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

GR-C(2009)CB6 15 September 20091
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Synopsis
Meeting on 10 September 2009

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1. The Rapporteur Group on Education, Culture, Sport, Youth and Environment (GR-C) met on
10 September 2009 with Ambassador Guido BELLATTI CECCOLI, Permanent Representative of San Marino, in the Chair. The Group considered the following items, having regard to the annotated agenda
(GR-C(2009)15 rev). The agenda (GR-C(2009)OJ6) was adopted.

1. Council of Europe 2009 Exchange on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue – Exchange of views on possible follow-up
GR-C(2009)16, CM(2009)117 prov rev

2. The Group considered the proposals on follow-up to the 2009 Exchange and on the choice of a theme for a forthcoming 2010 Exchange, on the basis of document GR-C(2009)16. Mrs Roy Chourdaki, Chair of the Steering Committee for Education (CDED), took part in this discussion.

3. Several delegations supported the proposals on follow-up, in particular, in as much as they could be established within existing activities and schemes. Some delegations put forward suggestions on fine-tuning or adding to the follow-up proposals, particularly to take account of national responsibilities and approaches in the education field and to define potential co-operation partners. In reply to questions from several delegations as to the way in which these proposals could be implemented, and on the role of the CDED in this respect, the Chair of the CDED said that her committee had long been working on the teaching of sociocultural diversity, and was quite willing to make a contribution to the follow-up to the 2009 Exchange. The CDED would at its next session, in February 2010, give thought to the steps to be taken in order best to promote and implement Recommendation Rec(2008)12. In the context of its activities, it was co-operating closely with the Pestalozzi Programme and with the Wergeland European Centre. The speaker pointed out that the Council of Europe generally provided advice and assistance to member states. She emphasised the importance of the network of Intercultural Cities, and welcomed the proposal to introduce within this framework a network of pilot schools, to which the CDED would readily make a contribution. Following a question by one delegation on the possibility to involve “special advisors” in the CDED’s work, the Chair of the CDED gave in principle a positive reply. The Director General of DGIV gave some details about the network of Intercultural Cities, run in co-operation with the European Union and operating on a voluntary basis. In reply to questions from one delegation, she said that a parallel network of pilot schools could be set up, operating on a similar basis. The Secretariat would look more closely into the arrangements for setting up such a network, subject to the Group's agreement in principle to the proposal.

4. The discussion also covered the proposals for the theme of the 2010 Exchange. On this matter, opinions remained divided, with some delegations wishing to continue to give thought to the teaching of religious and convictional facts – centring on more specific and tangible aspects of the issue, or drawing conclusions from the 2008 and 2009 Exchanges – and others preferring to tackle a new subject. Several proposals were mentioned, including the role of the media, the place of the family and the universality of human rights. A few delegations, as well as the Director General, considered that if the theme of a forthcoming Exchange were to be linked to the action plan set out in document GR-C(2009)16, it would take about two to three years of implementation of the plan in order to have substantial elements to nourish the debate of a future Exchange.

5. In conclusion, the Chair noted that the Secretariat would, in the light of the views expressed, reword the proposals for follow-up contained in document GR-C(2009)16. He invited delegations which so wished to submit to the Secretariat in writing, by 6 p.m. on 23 September, any comments that they might have about the summary of the debate, as it appeared in document CM(2009)117 prov rev, as well as their proposals for the theme, place and date of the 2010 Exchange, with a view to resuming the discussion on this item at the next meeting of the GR-C, in October. He emphasised the importance of concluding this discussion in the near future, so as to leave the Secretariat the necessary time for optimum organisation of the next Exchange.

2. Replies to Parliamentary Assembly recommendations

2.1 “Crafts and cultural heritage conservation skills” – Recommendation 1851 (2008)
Rec_1851 (2008), CM/AS(2009)Rec1851 prov

6. The Group agreed on the draft reply to the aforementioned recommendation, as set out in document CM/AS(2009)Rec1851 prov, and agreed to submit it to the Deputies for adoption without further debate at their 1066th meeting (23 September 2009).

3. Replies to Congress recommendations

3.1 “The future of cultural tourism – towards a sustainable model” – Recommendation 266 (2009)
Rec_266 (2009), CM/Cong(2009)Rec266 prov

7. The Group agreed on the draft reply to the aforementioned recommendation, as set out in document CM/Cong(2009)Rec266 prov, and agreed to submit it to the Deputies for adoption without further debate at their 1066th meeting (23 September 2009).

4. Abridged reports

4.1 Steering Committee for Culture (CDCULT)
a. Abridged report of the 8th plenary session (Strasbourg, 14-15 May 2009)
b. Renewal of the terms of reference of the CDCULT for 2010-2012
c. Draft Recommendation CM/Rec(2009)… of the Committee of Ministers to member states on national film policies and the diversity of cultural expressions
CM(2009)111

8. The Group considered the abridged report of the 8th plenary session of the Steering Committee for Culture (CDCULT). During the discussion, the Director General replied to a number of questions from delegations, particularly relating to the proposal made by members of the CDCULT and referred to in the report, that consideration be given to updating the European Cultural Convention of 1954. She explained that this subject had, in fact, been raised on a very preliminary basis in the CDCULT, and that any move in this direction should be preceded by an assessment of achievements and developments since the Third Summit, which should involve all the DGIV steering committees concerned. The GR-C would, in due course, be asked to examine the result of this assessment and to discuss possible follow-up action. Furthermore, the representative of Azerbaijan and the Director General gave some information about the invitations sent by the Azerbaijan authorities to 15 European states to attend an enlarged session on the occasion of the Conference of Ministers of Culture of Islamic States to be held by ISESCO in Baku from 13 to 15 October 2009. In this context, the Director General told the Group that the subject of co-operation between the Council of Europe and ISESCO would be considered by the Rapporteur Group on External Relations
(GR-EXT) at its November meeting.

