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German Presidency of the European Union stresses education and research

The German Presidency of the European Union, between January and June 1999, will be guided by the motto "The Future of Europe: Learning Together - Doing Together", according to German Federal Minister for Education and Research Edelgard Bulmahn in a statement on 8 January.

"E...
The German Presidency of the European Union, between January and June 1999, will be guided by the motto "The Future of Europe: Learning Together - Doing Together", according to German Federal Minister for Education and Research Edelgard Bulmahn in a statement on 8 January.

"Education and research policies form the cornerstones of European integration," he said. "They constitute an important part of European co-operation and, more than virtually any other field, make a positive contribution towards closer integration in Europe that is visible to its citizens.

"Education and research are more decisive than ever before in determining a favourable future for the people and countries of Europe. They are decisive driving forces for innovation and structural change. They are the prerequisites for Europe's competitiveness with regard to its international competitors and the lasting improvement of employment in Europe," said Minister Bulmahn.

As a result the German presidency of the EU wishes to establish points of reference for the emergence of a society based on knowledge and the increasingly international nature of education and research and, at the same time, to make a contribution towards improving employment policy in Europe.

Minister Bulmahn outlined programmes in four areas to achieve these objectives, as follows:

- The new Leonardo da Vinci and Socrates education programmes as of the year 2000;
- Increasing mobility in education and training within Europe;
- Innovation in education systems through European co-operation; and;
- Contribution of education toward the improvement of employment in Europe.

Minister Bulmahn also indicated the German Presidency would provide an effective public launch of the Fifth Framework Programme in Essen on 25 and 26 February during a Europe-wide preliminary event. There will also be a conference "Forward Thinking - Keys to the Future in Education and Research" in Hamburg on 14 and 15 June.

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