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Commission adopts Green Paper on Education

The Commission of the European Communities adopted on 29.9.1993 a "Green Paper on the development of the European Dimension in Education".

This document is intended to open a debate which will involve all interested parties on the subject of the European dimension in school e...
The Commission of the European Communities adopted on 29.9.1993 a "Green Paper on the development of the European Dimension in Education".

This document is intended to open a debate which will involve all interested parties on the subject of the European dimension in school education (as opposed to education in training centres or institutes of higher education).

In this context, the Green Paper prepares the way for possible Community action, in cooperation with the Member States, aiming to support the provision of a higher quality of education to some 67 million school-age students and 3.7 million school teachers throughout Europe (compared to a total of some 9 million students and 500,000 teachers in higher education).

Response to the publication will help the Commission to formulate concrete proposals for Community action in this field. Possible lines of action are outlined, complementary to activities undertaken by the Member States.

It is pointed out that the Green Paper does not concern the content, organization or harmonization of school studies. Instead, the aim is to support an identification with the concept of "European citizenship", to offer opportunities to increase the quality of education, and to better prepare young people for their integration into Europe's developing social and professional environment.

The Green Paper proposes that Community action should be centred on the schools themselves, which form one of the main areas for contact and exchanges between those involved in educational activities (over 300,000 pre-school, primary and secondary educational establishments exist throughout the Community). Actions may be implemented on the basis of projects and transnational cooperation in the following key areas:

- Support for cooperation between educational establishments, to include mobility and youth exchanges;
- Emphasis of the European dimension during the training of teachers and other educational staff, encouraging cooperation and exchanges between training establishments in different Member States;
- Development of language teaching, with support for mobility between countries and increased possibilities for trans-cultural communication (inter alia making use of experience gained by the LINGUA programme), together with aid for the development of new teaching materials and methods;
- Encouragement for the effective exploitation of the possibilities offered by new multimedia and distance learning techniques, aiding young people to adapt to technological advance in their professions and to possible retraining opportunities, and facilitating the transfer of knowledge;
- Promotion of innovative teaching methods via the establishment, at the European level, of networks of research focused on educational and training needs and methodologies (this topic forms part of the proposal for the Fourth Framework Programme);
- Support for exchanges of information and experience between Member States on their methodologies and educational systems as well as their reforms and innovative actions, and in this context to make the most effective use possible of the Community's network of information on education (EURYDICE);
- Valorization of the experience of European schools which have developed original educative techniques (notably multicultural approaches and the foreign-language teaching of different disciplines).

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