New generation of European culture, education, youth programmes
Strasbourg (F), 2 June 2004
Following the meeting of the AER Committee on Culture, Education and Youth (27th – 28th May 2004, in Krakow-PL), the Assembly of European Regions (AER) today addressed a letter to Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Culture and Education.
The letter focuses on the Commission proposals on the future development of European culture, education and youth programmes. According to the AER, the Commission communication “Making citizenship work: fostering European culture and diversity through programmes for Youth, Culture, Audiovisual and Civic participation COM (2004) 154 final (09.03.2004)” did not fully take into account main conclusions of the final report from the public European consultation on the future of these programmes.
Speaking for the AER Bruno Hosp, Minister a.D for Culture of Bozen – Südtirol (I) regretted that the recommendations for better embedding the programmes in the European territories and for greater involvement of regional and local actors by bringing their real know-how to the European fore was not further developed in the Commission’s communication.
Mr. Hosp also pointed out the lack of real respect for the existing cultural and educational structures at regional and local level. ”Is it the right approach on subsidiarity? the members of the AER are asking. Is this the right way to maximize the impact of Community action at national, regional and local level, through a set of top-down planned programmes instead of supporting already existing national, regional or interregional initiatives which cross borders or work on a multilateral basis?”
The AER Committee on Culture, Education and Youth will carefully follow the legislative procedure concerning this new generation of programmes and comment on how far they respond to the concerns of regional representatives for culture, education, training and youth.
In relation to the debate on the European Constitution, the AER again confirmed its firm opposition to the inclusion of culture and education within the Common commercial policy (Art. 217) as an exclusive competence of the European Union. The AER sees the danger that, increasingly, cultural and education services will be treated as purely commercial goods.
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