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Education Council to debate Education and Skills for Jobs, Stability and Growth, with presentation by Digital Champion for Ireland Lord David Puttnam

14.02.2013, 16:00 GMT

EU Ministers for Education will discuss“Education and Skills for Jobs, Stability and Growth” at the first Education Council of the Irish Presidencyin Brussels tomorrow. Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD, will chair the meeting. The Presidency has also invited two guest speakers: Lord David Puttnam, the noted filmmaker and chancellor of the Open University; and the Deputy Director for Education at the OECD, Andreas Schleicher.

Education Ministers will debate Education and Skills for Jobs, Stability and Growth at the EU Council of Education Ministers in Brussels on Friday 15 February.  In advance of the meeting, Minister Quinn said, “Ireland’s core aim during our Presidency is to seek ways of supporting sustainable jobs and growth in Europe and of restoring economic stability to the European economy.  Education and training have a key role to play in this endeavour and in tackling and resolving the current unemployment crisis across Europe.”

The Education Ministers are also expected to adopt Conclusions on "Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes" and the 2013 Annual Growth Survey at the Council.

They will hear presentations from Lord Puttnam and Andreas Schleicher on how education and skills can contribute to the Presidency theme of Jobs, Stability and Growth.   Lord Puttnam,whose film credits include Chariots of Fire and The Killing Fields, recently took on the new role of Digital Champion for Ireland to advise the Irish Government on how digital technologies can transform education, the economy and public service.

I would like each minister to take at least one big idea, or one new way of approaching a challenge, back to their capital.

The debate, including the contributions from Lord Puttnam & Andreas Schleicher, can be viewed at around 1000 Irish time on our Press Centre page. The press conference will also be streamed live on this page.

Minister Quinn commented: “Ministers’ time is precious so it is important for us to get the greatest benefit from our interactions. Previous Presidencies have worked hard to make the Education Council a more interactive and meaningful experience for ministers. We want to build upon this good work. I am aiming to have a discussion which is politically focused on big issues, which is meaningful, and of practical use to all of us. I would like each minister to take at least one big idea, or one new way of approaching a challenge, back to their capital.”

This will be the first of two Education Council meetings to be held under the Irish Presidency – the second will be in May.

A number of legislative priorities in education have been identified for the course of the Presidency: 

  • Regulation establishing "Erasmus for All”
  • New Directive to amend Directive 2005/36 on the recognition of professional qualifications
  • Regulation on the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF)
  • Decision on the Strategic Innovation Agenda of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) & Regulation amending 2008 Regulation which established the EIT


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picture of Deirdre Grant, Director of Communications,

Deirdre Grant, Director of Communications, (Education)




Marcella Smyth, Spokesperson (Coreper I) Permanent Representation Brussels




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