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.
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.
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.