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Document 51999PC0485

Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council European Year of Languages 2001

/* COM/99/0485 final - COD 99/0208 */

OJ C 56E , 29.2.2000, p. 62–65 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)

51999PC0485

Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council European Year of Languages 2001 /* COM/99/0485 final - COD 99/0208 */

Official Journal C 056 E , 29/02/2000 P. 0062 - 0065


Proposal for a DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL European Year of Languages 2001

(presented by the Commission)

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

1. CONTEXT

The need for Community action in the areas of education and vocational training generally is recognised in Articles 149 and 150 of the EC Treaty, which form the legal basis for the proposed European Year of Languages 2001. Article 149 specifies as an area for Community action "developing the European dimension in education, particularly through the teaching and dissemination of the languages of the Member States". Both Articles provide for cooperation with the competent international organisations. Article 149 specifies in this respect "in particular the Council of Europe", which has already adopted a decision designating 2001 the European Year of Languages.

Linguistic diversity is a key element in Europe's heritage and will remain so in its future. Embracing it is therefore a pre-requisite for constructing a Europe all of whose citizens enjoy equal status and equal rights and is also crucial to maintaining widespread public support for the European idea.

Anyone who wishes to live among or to develop successful political, economic or personal contacts with people from a linguistic group other than his or her own will gain significant advantage from knowledge of the language(s) spoken by that group. The promotion of language learning is therefore an essential element in enhancing communication between European citizens and extending to all of them the full benefits of that citizenship, in particular the right enshrined in Article 18 of the EC Treaty "to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States".

Article 151 of the EC Treaty states that "The Community shall take cultural aspects into account in its action under other provisions of the Treaty". Clearly, this is especially important in action involving languages, which are at the core of cultural identity. Taking into account cultural diversity means taking into account also the national and regional diversity of languages within the European Union.

In addition, linguistic competencies are a crucial factor in the employability of individuals, and in the competitiveness of enterprises and of the European economy as a whole. The chances of successfully marketing a product or service are greatly improved if the supplier speaks the language of the client. Equally, enterprises' administration costs can be reduced if language differences are no longer an obstacle to communication, internal and/or external. Contacts between organisations from the public and voluntary sector will also be more efficient if the people involved can speak each other's languages. It is unrealistic to expect everybody to master the language of every potential professional contact, so the development and promotion of skills and technology facilitating communication between people who do not understand each other's languages are also important.

2. EXISTING COMMUNITY ACTION IN THE FIELD OF LANGUAGE EDUCATION AND TRAINING

In 1989, the Lingua programme was adopted and in 1995 it was reinforced and integrated into the Socrates programme(legal base Article 149 and 150) and Leonardo da Vinci programme (legal base Article 150), promoting European cooperation in education and vocational training respectively.

The Lingua measures within Socrates include support for the initial and in-service training of language teachers, for the development of new teaching materials and for joint educational projects, including exchanges, between young people. Leonardo da Vinci promotes the development of vocationally-oriented language skills through transnational pilot projects and exchange programmes. Within both programmes, priority is accorded to the less widely used, learnt and taught official languages of the Community.

Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci have achieved significant success in increasing cooperation and mobility between participating countries. But available figures show that much progress remains to be made. 51 % of adult European citizens [1] and 29 % of young people between 15 and 24 [2] do not speak a foreign language well enough to hold a conversation.

[1] Eurobarometer 44 (April 1996 - survey November 1995).

[2] Eurobarometer 47.2, 1997.

Under the second phase of the Socrates programme ("Socrates II"), due to commence in 2000, the importance of language learning will be reinforced.There will be a new action aimed at promoting linguistic diversity and improving the quality of language teaching and learning. Most of the existing Lingua actions will be integrated with the Comenius section of the programme dealing with school education.

Under the second phase of the Leonardo da Vinci Programme ("Leonardo da Vinci II"), also due to commence in 2000, the visibility of languages and the priority accorded to them will also be further reinforced.

In its 1995 White Paper 'Education and Training: Teaching and Learning: towards the learning society' [3], the Commission set the objective, for all European citizens, of proficiency in two Community languages other than the mother tongue. The White Paper focuses on language teaching and learning at all ages and the emphasis is on new ideas and best practice. The European "Label" for innovative projects in language teaching and learning arose from the White Paper and has been implemented since 1997. It aims to highlight and disseminate best practice. Labels are awarded, by national juries, to projects which meet a set of criteria agreed at European level.

[3] Commission's White Paper: 'Education and Training: Teaching and learning - Towards the learning society' (based on COM (95)590 final, 29 November 1995), Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 1996.

3. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The principal aim of the European Year of Languages will be to raise awareness among the population of the European Union of the advantages of understanding and speaking other languages, and of the various possibilities which exist for learning to do so. The key messages will be that language learning can and should be enjoyable and that it carries with it great benefits, both personal and economic.

