The European Commission, European Parliament, EU governments and the Council of Europe are ready to cooperate further on promoting Europe's cultural routes, which provide tourists with itineraries for exploring the continent's common cultural heritage. “The cultural routes will take you on a journey that is sign-posted with the fundamental principles of Europe: human rights, cultural democracy, cultural diversity, identity, dialogue, and mutual exchange” said Commissioner Vassiliou.
The newly appointed Lithuanian Minister for Culture Arunas Gelunas took advantage of his presence in Brussels to pay a courtesy visit to the Commissioner. The meeting was a good opportunity to discuss Lithuania's participation in the Culture Programme, as well as Vilnius' experience as a European Capital of Culture in 2009, when some 100 projects and approximately 1500 events were scheduled under the broad heading of Culture Live.
Earlier this year, Commissioner Vassiliou convened a group of experienced, independent experts on sport and EU integration, as part of the consultation process for the Commission's planned policy paper on sport. The group was tasked with producing a report on how the EU should use its new powers on sports policy. At today's meeting, the Group's rapporteur, Mr Manolis Mavrommatis, presented the report to Commissioner Vassiliou.
Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou signed the largest EU budget support programme for South Africa at the conclusion of the EU-South Africa Summit in Brussels on 28 September.
The programme, worth more than €122 million, will support primary education. Commissioner Vassiliou and Angie Motshekga, South Africa's Minister for Basic Education, signed the agreement in the presence of the country's President, Jacob Zuma, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso.
Commissioner Vassiliou spoke about the importance of adult learning at the opening of the Grundtvig Tenth Anniversary Conference in Copenhagen on 23 September. During her speech, she stated: "The lessons of lifelong learning hold true for Denmark – and they hold true for Europe too. In each of our countries, education is the master-key that unlocks all the doors – to better skills; to personal development and active engagement in the community; and to economic growth. (…) We stress that education is not a one-shot opportunity. Especially today, in a rapidly changing world, and in a Europe where people are living longer, learning must continue throughout life."
On an education-themed trip to Copenhagen, Commissioner Vassiliou will meet education experts and people who have benefited from the Grundtvig programme at a conference to mark the programme's 10th anniversary, on 23 September. She will also take the opportunity to visit the Danish School of Education at Aarhus University, as well as to meet Danish Ministers Tina Nedergaard (Education), and Per Stig Møller (Culture).
The Commissioner is meeting Prof. Ezin (the African Union's Commissioner for human resources, science and technology) ahead of the forthcoming Africa-EU summit in Libya. Discussion topics include the African agenda on higher education, policy dialogue and mobility programmes (Erasmus Mundus in particular).
As schools and universities start another academic year, Commissioner Vassiliou underlines the importance of education in an open letter to students and teachers across Europe. You can read her message here.
Message of European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Ms Androulla Vassiliou, to pupils, students and teachers across Europe on the opportunity of the start of the new academic year 2010-2011.
Dear pupils, students, teachers and academic staff,
Taking this opportunity as you head back to school for the new academic year 2010 -2011, I would like to wish you a creative, fruitful and enjoyable term. Europe lays its hope on the excellent work that you will all together produce.
Commissioner Vassiliou meets Agency staff and scientists responsible for awarding grants under the EU's Marie Curie individual fellowship scheme. Almost 5000 applications have been received, 20% up on 2009. This year, there is €150 million available in fellowship grants - to be distributed among 800 researchers for projects lasting up to 3 years. Researchers are chosen by selection panels led by the Agency.
The Commissioner took part in a 'Youth on the Move' debate, webstreamed across Europe. Around 100 people attended the live event in Brussels and about 200 more participated via a live chat. The Commissioner answered as many questions as was possible during the one hour that was available. A recording of the debate is available on this website.
'Youth on the Move' – one of the flagship initiatives in the Europe 2020 growth strategy, will be launched on 15 September 2010.