Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-338"

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". Mr President, I, too, will start by thanking Mrs Pack for the superb job she has done with this report. That she is one of this House’s really experienced experts on educational policy has already been mentioned, and that is evident from the priorities and emphases that she has added to this report. Europe is lacking in raw materials – that much is a fact – and so it is all the more important that we should develop the potential in the people who live here. The growth achieved by both China and India is extraordinary, and so is the number of graduates they produce. If Europe is to stand a chance in the globalised economy, we have to do more for education, research and development. I do not actually think that the European budget is focussed on the future; we are still investing too much in traditional agricultural polices and too little in education, development and research. Previous speakers have already lamented the fact that we are, in this area, budgeting for too little overall, with the derisory figure of one per cent over the next seven years. I find that very disappointing; I really would have liked to see more. We should be aiming at enabling every student in Europe to participate in the Erasmus programme, which represents the big opportunity for young people, for the experience of studying in different Member States will make real Europeans of them; they will derive lifelong benefit from what they learn there and, of course, carry it over into their circles of friends and acquaintances and into working life. That is what makes these experiences so very valuable, not only to them as individuals, but also to society. EUR 200 is, of course, preferable to EUR 150, but it is not exactly what we could do with if we are to have a pro-active education policy. I do, though, think Mrs Pack was right to say that we should start with the young and invest more in them. All the studies show that to be the case. That is why spending more on Comenius, within the context of lifelong learning, is the right thing to do."@en1

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