The objectives stated in the draft Decision are therefore as follows:

a) to raise awareness of the richness of linguistic diversity within the European Union;

The emphasis on the "richness of linguistic diversity" is important to make clear that diversity is an asset to the Union, and should be valued and preserved. A key message of the European Year will be that all languages should be equally valued: the aim is not merely to encourage people to learn widely spoken languages to facilitate international communication.

b) to bring to the notice of the widest possible public the advantages of competencies in a range of languages;

This objective reflects the importance for the future of the European Union of enhancing communication between EU citizens and of extending access to the tangible benefits of citizenship, notably free movement within the Union. It emphasises personal development and intercultural understanding, reflecting a synergy with the European Year against Racism and Xenophobia 1997. The economic potential of language learning is also emphasised under this objective. It is expressed in general terms to include the wide spectrum of economic benefits language learning can bring: not only employability, but improved job satisfaction and career prospects for individuals, and increased productivity and competitiveness for the European economy. Solid language skills are crucial for enterprises' ability to exploit the potential of the Single Market and to remain competitive in an increasingly globalised and mobile economy.

c) to encourage the lifelong learning of languages and related skills;

In order to reflect the Community's educational priorities, and to build upon the success of the European Year of Lifelong Learning 1996, this objective emphasises that the learning of languages - and related skills such as translation, interpretation and certain technical and office skills - can and should be a lifelong process. It reflects the fact that the target public includes many people who have had little opportunity in the past to learn foreign languages.

d) to collect and disseminate information about the teaching and learning of languages;

This objective includes the organisation and dissemination of Community-wide and smaller-scale studies aimed at improving knowledge of the situation regarding language learning, notably in order to assist in identifying priority areas for resources to be invested, both during the Year and after it.

It also allows the Year to contribute to making people aware that the methodology of language learning has developed well beyond the traditional methods which dominated language classrooms until relatively recently. This is an important factor in creating motivation to learn foreign languages.

Finally, this objective includes scope for raising awareness of various ways of facilitating communication between speakers of different languages, including through interpretation, translation and the use of information technology.

4. TARGET GROUPS

The very limited funding available under the Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci programmes for awareness-raising in the field of languages has so far largely concentrated on the target groups of teachers, trainers, existing learners, decision makers and academic experts.

The European Year, on the other hand, will be orientated towards communicating to the general public the advantages of language learning. It will be necessary to vary the message according to the particular audience addressed. Differentiated information material will therefore be produced for various sections of that wide target group, for example: speakers of particular languages; people living near linguistic borders; professional groups; schoolchildren; parents; social partners; unemployed people.

5. CONTENT - PRINCIPLES OF ELIGIBILITY

As set out in the Annex to the draft Decision, the information strategy for the Year will include material and events relevant across Europe, which may be funded entirely from the Community budget (on the basis of calls for tender), as well as smaller-scale activities, partly funded by subventions from the Community budget (based on calls for proposals) and relevant to particular countries, groups of countries or regions.

All of these wholly or partly funded actions may aim to raise awareness of language teaching and learning generally, or of specific aspects. Priority will be accorded to projects clearly demonstrating how they will contribute to the development of European citizenship.

Amongst other things, there will be potential for actions concentrating on some of the areas identified as priorities by the 1995 White Paper 'Teaching and Learning: towards the learning society' (see 1. above). These include: "early" language learning, at pre-school and primary level; learning other subjects through the medium of a foreign language; multilingual comprehension (between people speaking different languages); measures for the evaluation of the quality of language learning programmes and materials; and exchange of information on language teaching and learning. There will also be potential for actions to focus on specialised areas such as translation or interpretation, as well as on technical tools for facilitating effective communication between speakers of different languages.

The Commission will finance and manage, in cooperation with organisations expert in the field of communication, a coherent promotional campaign, using all media available. Maximum visibility will be sought.

The Year will not provide funds for the development of projects similar to those already funded under existing programmes and activities, but the Community-wide information campaign may be used partly to make interested parties aware of the results of some such projects, for example new pedagogical materials.

There will also be some scope for the co-financing of actions not directly or exclusively aimed at information dissemination, as long as those actions are not eligible for funding under Socrates II, Leonardo da Vinci II or other relevant Community programmes or activities. This might mean for instance, that provided its objectives were coherent with the objectives of the Year and in particular if it would have significant value as an example of best practice, a project aiming to bring language teaching to a disadvantaged section of the population might be eligible, even if it were not the result of transnational cooperation.

Many of the Community-wide actions and activities which will take place during the European Year will not be specific to particular languages, but will aim to communicate an inclusive message emphasising diversity and promotion of language learning in general. Co-financing for transnational, national, regional and local projects will also be available to projects addressing language learning in general, as well as to those promoting the learning of single languages or groups of languages, as defined in Article 1.

6. CONTENT - DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ACTIONS

No distinction is drawn below between fully-financed Community-wide actions and co-financed actions, because it is envisaged that the latter will mirror on a smaller and more local scale the themes of the former, and will in many cases use similar tools. The list below is not exhaustive: ideas for additional activities may arise, notably as a result of consultations with experts and/or of responses to calls for proposals.

Activities contributing to all of the four specific objectives

There is potential for reaching a substantial proportion of the European population, given that the concept to be promoted is simple and that many people are likely to be receptive to it. A key vehicle for this will be an information campaign with a single logo and a single set of core messages. The Commision will seek to develop the logo in cooperation with the Council of Europe (see 9. below). All projects receiving funding in the context of the European Year will be required to use the logo, and it will also be available to projects not funded by the Year, but who can demonstrate to the Commission's satisfaction that they share one or more of the Year's objectives.

Slogans will also be developed. In order to ensure coherence all over Europe, these will convey similar meanings in all languages, although the need for them to be punchy and effective means that literal translations will not always be appropriate.

