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Commissioner Figeľ presents his priorities in education and culture

SLOVAKIA’S European commissioner Ján Figeľ, nominated for education and culture, attended a hearing before the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in Brussels on September 27.

He said more investments in education, professional training, higher mobility and simpler accreditation of diplomas, skills and qualifications were the inevitable prerequisites for the creation of a true European labour market and the fulfillment of the goals of the Lisbon Strategy, news wire TASR reported.

Figel expressed his belief that the Lisbon strategy, under which the EU should become the best performing knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010, will be the main priority of the new European Commission and the EU as a whole.

"A major part of the answers to questions of better performance are placed in the areas falling under my responsibility," he said.

The three-hour hearing before MEPs, from the committees of culture and education as well as social affairs and employment is part of the procedure leading to the approval of the new European Commission, whose mandate begins November 1.

Presenting several specific plans, Figel said he intended to see the new programme of lifelong education approved as soon as possible, because this was the answer to globalisation, new technologies and an aging Europe.

In the areas of culture, he wants to play an important role within UNESCO, talks on cultural diversity, pay attention to dialoge between the cultures and, especially, with Moslem countries.

There should be wider discussion next year on the importance of universities, and Figel also wants to make Europe more attractive for foreign students and pedagogues by means of the Erasmus Mundus programme.

As for multilinguality, Figel wants to see every student being taught in two additional languages at schools, in addition to their mother tongue.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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