Pécs, Baranya (H), 1 June 2006
‘Education or Training? The Lisbon process and the European soul’ was the title of the speech Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner (Lower Austria), President of the Assembly of European Regions’ Committee on Culture, Education & Training, Media & Information Technology, Youth and Sport, held on 25 May 2006 in Pécs, capital of the Hungarian County of Baranya. The AER member county of Baranya hosted the international conference ‘Europe’s future The culture of the future’ in the European Capital of Culture 2010.
Over 100 personalities from cultural policy and cultural management from Hungary, Austria, Romania, the Slovak Republic, the Republic of Serbia, the Federal Republic of Germany and Norway have contributed and participated to the discussions at the conference, which emphasized the notion of the ‘cultural region’.
Committee President Mikl-Leitner underlined the link between culture and education and launched an appeal to the Regions that European education should not be sacrificed for an economy-centred training ‘We live not only in a Europe without frontiers but also in a world without frontiers. Young people should therefore also acquire economic skills earlier than in the past,’ Regional Minister Mikl-Leitner said, who is also responsible for Youth Affairs. ‘But I do not see why we should renounce cultural skills, the knowledge about our origins, our traditions and values.’
The Lisbon process is embedded in a context in which even education is subjected to the logic of the market. There is a danger that cultural and human sciences will be classified as ‘unnecessary’.
Mikl-Leitner recalled the importance of the cultural sciences for preserving the cultural heritage, which is an economic factor and creates jobs in many ways. The worst that can happen to Europe is that cultural education stops being a value. If we wish to promote lifelong learning, it can only be achieved through a broad education at an early age.
Addressing the economy, Johanna Mikl-Leitner launched an appeal, stating that creativity and the capacity to identify multiple solutions are the characteristics of an artistic aptitude and at the same time the pre-conditions for an innovative economy.
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