Considering the EU Convention an opportunity to achieve the comprehensive and full-fledged application of the principle of subsidiarity, AER Committee D (Culture, Education, Training and Youth) appealed to its members to insist that the EU reviews on this occasion its involvement in certain policy areas, in particular culture and education (TEU articles 149-151). “Members should also insist that these domains remain in the competences of members states and regions, with the obligation of unanimous voting” said Committee President Dr Bruno HOSP at the meeting on 28th February and 1st March in Kielce (PL).
These issues will also underpin the 2nd European Conference of Regional Ministers of Culture that the AER is going to organise on 18th October 2002 in Brixen (I) under the title “The globalisation of culture and education – WTO and the effects of GATS for public service in the fields of culture and education”.
Debates also extended to education and training with a focus on eLearning. The Sub-Committee on Education and Training (led by Baranya – H) introduced a proposal for setting up adequate educational facilities combining education and training for migrant groups, in particular Roma and Sinti communities, throughout Europe.
The deliberations of the Youth Sub-Committee (led by Sörmland – S) concentrated on the organisation of the AER’s 1st Youth Summer School to be held in Autumn 2002 and the recently published EU White Paper “A New Impetus For European Youth”.
The Youth Sub-Committee, considering young people as an important factor to be immediately associated in the processes of building democratic societies, welcomed the EU White Paper, which is a comprehensive report providing a good overview of existing problems but which at the same time remains too general. Despite the extensive scientific expertise it shows, it fails to offer any strategic information on how young people should be involved in the participatory processes. Examples from the Regions of Nordland (N), Vestfold (N), and Sörmland (S) provided the participants with evidence of how this could be achieved.
The Youth Sub-Committee also questioned whether the EU is the appropriate level for implementing new Youth Programs and pronounced itself in favour of the EU supporting projects already existing at local and regional level in order to avoid high administrative costs and unnecessary bureaucracy.
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