Decision establishing 1996 as the "European Year of Lifelong Learning" The European Parliament and Council of the European Union have adopted a Decision establishing 1996 as the "European Year of Lifelong Learning" The Decision has been adopted in response to proposals put forward in the Commission's White Paper on "Growth, Competitiveness and E... The European Parliament and Council of the European Union have adopted a Decision establishing 1996 as the "European Year of Lifelong Learning" The Decision has been adopted in response to proposals put forward in the Commission's White Paper on "Growth, Competitiveness and Employment". The White Paper states that a large proportion of new jobs created by the year 2000 are likely to be in the audiovisual and information sector; an area where there is a continual need for retraining and education. The establishment of 1996 as the "European Year of Lifelong Learning" also coincides with the commencement of the SOCRATES and LEONARDO DA VINCI programmes in the field of education and training. The aims of the "European Year of Lifelong Learning" are to promote and encourage: - Personal development; - The integration of individuals into working life and society; - The participation of individuals in the democratic decision-making process; - The ability of individuals to adjust to economic, technological and social change. The Decision identifies the principle themes of the year as being: - The provision of high quality general education, open to all without discrimination of any kind; - The promotion of vocational training leading to qualifications for young people; - The promotion of continuing education and training; - The motivation of individuals to participate in lifelong learning, especially those who have not previously benefited from education and training; - Further cooperation in education and training issues between educational institutions and commerce, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises; - The raising of awareness of the importance of participation in lifelong learning, especially with regard to future competitiveness and employment-intensive economic growth in Europe; - The raising of awareness of parents of the importance of education and training for children and young people; - The development of the European dimension of initial and continuing education and training, and the promotion of linguistic education. Activities carried out during the year will include general or theme-based events, the preparation and dissemination of communication materials and the completion of studies and surveys. Emphasis will be placed on those activities which: - Offer a practical demonstration of the advantages of education and training; - Highlight education and training projects as part of a lifelong learning approach; - Promote collective training, with due respect for national laws; - Highlight the contribution made by international cooperation in this area, and which disseminate the results of Community initiatives. The Decision provides for the establishment of an "ad hoc" advisory committee which will assist the Commission with the implementation of the "European year of lifelong learning". In addition, each Member State will designate an appropriate body, or bodies, to be responsible for national implementation. The budget for the year has been set at ECU 8 million. Under this Decision, the Commission is required to ensure consistency and complementarity between the actions provided for in this Decision and other Community actions, particularly SOCRATES and LEONARDO DA VINCI. It is also required to submit, by 31 December 1997, an evaluation report to the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions.