On 7 September 1994, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Decision to establish 1996 as the European Year of Lifelong Learning. This would provide a promotional framework for actions undertaken within the European Union in the area of lifelong learning, in particular under such programmes as ADAPT and EMPLOYMENT and within the context of the SOCRATES and LEONARDO DA VINCI programmes in the area of education and training respectively. Following the amendments proposed by Parliament at first reading on 16 March 1995, the Commission has now published an amended proposal for a Parliament and Council Decision establishing a European Year of Lifelong Learning. The amendments concern the objectives and themes of the European Year, and the means to implement them. In particular, the actions carried out during the Year should highlight the importance of cooperation between education and training structures, businesses and the social partners; the potential of a European education and training area in the context of the mobility of people receiving training and of workers; and the need to ensure better access to relevant education and training actions for all regardless of gender, ethnic, economic and social background.