The key to the success of the European Year will be the media strategy. The medium with the greatest potential for initially creating awareness of the Year will be television, though this will need to be followed up via other sources of information.

Given the cost, direct purchase of television time from the Community budget is excluded. However, it may be possible to obtain limited free screen time. The production of a 30 second or one minute "spot" in all Community languages is envisaged.

A longer, programme could also be produced and offered to broadcasters in all Member States. National, regional and local projects involving the production of good quality audiovisual information material will be regarded as a priority for co-financing.

Other forms of mass promotion could also be used, in particular a poster campaign. Space would again need to be donated.

The Internet will be a very important tool. A central European Year website, including all of the information materials issued in the context of the Year, will be set up with links to Commission, Council of Europe and national websites. The site will include the capacity for interactivity with the public

Exhibitions, from small-scale local ones to major premises in capital cities, will also be a very effective means of attracting attention, notably from the media.

European competitions, aimed at schoolchildren and adults, will be organised.

There will also be activities aimed specifically at the media, for example the organisation of interviews and press conferences.

The Commission's representations in the Member States will play a vital role in ensuring the cohesion and effectiveness of the information strategy.

Activities contributing principally to Objective (a): "to raise awareness of the richness of linguistic diversity within the European Union"

Objective (a) which concentrates on linguistic diversity, would be particularly suitable for promotion by large-scale one-off events, at both European and Member State level. Events should, to the extent that is possible, be open to the public and should be entertaining and interactive rather than didactic, for example through involving performances in various languages. A wide range of languages, including less widely used ones, should be involved. Such events should also aim to attract television coverage.

Activities contributing principally to Objective (b): "to bring to the notice of the widest possible public the advantages of competencies in a range of languages"

For Objective (b) also, mass information activities and cooperation with the media will be vital. The key is to persuade people that it is in their interest to improve their linguistic skills. This requires more detailed information, in particular in written form, than Objective (a).

Leaflets and/or booklets will be produced for mass distribution. The cooperation of newspapers and magazines as well as of organisations such as airlines, travel agencies and supermarkets will be sought. European public figures will also be approached to lend their support, for example by providing quotes for leaflets or participating in television programmes on language learning.

Activities contributing principally to Objective (c): "to encourage the lifelong learning of languages and related skills"

The emphasis here will be on encouraging potential learners to convert their interest in languages into the positive step of beginning actively to learn them and related skills. The key to this will be the availability of information on opportunities for learning. Websites and media items referring to the European Year will provide, for the relevant country or countries, details of a single contact point, linked in turn to local relays. This will necessitate cooperating closely with Member States to ensure such structures are set up.

Language learning institutions will be encouraged to organise open days - preferably everywhere in Europe on the same day, on the lines of European Heritage Days. A campaign will be launched to encourage institutions (notably universities) with good language learning facilities to open those facilities more widely.

Activities contributing principally to Objective (d): "to collect and disseminate information about the teaching and learning of languages"

Objective (d) is concerned directly with the quality rather than the quantity of language learning. A particularly important aspect of this will be the dissemination of good methodological practice along with the "education" of learners to choose courses appropriate to their needs.

A concise "Guide for Language Learners" will be developed in the form of a leaflet or short booklet explaining what to look for in a good language course and suggesting techniques for learning successfully. This Guide will be distributed as widely as possible.

As well as actions aimed directly at the general public, Objective (d) will give rise to some more specialist activities such as conferences and publications aimed at experts, with a view to the multiplier effect that can be generated by such activities in terms of wider participation in language learning. Studies could also be organised analysing existing patterns of language learning (particularly outside the formal school sector) and assessing attitudes among learners and non-learners.

Activities linked to Objective (d) will also include disseminating information about tools, including new technological applications as well as "traditional" interpretation and translation, which can help speakers of different languages to communicate with each other.

7. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

The workload involved in managing a European Year may necessitate recourse to technical assistance. The main tasks of the staff concerned will be to administer selection processes for co-financed projects, issue and monitor contracts and payments etc. These staff will not be involved in policy decisions or in final decisions over which projects are to receive funding.

8. NEED FOR ACTION AT EUROPEAN COMMUNITY LEVEL

The principle of subsidiarity, as set down in Article 5 of the EC Treaty, requires that action be taken at Community level "only if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of the scale and effects of the proposed action, be better achieved by the Community". This condition is clearly met in the case of the European Year of Languages, which will be managed in close cooperation with Member States.

The Community and all Member States have significant interests in common, in particular the need a) to raise awareness of the importance of linguistic diversity to European cultural identity; and b) to encourage language learning in general. A European Year provides an ideal way of communicating these messages coherently to a large number of people, while, through appropriate coordination at Community level, avoiding duplication and achieving economies of scale.

Key themes of the European Year are the importance of languages for building European citizenship and the richness of linguistic diversity within Europe. These are by definition European themes which can best be addressed by action at Community level.

The Community-wide actions under the Year will be coordinated by the European Commission and will further contact between decision-makers, information professionals, teachers and learners, to the mutual advantage of the Member States. The co-financed actions on a transnational, national, regional and local scale will encourage the formation of partnerships between organisations working to promote language learning in different Member States.

The management of the Year at Community level, on a cooperative, multicultural and plurilingual basis, is consistent with the message of the Year - the promotion of language learning and of European citizenship. A Community-wide initiative can also attract more media attention than one in any single country, a vital factor in ensuring the success of any information activity, especially one with a relatively limited budget.

