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Socrates deal clinched

The future of the Socrates II programme on 'life-long learning' is now secure, following the agreement of the Conciliation Committee, set up between the European Parliament and Council to resolve the deadlock on funding.

The Committee has secured funding of 1.85 billion euro,...
The future of the Socrates II programme on 'life-long learning' is now secure, following the agreement of the Conciliation Committee, set up between the European Parliament and Council to resolve the deadlock on funding.

The Committee has secured funding of 1.85 billion euro, a compromise between the 2.5 billion euro demanded by the parliament and the 1.55 billion euro proposed by the Council's common position.

The agreement also includes a binding review clause to deal with the repercussions of enlargement by co-decision procedure.

The selection procedures for projects have been simplifies to ensure that schemes cannot be held up for more than two weeks in the event of a disagreement lodged by a Member State.

Furthermore a compromise was reached whereby the Socrates programme will contribute to the development of 'a European dimension in education and training', rather than the 'educational area' as proposed by the Parliament, or the 'educational cooperation' as originally preferred by the Council. Agreement was also reached on 'commitology' or the Commission's implementing powers.

The Conciliation Committee chaired by Renzo Imbeni for Parliament and Finnish Education Minister Maija Rask, for the Council, finally agreed on 10 November 1999, the second day of the third negotiating session with only two weeks to go until the deadline for a final settlement.

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