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Presentation of the Presidency priorities in the European Parliament in the field of education, youth and sport, and bilateral meetings with European Commissioners

During her three-day working visit to Brussels at the European Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education (CULT), Minister Simona Kustec declared: “We will work towards the European vision of knowledge, education and research for a green and digital future.”

Highlights of the presentation

EDUCATION: blended learning and adult education

Minister Kustec identified blended learning and adult education as key priorities in the field of education. When talking about digitisation and digital transformation, we need to be aware that digitisation has positive effects as well as limits, and these should be set by ourselves. “The fact is that education should be carried out at schools. But given the extremely demanding times in which we live, we need to constantly adapt pedagogical practices and improve the development of competencies for both teachers and students. Our goal is high-quality, equitable and inclusive education, so we envisage the adoption of Recommendations on blended learning for high-quality education. We want to define the approaches of learning at school, distance learning and learning in other environments, such as the natural environment. This is why we presented 32 excellent practices from 12 countries at the beginning of the Presidency,” said Minister Kustec. She added that it is crucial for the future of society to internalise the concept of lifelong learning, so Slovenia will propose a Resolution on a new programme for adult education, which intends to provide adult students with more opportunities to develop competencies and knowledge.

SPORT: European Model of Sport and lifelong physical activity

In the field of sport, the Slovenian Presidency will propose a Resolution on the European Model of Sport, which aims at maintaining and promoting solidarity, fairness and an approach based on values, pyramid structure and open promotion system, and emphasises the social and educational role of sport. The Minister said at the presentation: “Our goal is to create lifelong physical activity programmes and fitness monitoring systems, so we will propose an EU-level concept of lifelong physical activity following the already established concept of lifelong learning in education; the concept will be based on the lifelong monitoring of physical activity and aimed at preserving the health of each individual and the health of society as a whole.” The Slovenian Presidency will propose draft conclusions on lifelong physical activity, which are expected to be adopted by the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council at its meeting on 28 and 29 November 2021.

YOUTH: civic spaces

For young people, we will strive for the active participation in civic life, so we are preparing Conclusions on the protection and creation of an open, accessible, inclusive and safe civic space for young people, especially young people with fewer opportunities. Civic space provides young people with an appropriate framework and opportunities for effective participation in society and the democratic life of Europe. We want the European Union and its member states to maintain and expand civic spaces for young people, especially those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, placing a special focus on young people with fewer opportunities.

After the presentation in the Parliament, Minister Kustec attended the opening of the exhibition of the internationally renowned Slovenian costume designer Alan Hranitelj, which he prepared in collaboration with set designer Marko Japelj, on the premises of the Council of the European Union. The “Mad Hatter's Wardrobe” exhibition is part of a rich opus by Alan Hranitelj, who has been designing for theatre, opera and dance shows, film and exhibitions for over thirty years.

Today, Minister Simona Kustec met with Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, to discuss the restructuring of the European Research Area (ERA). The Slovenian Presidency is launching a new approach to managing the ERA, aiming to accelerate the coordination of reforms and increase investment. The European Commissioner supported the process and announced the publication of the Pact for Research and Innovation.