In addition to having well-defined information objectives of its own, the Year will provide a "communications framework" which can help raise awareness of all Community, national, regional and local initiatives directly or indirectly relevant to languages and language teaching and learning. In particular, it will be well-timed to help ensure that language activities in Socrates II and Leonardo da Vinci II achieve a high profile in the early years of their implementation.

9. COMPLEMENTARITY AND COOPERATION WITH THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE AND WITH THIRD COUNTRIES

The Council of Europe is very active in the field of education and training, especially language learning. The European Union recognises this in Articles 149 and 150 of the EC Treaty, which stipulate cooperation with the "competent international organisations." Article 149 goes on to mention "in particular the Council of Europe."

The Council of Europe has designated 2001 the European Year of Languages, and would welcome the prospect of a combined initiative with the EU. This constitutes an excellent concrete opportunity for collaboration to the mutual benefit of both the Community and the Council of Europe. In order to maximise the coherence of the European Year and its visibility to the public, the Commission will seek to develop, in cooperation with the Council of Europe, a common logo for use in all materials and at all events connected with the initiative. A number of joint events will be organised, for example to open and close the Year. With regard to the general management of the European Year, it is envisaged that, in addition to close day-to-day cooperation between the Commission and the secretariat of the Council of Europe, regular joint coordination meetings will be organised. In addition, Member States will be encouraged to ensure that the necessary liaison takes place at national level, in particular in cases where the national body collaborating with the Commission for the purposes of the European Year is not the same as that dealing with the Council of Europe.

The Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) and other associated countries will be involved in the European Year through the Council of Europe, which will contribute to raising the profile of their languages among the target public within the EU, as well as helping to promote EU languages in the countries concerned. In addition, the Community side of the initiative will be relevant to the languages of the pre-accession countries, in that the basic message communicated will be a general one applicable to all languages.

10. BUDGET

EUR 8 m is felt to be the minimum necessary for the European Year to attain the critical mass necessary to reach a significant proportion of the European public. This is because of the wide range of areas of activity connected with languages and language teaching and learning, the high cost of a Community-wide information campaign, and the need to co-fund at a meaningful level projects submitted through the Member States. It is important to note that this amount is in addition to the EUR 4m already earmarked under the Commission's preliminary draft budget to cover preparatory activities in 2000.

11. COMITOLOGY

It is proposed that there should be an advisory committee to assist the Commission with the implementation of the Decision.

The proposed Decision requires each Member State to set up a coordinating body to assist in the management of the Year. Among the responsibilities of such bodies will be to advise on the suitability of projects from the country concerned. The Commission, assisted by the committee, will then make the final decision on the attribution of funding

Proposal for a

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

European Year of Languages 2001

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community and in particular to Articles 149 and 150 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee,

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions,

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the EC Treaty,

Whereas:

(1) In the preamble to the EC Treaty, it is stated that the Member States are: "Determined to promote the development of the highest possible level of knowledge for their peoples through a wide access to education and through its continuous updating";

(2) Article 18 of the EC Treaty establishes the right of every citizen of the European Union "to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States", and whereas the ability to use foreign languages is essential to the ability in practice fully to exercise that right;

(3) The Council Conclusions of 12 June 1995 on linguistic diversity and multilingualism in the European Union emphasised that "linguistic diversity must be preserved and multilingualism promoted in the Union, with equal respect for the languages of the Union and with due regard to the principle of subsidiarity", and whereas Decision 2493/95/EC of the European Parliament and Council, adopted on 23 October 1995 and establishing 1996 as the European Year of Lifelong Learning [4] highlighted the importance of the role of lifelong learning in developing competencies, including linguistic, throughout an individual's lifetime;

[4] OJ L 256, 26 October 1995.

(4) The Commission's 1995 White Paper 'Education, training, research: Teaching and learning: towards a learning society' [5] established as its Objective Four proficiency for all in three Community languages and whereas the Commission's 1996 Green Paper 'Education, Training, Research: The obstacles to transnational mobility' [6] concluded that "learning at least two Community languages has become a precondition if citizens of the European Union are to benefit from occupational and personal opportunities open to them in the single market";

[5] Commission's White Paper: 'Education and Training: Teaching and learning - Towards the learning society' (based on COM(95)590 final, 29 November 1995), Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 1996

[6] Commission's Green Paper 'Education, Training, Research: The obstacles to transnational mobility' (based on COM (96)462 final, 2 October 1996), Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 1996

(5) The measures in the Lingua programme, adopted on 28 July 1989 under Decision 89/489/EEC of the Council [7], were reinforced and partially integrated as horizontal measures into the Socrates programme established on 14 March 1995 by Decision 819/95/EC of the European Parliament and the Council [8] and modified on 23 February 1998 by Decision 576/98/EC [9], and whereas those measures have promoted the improvement of knowledge of the languages of the Union and have thus contributed to greater understanding and solidarity between the peoples of the Union; whereas the Council in its common position of 21 December 1998 proposes that those measures be further developed and reinforced in the second phase of the Socrates programme [10];

[7] OJ L 239, 16 August 1989.

[8] OJ L 087, 20 April 1995.

[9] OJ L 77/1, 14 March 1998.

[10] OJ C 49/42, 22 February 1999.

