Ministers’ Deputies/Rapporteur Groups
GR-C
Rapporteur Group on Education, Culture, Sport, Youth and Environment

GR-C(2009)CB4 26 May 20091
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Synopsis
Meeting on 19 May 2009

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1. The Rapporteur Group on Education, Culture, Sport, Youth and Environment (GR-C) met on
19 May 2009 with Ambassador Guido BELLATTI CECCOLI, Permanent Representative of San Marino, in the Chair, at the European Youth Centre (EYC), Strasbourg. The Group considered the following items, having regard to the annotated agenda (GR-C(2009)10). The agenda (GR-C(2009)OJ4) was adopted.

1. Council of Europe 2009 Exchange on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue –
State of preparation

GR-C(2009)8, GR-C(2009)11, DD(2009)266

2. Regarding the list of participants in the 2009 Exchange, the Chair informed the Group that, together with the Chair of the GR-H, co-chair of the Exchange, he had effected an initial selection from among the numerous proposals made by delegations and by the participants in the informal preparatory meeting of 27 March, having due regard to the relevant criteria. The aim was to send these persons an official letter of invitation in the week starting 25 May.

3. After this introduction, the Group examined the draft questionnaire (document GR-C(2009)11), which it was planned to send to the participants, and the replies to which should assist with the preparation and running of the debate. Several amendments were proposed with the aim, in particular, of clarifying the questions and giving them a more direct or more positive tone. The Group also discussed the draft detailed programme (document DD(2009)266), in connection with which the Chair of the GR-H noted that the format proposed should help to make the debate more interactive and spontaneous, as recommended by the Group. One delegation proposed revising the draft programme in order to give greater prominence to the 4th working session and integrate it better into the overall pattern of the event.

4. The Chair noted in conclusion that the Secretariat had taken due note of the suggestions and comments made and would use them as the basis for preparing a revised questionnaire and draft programme which would be sent to participants along with the letters of invitation.

2. School and out-of-school education

2.1 Steering Committee for Education (CDED)
a. Abridged report of the 8th plenary session (Strasbourg, 18-20 March 2009)
b. Draft Recommendation CM/Rec(2009)… of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the education of Roma and Travellers in Europe and its Explanatory Memorandum
CM(2009)62, CM(2009)62 add1 and CM(2009)62 add2

5. In the discussion of the abridged report of the CDED session, the Director General of DGIV, referring to the question of the organisation of ministerial seminars in connection with the "Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and for the prevention of crimes against humanity" project, suggested to the Group that, after five years of fruitful work in this field, some time might be taken for reflection. The idea would be to hold a
high-level meeting in Strasbourg to discuss a possible change of direction in the concept towards education/teacher training in the prevention of crimes against humanity, and to review working methods accordingly.

6. The Director General suggested submitting proposals in writing for consideration by the GR-C at its September meeting and inviting experts to take part in this meeting. The representatives of the three delegations which had proposed to host the next ministerial seminar reiterated their authorities’ keen interest in the question of teaching about history, remembrance and the prevention of crimes against humanity. They were in favour of the Director General’s proposal and were supported in that by the Group as a whole.

7. The Group then examined the draft recommendation on the education of Roma and Travellers (CM(2009)62 Appendix 2). After a discussion, in which one proposal for an amendment and counter-proposals were made concerning paragraph 13 of the appendix to the draft Recommendation (see appendix hereto), the Group found that it was not in a position, at this stage, to reach a consensus on the wording and agreed to resume consideration of this item at its next meeting.

8. Lastly, the Group held an exchange of views on the draft education programme 2010-2014 jointly dran up by the CDED and the CDESR. One delegation pointed out that the fact of taking note of this draft programme in no way prejudged the outcome of the discussions on the draft programme of activities for 2010.

9. In conclusion, the Chair noted that the Group recommended that the Deputies take note without debate, at their 1058th meeting (27 May 2009), of the draft education programme 2010-2014 and of the CDED’s abridged report as a whole, on the understanding that the draft recommendation would be submitted to them at a later stage, once the GR-C had finished discussing it.

2.2 Steering Committee for Higher Education and Research (CDESR)
Abridged Report of the 8th plenary session (Strasbourg, 5-6 March 2009)
CM(2009)63

10. The Head of the Higher Education and History Teaching Department informed the Group of recent developments in the field of the Bologna Process and, in particular, the conclusions of the Ministerial Conference held in Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve on 28 and 29 April 2009. He underlined that the European Higher Education Area will be established in 2010, but the process will continue on the same basis and the Council of Europe’s contribution will still be essential. He mentioned the interest expressed by two non-European states, Kazakhstan and Israel, in joining the Bologna Process, and pointed out that there was a legal obstacle to this. Inclusion in the Bologna Process depended on accession to the European Cultural Convention, which was not open to non-European states. The Chair noted that a reflection on the possibility to draw up an instrument complementary to the Cultural Convention could be envisaged and that he himself had met a delegation from Kazakhstan who had told him of their keen interest in the European Cultural Convention and the Bologna Process.

