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Education, Youth and Culture Council

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2007

The Education, Youth and Culture Council will be held on 15-16 November in Brussels. Anne Lambert, UK Deputy Permanent Representative, will be representing the UK on 16 November when Culture issues will be taken. Education issues will be taken on 15 November.

The first item on the agenda will be a report from the presidency on the first meeting of the EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council on Culture which was held on 25 October 2007. This meeting was to discuss the future priorities for cultural co-operation between the two partners. The presidency is expected to present the outcome of the meeting to the Council and the Declaration that was agreed.

The presidency will then seek the adoption of the Council Resolution on a European agenda for culture in a globalising world. The Commission published a Communication in June of this year which examined the role of culture in Europe and how the European Union can add value to this. Following the publication of this Communication, the Portuguese presidency proposed a draft Council Resolution setting out the member states' response to the issues raised by the Commission. Working Group discussions have resolved the UK's concerns with the Resolution, notably, acknowledging that culture is essentially a matter for member states, that participation in the Open Method of Co-ordination on any given work strand will be voluntary and that the results will be non-binding. The Council is expected to adopt the Resolution and I intend to endorse this course of action.

The Council will then be invited to adopt a decision on the selection of two cities to host the European Capital of Culture event for 2011. Estonia and Finland are the EU member states nominating cites for this event and have put forward Tallinn and Turku respectively. I intend to support this proposal.

Under Any Other Business, the presidency will provide feedback on expert conferences in the field of culture and information on forthcoming events. The Commission will give information on the EU-China declaration in the field of culture and education. I do not foresee any need to intervene on any of these items.