§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what were the outcomes of the Council of EU Education Ministers held on 26 June. 
§ Mr. Andrew Smith
The Council of Education Ministers, at which my noble Friend the Minister for Education and Employment and my hon. Friend the Minister for Education and Industry, Scottish Office represented the UK, reached agreement on the adoption of a common position on the European Commission proposal to increase the budget of the SOCRATES education programme. The common position will provide for the budget to increase from 850 million ECU1 over 5 years to 875 million ECU2.
The Council adopted Conclusions on Safety at School, on Information and Communications Technology and Teacher Training, and on the Commission White Paper "Teaching and Learning: Towards the Learning Society". The Council received reports on the Commission's draft Recommendation on Quality Assurance in Higher Education and on the Fifth Research and Development Framework Programme.
Ministers also discussed the Commission Green Paper "Education. Training, Research: The Obstacles to Transnational Mobility" and language teaching.
The Council minutes will be placed in the Library as soon as they become available.
1 £596.3 million at £1 = 0.7015 ECU.
2 £613.8 million at £1 = 0.7015 ECU.