Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-15-Speech-2-335"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, in this century it is surely not difficult to convince anyone that general and vocational education can no longer be confined to school and the immediate post-school years but has to be updated and extended throughout people’s working lives. Changing demographic trends, for example, provide sufficient evidence of this requirement. In this context, Mrs Pack’s excellent report puts forward a host of good ideas and very successfully conveys the need to create a culture of learning, particularly among adults. To this end she lists a number of measures that should be taken at various levels. Adult education is, of course, primarily a task for the Member States. For this reason the EU cannot prescribe action; instead, we must make suggestions and request, encourage and invite the Member States to offer a range of measures that will bring more people into adult education. Like the rapporteur, I firmly believe – and I say this as vice-chairman of the Committee on Regional Development – that many Member States are not fully aware of the significance and use of the European Social Fund and other structural funds as instruments in the pursuit of lifelong learning. They should monitor the structural funds with this objective in mind as well as ensuring that more resources are made available for those whose need of lifelong learning is greatest. In short, the report calls clearly on the Member States to make active use of instruments such as the European Social Fund and on the Commission to reinforce specific programmes in the field of adult education."@en1

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