(6) The Leonardo da Vinci programme, established on 6 December 1994 by Decision 94/819/EC [11] of the European Parliament and the Council, has, building on the results achieved under the Lingua programme, supported activities aimed at developing linguistic skills as part of vocational training measures; whereas that support will be further developed and reinforced in the second phase of the Leonardo da Vinci programme, established on 26 April 1999 by Decision 99/382 EC of the Council [12];

[11] OJ L 340, 29 December 1994.

[12] OJ L 146/33, 11 June 1999.

(7) A multiannual programme to promote the linguistic diversity of the Community in the information society was established by Council Decision 96/664/EC of 21 November 1996;

(8) The Report of the High Level Panel on the Free Movement of Persons [13] presented to the Commission on 18 March 1997, considered "the multiplicity of European languages [to be]... a treasure to be safeguarded" and suggested measures to foster language training and the use of languages in the Community;

[13] Report of the High Level Panel on the Free Movement of

(9) In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as defined in Article 5 of the EC Treaty, the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States, inter alia because of the need for a coherent Community-wide information campaign avoiding duplication and achieving economies of scale; whereas those objectives can be better achieved by the Community, owing to the transnational dimension of Community actions and measures; whereas this Decision does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve those objectives;

(10) It is important to develop appropriate cooperation between the European Community and the Council of Europe so as to ensure consistency between actions undertaken at Community level and those undertaken by the Council of Europe, and whereas such cooperation is expressly mentioned in Article 149 of the Treaty establishing the Community;

(11) This Decision lays down for the entire duration of the programme, a financial framework constituting the prime reference, within the meaning of point 33 of the Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission of 6 May 1999, for the budgetary authority, during the annual budgetary procedure [14];

[14] OJ C 172, 18 June 1999.

(12) The Joint Declaration of 4 May 1999 by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission sets out the practical arrangements for the implementation of the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the EC Treaty [15],

[15] OJ C 148, 28 May 1999.

HAVE DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1 Establishment of the European Year of Languages

1. 2001 shall be designated as the 'European Year of Languages'.

2. During the European Year, information and promotional measures will be undertaken on the theme of languages, with the aim of encouraging language learning by all persons legally residing in the Member States, notably by raising awareness of the influence of language competencies on the quality of life and on economic competitiveness. These measures will cover the official languages of the Community, together with Irish, Letzeburgesch, and other languages recognised by the Member States.

Article 2 Objectives

The objectives of the European Year of Languages shall be:

a) to raise awareness of the richness of linguistic diversity within the European Union;

b) to bring to the notice of the widest possible public the advantages of competencies in a range of languages, as a key element in personal development, in intercultural understanding, in making full use of the rights conferred by European citizenship and in enhancing the economic potential of individuals, enterprises and society as a whole;

c) to encourage the lifelong learning of languages and related skills by all persons legally residing in the Member States, whatever their age, background or previous educational experiences and achievements;

d) to collect and disseminate information about the teaching and learning of languages, and about skills, methods and tools which assist that teaching and learning and/or facilitate communication between users of different languages.

Article 3 Content of actions

The actions designed to meet the objectives set out in Article 2 above may include, in particular:

- the use of a common logo and of slogans;

- a Community-wide information campaign;

- the organisation of meetings and events at Community, transnational, national, regional and local level;

- the organisation of competitions and prizes at Community, transnational, national and regional level;

- financial support for initiatives, at transnational, national, regional and local level, which promote the objectives of the European Year of Languages.

Details of these actions are set out in the Annex.

Article 4 Implementation

1. The Commission shall be responsible for the implementation of this Decision.

2. Each Member State shall designate an appropriate body to organise its participation in the European Year, and to be responsible for the coordination and implementation at national level of the actions provided for in this Decision, including through assistance with the selection procedure described in Article 7.

Article 5 Committee

The Commission shall be assisted by an advisory committee composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

The representative of the Commission shall submit to the committee a draft of the measures to be taken. The committee shall deliver its opinion on the draft within a time limit which the chairman may lay down according to the urgency of the matter, if necessary by taking a vote.

The opinion shall be recorded in the minutes; in addition each Member State shall have the right to ask to have its position recorded in the minutes.

The Commission shall take the utmost account of the opinion delivered by the committee. It shall inform the committee of the manner in which its opinion has been taken into account.

Article 6 Financial arrangements

1. Actions which are Community-wide in nature, as described in Part A of the Annex, may be financed in total by the Community budget.

2. Actions which are local, regional, national, or transnational in nature, as described in Part B of the Annex, may be co-financed by the Community budget, up to a maximum of 50% of the total cost.

Article 7 Application and selection procedure

1. Applications for the co-financing of actions from the Community budget under Article 6, paragraph 2, shall be submitted to the Commission through the body designated under Article 4, paragraph 2.

2. Decisions on the financing and co-financing of actions under Article 6 shall be taken by the Commission in accordance with the procedures set out in Article 5. The Commission shall ensure a balanced distribution among Member States and among the different relevant fields of activity.

Article 8 Coherence

The Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, shall ensure:

- consistency between the actions provided for in this Decision and other Community actions and initiatives, in particular those in the field of education and training;

- optimal complementarity between the European Year and other existing Community, national and regional initiatives and resources, where these can contribute to fulfilling the objectives of the European Year.

Article 9 Budget

1. The financial framework for the implementation of this action for the period 1 January-31 December 2001 shall be EURO 8 million.