11. The Group agreed to forward the abridged report of the CDESR session to the Deputies so that they could take note of it without further debate at their 1058th meeting (27 May 2009).

3. European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ), Advisory Council on Youth (CCJ), Joint Council on Youth (CMJ)
a. Abridged reports of the 42nd meeting of the CDEJ, of the 21st meeting of the CCJ and of the 20th meeting of the CMJ (Mollina, Spain, 23-25 March 2009)
b. Draft terms of reference of the Ad hoc Advisory Group on Child and Youth Participation
(MJ-S-CYP)
CM(2009)64

12. The GR-C considered the abridged reports of the meetings of the CDEJ, CCJ and CMJ held in Mollina (Spain). It examined the draft terms of reference of the Ad hoc Advisory Group on Child and Youth Participation (MJ-S-CYP) and, after discussion, instructed the Secretariat to prepare draft revised terms of reference providing for a limited number of members, which would be submitted to the Deputies for consideration and adoption at their 1058th meeting (27 May 2009).

4. MBI Al Jaber Foundation – Possible co-operation with the Council of Europe
DD(2009)220 + http://www.mbifoundation.com/media/43321/Newsletter_2008_Autumn%202008.pdf

13. The Director of Education and Languages outlined the activities and partnerships of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation and the proposals for co-operation with the Council of Europe and financial support from the Foundation for certain sectors of the Organisation. Supplementing this information, the Director General mentioned the earlier example of co-operation between Microsoft and the Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs. She proposed setting down in writing a preliminary draft co-operation framework which could be submitted initially to the GR-C. The Chair noted that this was agreed.

5. Information items

5.1 Enlarged Partial Agreement on the European Centre for Modern Languages (Graz Centre) – Annual report to the Committee of Ministers (January-December 2008)
CM/Inf(2009)24

14. Under this item, the Representative of Austria, the Enlarged Partial Agreement’s host country, drew attention to the growing imbalance between the Graz Centre’s structural costs and operational funds. She reminded the Group that, two years previously, her authorities had stated in the course of the budget discussions that the member states of the Enlarged Partial Agreement were prepared to increase their contributions. However, the Organisation’s overall budget policy had been put forward as an argument against this. She wished to reiterate this request in order to give the Graz Centre an opportunity to continue efficiently implementing its substantial and important activities.

15. The Chair noted that the GR-C had taken due note of Austria’s statement. He would inform the Chair of the GR-PBA of the concerns expressed so that they could be taken into account in the budget discussions.

5.2 Written communication by the Director General of DGIV / Co-ordinator for Intercultural Dialogue covering the period from 9 April to 19 May 2009
DD(2009)221

16. No debate under this item.

6. Other business

17. The Chair and the Director General paid tribute to the Director of Education and Languages, Mr Gabriele Mazza, who would be retiring at the end of May and who was attending his last GR-C meeting. They thanked him for his invaluable contribution to the work of the Council of Europe and looked forward to being able to continue benefiting from his expertise, particularly in the context of the activities of the European Wergeland Centre.

18. When thanking the GR-C, the Director of Youth and Sport underlined that his Directorate would be honoured to welcome the Group in the premises of the European Youth Centre at least once a year, in order to reinforce the Committee of Ministers’ contact with this important sector of activities of the Council of Europe.

7. Date of the next meeting

19. The next meeting of the GR-C is scheduled for Tuesday 7 July 2009 at 10 a.m.

Appendix

Draft Recommendation CM/Rec(2009)… of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the education of Roma and Travellers in Europe (paragraph 13, appendix of the draft recommendation)

Amendment proposed by the first delegation

    13. Equal Aaccess to upper secondary and university education should be guaranteed for all children regardless of their social or educational background facilitated for Roma and Travellers by various positive actions.

Counter-proposal by the second delegation

    13. Access to upper secondary and university education should be facilitated for Roma and Travellers by various positive actions.

Compromise proposal by the Secretariat, based on the terminology of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

    13. Access to upper secondary and university education should be facilitated for Roma and Travellers by various adequate measures positive actions.

Note 1 This document was 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.


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