Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-334"

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"Mr President, as our German friends say education is more. It is a key to many more answers in life than are possible without education, and it empowers individuals and societies to seek a better economic, social, cultural and political future; and that is why I am sure that an integrated lifelong learning programme could provide many new opportunities in quantitative and qualitative terms, because when we see it in combination with what we are doing in Europe all together, it means much more than just a programme. We are agreeing to create the lifelong learning strategies in Member States by the end of this year. We have a programme from January 2007, and we have a benchmark in our cooperation, in order to increase the participation of adults in the lifelong learning systems in Member States. As Mrs Pack said, lifelong learning is not a luxury, it is a necessity; and I am sure that it gives individuals experiences which enrich their lives and improve their employability. Learning helps institutions to transfer knowledge from one to another across Europe, to innovate, to improve and to modernise. It increases the transparency of Member States’ systems, because when cooperation is open, we see how systems are moving and becoming more and more compatible. In short, it is a valuable European instrument at the direct service of our citizens. The new programme will expand opportunities and will, I am sure, bring even more benefits. So I am delighted that Parliament, the Council and the Commission were able, almost as soon as the financial framework was finalised earlier this year, to reach agreement on the text of the programme decision. I know it was not easy, but if Parliament adopts it without amendment, as your rapporteur proposes, then the programme can be implemented on time from the start of 2007. Given the complexity of the programme, that is a major achievement. If we compare the past with the current complex programme, we can see the hard work that has been done. I would like to extend particular thanks to Mrs Pack, the rapporteur, for using her great expertise and experience in the field to make it possible to reach an agreement so rapidly at second reading. On the text itself, the Commission is fully in agreement that it should not be amended. The financial envelope will be close to EUR 7 billion for seven years at current prices. But we should also see it in broader terms, where opportunities are growing. I do not want to go into details, but I frequently encourage ministers to look into structural funds to see how they could serve the mobility of students; how other programmes like Erasmus Mundus could also help to build a more attractive European educational space. Our services have been working at full speed to have the implementation arrangements in place so that we can publish the first call for proposals under the lifelong learning programme before the end of this year, and to ensure that the programme is more accessible and simpler for the end user. Thank you for providing the possibility of enabling us to be so advanced at this moment."@en1
"Bildung ist mehr"1

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