9. Finally, following a discussion, the GR-C indicated its agreement with the draft terms of reference of the CDCULT, it being understood that the relevant draft programmes would be examined during the discussions on the draft Programme of Activities for 2010. It also indicated its agreement with the draft Recommendation on national film policies and the diversity of cultural expressions, with an amendment to paragraphs 24 and 25, and agreed to submit these texts to the Deputies for adoption without further debate at their 1066th meeting (23 September 2009).

4.2 Steering Committee for Cultural Heritage and Landscape (CDPATEP)
a. Abridged report of the 2nd plenary session (Strasbourg, 12-13 May 2009)
b. Revised terms of reference of the CDPATEP
CM(2009)112, CM(2009)112 add

10. The Group considered the abridged report of the 2nd plenary session of the Steering Committee for Cultural Heritage and Landscape (CDPATEP). It indicated its agreement with the proposed amendment of the terms of reference of the CDPATEP and with that committee's recommendations on the award of the Landscape Prize and “special mentions”, specifying that these distinctions could be presented to the winners by the Secretary General or his representative (see draft decisions 1.v - item 4.2, document
GR-C(2009)15 rev). It agreed to submit the draft decisions as revised to the Deputies for adoption without further debate at their 1066th meeting (23 September 2009).

5. “Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and for the prevention of crimes against humanity” – proposals for a possible reorientation of the project
GR-C(2009)17

11. The Group held an exchange of views on the possible reorientation of the aforementioned project, in the light of document GR-C(2009)17 and in the presence of Mrs Fabienne Regard, Council of Europe expert in the field of the diplomacy of remembrance. The delegations which spoke expressed support for the continuation and development of this project, and particularly the commemorative, educational and preventive aspects, in relation with the principles set out in the Committee of Ministers' recommendation on history teaching in twenty-first century Europe (CM/Rec(2001)15). Several of them expressed keen interest in this project and reiterated their respective authorities' invitation to hold a future ministerial seminar. One delegation, with the support of several others, proposed to continue examination of document GR-C(2009)17 in an informal group open to interested delegations. The Chair noted that the Group was in agreement with this proposal, with a view to resumption of the examination of this item at the December 2009 meeting of the GR-C.

6. MBI Al Jaber Foundation –
Possible co-operation with the Council of Europe
SecCM/OUT(2009)132e, GR-C(2009)18, DD(2009)220 and following link:
http://www.mbifoundation.com/media/43321/Newsletter_2008_Autumn%202008.pdf
(Autumn 2008 edition)

12. The Group held a preliminary exchange of views on the draft co-operation agreement between the Council of Europe and the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, as set out in document GR-C(2009)18. From the outset, the Director of Strategic Planning said that this draft co-operation agreement was fully compatible with the resource management and mobilisation strategy, as submitted to the Deputies in March 2009. The draft agreement would provide for a pluri-annual partnership and fulfil needs identified in the framework of the three programmes indicated; and grouped together in the "projects to be funded by voluntary contributions" mentioned in the draft Programme of Activities for 2010. During the ensuing discussion, one delegation expressed full support for the draft agreement as presented. Following a request from another delegation, the Chair noted that the Secretariat would, in time for the next meeting of the GR-C and so as to further a rapid conclusion of this issue, specify the priority activities which could be financed thanks to a voluntary contribution offered by the MBI Al Jaber Foundation. Summing-up, the Director of Strategic Planning recalled that the use of these extra-budgetary resources will be fully aligned with the agreed programmes, bearing in mind that a certain flexibility will be necessary for a focused implementation of projects. With a view to concluding discussions under this item if possible during the next meeting of the GR-C on 8 October 2009, the Chair invited delegations to transmit to the Secretariat, in writing, any comments on the draft agreement as soon as possible.

7. Any other business

7.1 White Paper on intercultural dialogue – Request from the Alliance of Civilizations
DD(2009)418

13. The Group took note of the request by the Alliance of Civilizations to use the White Paper on intercultural dialogue in the context of the development of its national plans and regional strategies for intercultural dialogue. It welcomed the interest shown by the Alliance of Civilizations, and asked the Acting Secretary General to give a favourable reply to this request.

7.2 European and Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA) – Request for accession by Belarus – Information from the Chair about his consultations on the examination procedure

14. The Chair informed delegations of the consultations which he had had on 8 September 2009 with the Chairperson of the Deputies, the Chair of the GR-EXT and the Chair of the GR-DEM. It had been agreed on that occasion that the request by Belarus to accede to the EUR-OPA Partial Agreement should be examined by the GR-DEM in the context of a general discussion on the state of co-operation with Belarus. In accordance with procedure, the Bureau of the Deputies would make a recommendation to this effect at its next meeting.

8. Date of the next meeting

15. The next meeting of the GR-C was scheduled for Thursday 8 October 2009 at 10 a.m. This meeting would be devoted mainly to a review of the Programme of Activities for 2010 in the fields within the GR-C’s remit.

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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