Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-336"

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". Mr President, Commissioner, I am glad that we are making today a really big day for culture, with five very major programmes for us to debate and also vote on, which is not the sort of thing that happens very often in this House. It does, however, highlight the importance and necessity of getting programmes of this kind up and running. Taken all together, little more than one per cent of the total European Budget for 2007 to 2013 is available to us for all five programmes – education, youth, culture, media and active citizenship – and that puts everything back into perspective and also brings us down to earth a bit. I would like to say that these are ambitious programmes, and we certainly could have done with more financial support for them; as has already been said, we had all planned something bigger, and it is the Member States that are standing in the way. In general terms, though, I do believe that the ‘lifelong learning’ programme is aimed in the right direction, with simplification, lump sums and more decentralisation in line with what we demanded. Expenditure must be proportionate to financial support, and building in the other EU support programmes on a horizontal basis would have been something else worth aiming for, but I would also appeal to the Commission for things to be made simpler for the national agencies and for the applicants too. The national agencies are in the course of being restructured, and this process will certainly take up more time yet, but here, too, dialogue and support from the Commission are called for. We, too, should apply ourselves more to dialogue, for there are still a number of problems left to be resolved. It is to be hoped that the trend towards increasing mobility will continue, for we have set ourselves the target of three million students by 2012, and so we must make further strenuous efforts and demand many improvements. The school systems also need to be analysed in terms of quality, which needs to be guaranteed not only by the EU, but also by the Member States, and we have to demand that they do that."@en1

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