2. The appropriations shall be authorized by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial perspectives.

Article 10 International cooperation

In the framework of the European Year, and in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 5, the Commission may cooperate with relevant international organisations. In particular, it shall make appropriate arrangements for cooperation with the Council of Europe.

Article 11 Monitoring and evaluation

The Commission shall submit, by 31 December 2002 at the latest, a report to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the implementation, results and overall assessment of the actions provided for in this Decision.

Article 12 Entry into force

This Decision shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. It shall take effect on the day of its publication.

Done at Brussels,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

ANNEX

1. Nature of the actions referred to in Article 3

(A) Actions which may be financed up to 100 % from the Community budget

1. Meetings and events:

(a) organisation of meetings on a Community level;

(b) organisation of events raising awareness of linguistic diversity, including the opening and closing events of the Year;

(c) organisation in each Member State of one or more presentations of the Year;

2. Information and promotional campaigns involving:

a) the development of a logo and of slogans for the European Year, for use in the framework of all activities linked to the Year;

b) an information campaign on a Community-wide scale;

c) the production of tools and aids, for use throughout the Community, designed to raise public awareness of the conditions for successful language learning and of effective teaching and learning techniques;

(d) the organisation of European competitions highlighting achievements and experiences on the themes of the European Year.

3. Other actions:

Surveys and studies on a Community-wide scale, having notably the aim of better defining :

- the situation in Europe with regard to languages, their use and language teaching and learning;

- the expectations of different target groups with regard to the objectives of the European Year;

- the way in which the Community could fulfil those expectations both in the course of the Year and afterwards, in particular in the framework of its programmes in the fields of education and training;

- evaluation studies concerning the effectiveness and impact of the European Year.

(B) Actions which may be co-financed by the Community budget

Actions at local, regional, national or transnational level may qualify for financing from the Community budget up to a maximum of 50 % of the cost, according to the nature and circumstances of what is proposed. These may include, inter alia:

1. Events around the objectives of the European Year;

2. Information actions and actions disseminating examples of good practice, other than those described in Part 1(A) of this Annex;

3. The organisation of prizes or competitions;

4. Surveys and studies other than those mentioned in 1(A) above;

5. Other actions promoting language teaching and learning, provided that those actions would be ineligible for funding under existing Community programmes and initiatives.

(C) Actions receiving no financial aid from the Community budget

The Community will offer its moral support, including written authorisation to use the logo and other material associated with the European Year, for initiatives undertaken by public or private organisations, where those organisations can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that the initiatives involved are or will be in progress during the year 2001 and are likely to contribute significantly to one or more of the objectives of the European Year.

2. Technical assistance

In carrying out the action, the Commission may have recourse to technical assistance organisations the financing of which may be provided for within the overall envelope for the programme. It can, under the same conditions, have recourse to experts.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT

1. TITLE OF OPERATION

European Year of Languages 2001

2. BUDGET HEADING INVOLVED

B3-1003

3. LEGAL BASIS

Articles 149 and 150 of the Treaty establishing the European Community

Parliament and Council Decision No ..../.../EC of ... establishing the European Year of Languages 2001.

4. BUDGETARY CHARACTERISTICS

Non-compulsory expenditure; differentiated appropriations

Period covered and arrangements for renewal or extension:

Operational year running from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2001.

No renewal, no extension.

(In order to give a coherent impression of all of the actions associated with the European Year of Languages, details are also given in paragraph 7 of this financial statement of measures to be financed in the context of the preparatory year running from 1 January 2000 until 31 December 2000, for which a budget of EUR 4 million has been proposed in the Commission's preliminary draft budget 2000)

5. TYPE OF EXPENDITURE

5.1 Community-wide actions

The Community will fund at up to 100 % actions undertaken on a Community-wide scale, falling into three main categories:

- meetings and events;

- an information and promotional campaign to be managed by the Commission in cooperation with organisations with the necessary communication expertise;

- and surveys and studies with Community-wide significance.

This funding may take the following forms:

- the direct purchase of goods and services, in particular in the field of communication, via open and/or restricted calls for tenders;

- the direct purchase of consultancy services, via open and/or restricted calls for tenders;

- subsidies allocated to multinational projects selected after an open call for proposals. (However, subsidies will only exceed 50 % in exceptional circumstances e.g. where the projects involved are on a Community-wide scale and contribute significant added value comparable to that achieved by services already directly purchased.)

5.2 Smaller-scale actions

The Community will also finance, with grants at up to 50 % of the total cost, the following types of action undertaken on a transnational, national, regional or local scale:

- meetings and events;

- information and promotional actions;

- surveys and studies;

- other actions whose objectives reflect one or more of the objectives of the European Year and which would not be eligible for funding under existing Community programmes.

This co-funding will be attributed to applicants on the basis of open calls for proposals. The Commission, acting in consultation with an advisory committee of Member State representatives, will allocate funds on the basis of proposals by coordinating bodies appointed by the Member States. The project funding rate may vary and will depend on the co-financing arrangements.

6. NEED FOR COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AND OBJECTIVES

6.1 Grounds for Community involvement

Articles 17 and 18 respectively of the EC Treaty establish citizenship of the Union and the right for every citizen to "move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States". In practice, the ability fully to exercise that right requires the ability to use foreign languages".

Pursuant to Articles 149 and 150 of the EC Treaty, Community action in the fields of education, training and youth supports and supplements measures taken by and within the Member States. Within that framework and through the elements set out below, the European Year, as a high-profile, time limited action, can achieve a major impact lasting well beyond its official end.

