008 at 10 a.m.
Note 1 The changes refer to item 5 only.
Note 2 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue; it will be declassified in accordance with Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.
Note 3 Following this meeting, the Chair of the GR-SOC brought one further amendment (which was proposed during the present meeting, and supported by several delegations) to the draft decisions which would be circulated to all delegations
Note 4 Cf. DD(2008)64 distributed after the meeting.