HC Deb 05 July 1994 vol 246 c127W
Mr. Couchman

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what were the outcomes of the Council of EC Youth Ministers and the Council of EC Education Ministers held on 6 and 21 June, respectively.

Mr. Boswell

The main item of business for the Council of Youth Ministers was the Commission proposal to extend the "Youth for Europe" programme for a third phase. The programme will continue to support a wide range of exchange-based activities for young people and youth workers in the Community, with an emphasis in the third phase on activities for the disadvantaged. The Council of 6 June reached a common position which the United Kingdom could accept. A budget of 105 million ecu, approximately £82 million, over five years—1995–99—was agreed.

The Council of Education Ministers considered the Commission proposal for an EC education action programme, SOCRATES. Ministers reached a common position on the proposal. A budget of 760 million ecu, approximately £580 million, over five years—1995–99—for the programme was agreed. The programme will amalgamate and expand the existing ERASMUS—European Community action scheme for the mobility of university students—and Lingua programmes and will introduce Community activity at school level for the first time, through support for joint projects undertaken by schools in at least three member states. In addition, the programme will support the education of migrant workers', gipsies' and travellers' children and the dissemination of information about the education systems of member states, as well as trans-national co-operation on the in-service training of teachers, open and distance learning and adult education.

Ministers also agreed conclusions on the cultural and artistic aspects of education and discussed a presidency note on the education of the children of migrant workers.