The European Year will support action on the part of the Member States by a variety of means. Through exchanges of information and the dissemination of best practice, it will help improve the quality of the information tools available to Member States for the promotion of language learning. It will increase the number of European residents of all ages and backgrounds wishing to learn languages and thus widen demand for and access to the facilities available for language learning in Member States. It will help mobilise additional sources of national funding, public, private and voluntary, for the promotion of language learning. It will provide a "communications framework" which can help raise awareness of the Socrates II and Leonardo da Vinci II programmes and all Community, national, regional and local initiatives relevant to languages and language learning.

The European Year of Languages will supplement national measures by communicating a clear and consistent message encouraging the learning of any or all of the Community languages by every European resident. Through economies of scale and the synergy between Community-wide and smaller-scale information initiatives, it can achieve an effect which could not be achieved by actions undertaken alone by individual countries or regions.

The initiative will attract significant media attention throughout the Community and thus have an important multiplier effect. A key vehicle for this will be an information campaign with a single logo and a single set of core messages, which will be disseminated throughout the Community.

The European Year will also serve to facilitate cooperation and exchanges of information between people and projects seeking to promote language learning on a national, regional or local scale.

Article 149 specifies that the Community and Member States "shall foster cooperation with third countries and the competent international organisations in the field of education, in particular the Council of Europe". Article 150 specifies "cooperation with third countries and the competent international organisations in the sphere of vocational training". The European Year of Languages 2001 will be undertaken in close cooperation with the Council of Europe, which formally adopted its own initiative under that name on 19 January 1999. On that occasion it expressed its wish to collaborate with the European Union in implementing the initiative.

That cooperation will help the European Union's key messages on the importance of language learning to reach associated countries, at a time when many of them will be preparing to join the Union.

6.2 General objective

The general objective of the European Year is to encourage European residents to learn languages and to raise awareness of the opportunities which exist to learn to do so. This will contribute to creating a sense of European citizenship and to the realisation of freedom of movement within the single market. It will also improve employability and the competitiveness of European enterprises. The Year will be an important element in the wider aim of the Community's policies on education and training: by encouraging cooperation between Member States and by supporting and supplementing their action, to help create a European educational area where each individual has the opportunity to build up his or her own qualifications through a lifetime of learning, involving where appropriate physical and virtual mobility across national borders.

Against this background, the actions within the European Year are founded on intensive cooperation between and with the Member States, with a view to transmitting the key messages of the Year to as many European residents as possible.

6.3 Specific objectives

The main specific objectives of the European Year of Languages are:

a) to raise awareness of the richness of linguistic diversity within the European Union;

b) to bring to the notice of the widest possible public the advantages of competencies in a range of languages, as a key element in personal development, in intercultural understanding, in making full use of the rights conferred by European citizenship and in enhancing the economic potential of individuals, enterprises and society as a whole;

c) to encourage the lifelong learning of languages and related skills by all persons legally residing in the Member States, whatever their age, background or previous educational experiences and achievements;

d) to collect and disseminate information about the teaching and learning of languages, and about skills, methods and tools which assist that teaching and learning and/or facilitate communication between users of different languages.

6.4 Target populations

The European Year will be orientated predominantly towards communicating directly to the general public the advantages of language learning. It will target all those living in the European Union, of all ages and social backgrounds. Within this aim, information campaigns and materials will be differentiated according to which sub-group is being targeted. Sub-groups may include, for example:

- people living in a particular region or with a particular mother tongue;

- people living near linguistic borders;

- professional groups;

- schoolchildren;

- parents with school age children;

- the social partners;

- unemployed people.

There will also be scope to target those in a position to spread more widely the message that language learning is important, particularly politicians and other decision-makers who have an influence on the direction of policies on language education and on their transnational and European dimensions. Teachers will be a target group in that they will be an important conduit for information. Improving teaching skills will not be a direct objective of the European Year, as that is covered by the existing Socrates and Leonardo programmes. Nevertheless, it is expected that raising public awareness of innovative tools and methods will make learners more discerning and create pressure for suppliers of language tuition, whether in the state sector or outside it, to ensure that their courses are effective and that where appropriate they make full use of modern techniques.

6.5 Critical mass and potential impact

The European Year of Languages aims to reach everybody living in Europe. An important multiplier effect is achievable through certain Community-wide actions which can achieve significant media coverage as well as through smaller-scale actions targeting particular groups, countries or regions.

All of these actions, on whatever scale, imply a financial investment by the Community. The concept of critical mass, in terms of the amount of funding available for the Year, is inextricably linked to the potential impact. For example, the final budget for the European Year of Lifelong Learning 1996 was 8.3 MioECU. The evaluation report described that Year as "overall&very successful" and noted that funds levered in from outside sources amounted to nearly 25.6 MioECU, making a total of 33.9 MioECU [16]. In addition, sustainability was high: the report estimated that 65 % of the projects commencing as a result of the European Year would continue with funding from other sources after the Year was over [17]. However, the report also noted areas where resources were lacking and where results could have been improved if extra resources had been available, notably for communication products in all EU languages, for marketing and promotional activities attracting media attention and for dissemination of information about good practice arising from individual projects [18].

[16] "Evaluation of the European Year of Lifelong Learning", by ECOTEC Research and Consulting Limited, July 1997, p. 3.

