Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council configuration (EYCS)
The policy areas covered by the EYCS Council are the responsibility of member states. The EU's role in areas of education, youth, culture and sport is therefore to provide a framework for cooperation between member states, for exchange of information and experience on areas of common interest.
How does the EYCS Council work?
The EYCS Council is composed of the ministers responsible for education, culture, youth, media,communication and sport from all EU member states. The precise composition of the Council depends on the items discussed in a particular meeting.
Council meetings are also attended by a representative from the European Commission - usually the Commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth.
The EYCS Council meets three or four times a year; twice in its full configuration.
About education, youth, culture and sport policy
The Council mostly adopts incentive measures and recommendations. Nevertheless, the initiatives agreed by the Council, such as the Erasmus+ or Creative Europe programmes, can have a very direct impact on EU citizens. In some cases, where the treaties allow, the Council can also adopt legislative acts. For example, on audiovisual matters and the mutual recognition of diplomas.
The EYCS Council is also closely involved in monitoring the progress of the education and youth aspects of the Europe 2020 strategy, as well as in developing the cultural sector's contribution to a more innovative Europe, and helping to ensure that Europe's potential as a global centre for the production of creative digital content contributes fully to the Digital Agenda set out in Europe 2020.
The EU's actions in the areas of education, youth, culture and sport seek to preserve Europe's cultural heritage, support its cultural and creative industries, encourage mobility of students and teachers and promote physical activity and social inclusion through sport.
Priorities of the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council during the Maltese Presidency
Achieving high quality education for all is one the priorities of the Maltese presidency. The Council will work on drawing up conclusions on the theme of inclusion in diversity. The focus will be placed on inclusiveness as a primary element of effective education mechanisms.
The Maltese presidency will also strive to make progress on the new skills agenda for Europe, the proposal for a Council recommendation on the European qualifications framework for lifelong learning, and the proposal for a decision on Europass.
Regarding youth, the presidency will draw up Council conclusions on how youth work can support young people's development of essential life skills and their transition to adulthood. The Council will also adopt conclusions in response to the Commission's mid-term review of the EU youth strategy, as well as the Commission's youth initiative.
In the area of culture, the presidency will draw up conclusions based on the joint communication 'Towards an EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations'. It also aims to carry forward the work on the proposal for a revised audiovisual media services directive.
The Maltese presidency intends to focus on sport as a platform for social inclusion through volunteering by means of Council conclusions, targeting in particular the most vulnerable.