Welcome to my website.
As Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, I have the enormous privilege of spearheading EU action in areas which affect the lives of every European citizen.
I want to develop further policies that will promote a Europe of opportunity and ambition, so that citizens of all ages are equipped with the skills they need to find decent jobs and to lead fulfilling lives.
Our youth are the future of Europe and we all need to prepare for this future. Much still requires our efforts. In this day and age it is unacceptable, for instance, that one in five 15-year-olds in the EU are barely able to read and that one in six leave school early. I will work with Member States and all our committed partners to improve literacy rates and standards of education.
Europe also has an important role to play in breaking down gender stereotypes. I will encourage more girls to study maths, science and technology so that we can close the gender gap in male-dominated professions like engineering; equally, I will encourage more boys to enter professions like teaching where women predominate. I will, of course, place a lot of emphasis on language learning as well: multilingualism is the passport to a larger world of opportunity and it helps in opening people's minds to the different cultures and history which is an integral part of Europe's wealth.
As part of the 'Europe 2020' strategy, which will set guidelines for EU action in the next decade, I will announce a major initiative aimed at boosting youth mobility. All young people should have the chance to spend part of their studies or training abroad.
Culture lies at the heart of our diverse European identity and traditions. Encompassing everything from the amazing legacy left by the Greeks and Romans to the European Border Breakers pop awards and EU-backed films of Almodovar and Bertolucci, culture is bedrock of our civilisation. It is also an important source of wealth and jobs in tourism and in the cultural and creative industries which account for 2.6% of Europe's GDP.
Likewise, the importance of sport in terms of education, social integration and health is immense. Its specificity is now recognised in the new EU Treaty (Lisbon). Sport also has an important economic impact. I will work with professional and amateur organisations to ensure that we promote fair play and anti-doping, that we protect our young sportspeople and work to combat racism and violence.
Many challenges lie ahead but I know that I can count on the dedication of my services. I look forward to forging close co-operation with the European Parliament, national governments, civil society and, through these pages, directly with you.
To find out more about my plans for the future in more detail, click on 'my priorities'. This website will be updated regularly, so don't hesitate to 'bookmark' me!