[17] Ibid p. 43.

[18] Ibid pp.52-56.

7. PLANNED ACTIVITIES AND FINANCIAL IMPACT

It is believed, in the light of the experience of previous European Years and of the wide-ranging objectives proposed for the European Year of Languages (see 6.3 above) that the figures set out below for each element of the content of theYear are the minima for critical mass to be reached.

The details set out below also refer to the EUR 4 million finance already proposed, in the context of the Commission's preliminary draft budget, for preparatory measures in the year 2000.

7.1 Planned activities - Relationship between indvidual cost and total cost

7.1.1 Community-wide actions (set out in Part 1(A) of the Annex to the draft Decision)

These actions will usually be instigated by the Commission in consultation with the advisory committee. Most of them will be contracted out after calls for tenders and financed at 100% by the Community budget.

The Commission will also provide funding for Community-wide actions instigated by outside organisations in responses to open calls for proposals. These actions will normally be co-financed with subventions of up to 50 % of the total cost, on the same basis as the local, regional, national and transnational actions referred to at Para. 7.1.2. However, in exceptional cases Community-wide actions resulting from calls for proposals may be financed at up to 100 %, if they contribute significantly to the objectives of the European Year and if it is established that all reasonable efforts have been made to achieve co-financing.

7.1.1.1 Meetings and events

It would be reasonable to expect that if the themes of the European Year are to become known to a majority of European residents and remain in their consciousness, the Year should include at least six high-profile Community-wide events, in different locations (to be determined in consultation with the Member States) throughout the Community: one each to mark the opening and closing of the Year and four thematic events at regular intervals in between. If these events are to cover a wide range of themes, involve a large number of experts and decision-makers and, where appropriate, directly involve members of the public, each such event can be expected to cost in the region of EUR 300 000, once organisational costs and the reimbursement of expenses for a significant number of participants invited by the Commission (about 250) are taken into account. As a comparison, the budget for the recent event "Stimulating Language Learning : the European Label" (25 March 1999) was EUR 165 000. This considerably smaller event was held in a Commission building in Brussels - there were therefore no venue or interpretation costs - and the number of participants invited at Commission expense was 115.

Sample cost breakdown for such an event organised outside Brussels:

Travel costs (economy class air or first-class train) for 250 invited participants:

250 x average EUR 500 = EUR125 000

Subsistence costs:

250 x 2 nights x average EUR 140 = EUR 70 000

Costs of hiring venue, facilities, stands, technical equipment; refreshments (2 days); one official dinner etc. = EUR 50 000.

Subcontracting of conference organisation, invitations, travel arrangements etc = EUR 10 000.

Interpretation (2 days) = EUR 40 000

The first European event will be a launch event and will need to be held very early in 2001. Given the preparation time necessary for events of this sort and the need to pay for services in advance - possibly via an intermediary organisation responsible for organising the launch event - it will need to be financed entirely from the budget for the preparatory year 2000.

2000 total approx EUR 300 000 x 1 = EUR 0.300 Mio

2001 total approx EUR 300 000 x 5 = EUR 1.500 Mio

It will also be necessary, if a sufficiently high profile for the Year is to be achieved, to organise launch events in each Member State, with finance provided by the Commission (although Member States could be expected to provide venues at no cost to the Commission). The average Commission contribution to the organisational costs of these events is estimated at EUR 50 000 per Member State. All of this funding will need to be committed from the preparatory year budget, given that the national launch events will need to be prepared from mid-2000 and held very early in 2001. The Community contribution to their funding will largely be paid in advance.

2000 total approx EUR 50 000 x 15 = EUR 0.750 Mio

2001 total = nil

Total finance estimated necessary for Community level events and meetings and launch conferences in each Member State: approx. EUR 2.550 Mio. EUR 1.050 Mio of this total will need to be covered from the preparatory year (2000) budget and EUR 1.500 Mio from the main budget in 2001 itself.

7.1.1.2 Community-wide information and promotional campaign

Among the elements of the Community-wide information and promotional campaign associated with the Year will be the development of a logo and slogan(s), the production of awareness-raising tools and aids, cooperation with the media and the organisation of European competitions.

The amount spent on actions under a comparable heading during the European Year of Lifelong Learning 1996 was approximately 1.75 MioECU. The ex-post evaluation of the European Year of Lifelong Learning noted that despite the success of the Year in terms of engendering substantial new action within Member States and in financing innovative and successful projects, Eurobarometer surveys before and after the Year showed no "significant increase in awareness of, or commitment to lifelong learning [19]" among the public. The evaluation identified a number of weaknesses in the communication strategy (as well as significant strengths) and stated in particular "the availability of more communication products in all official languages would have further enhanced the impact of the EYLL". It is clear that this point is even more crucial to the European Year of Languages. Information material must carry the explicit and implicit message that all languages are of equal value. In particular, a newsletter must be produced in all eleven official Community languages, as opposed to only three languages in the Lifelong Learning initiative.

[19] Ibid, p.33.

Given the above factors, if the information and promotional campaign associated with the Year is to operate at a sustained level of intensity sufficient to reach, either directly or via the media, a majority of European citizens, then it would be reasonable to estimate the likely value of the contract(s) with the external communication organisation(s) which will manage the principal part of the campaign at EUR 2.5 million, with around another EUR 700 000 in smaller contracts, covering for example sub-campaigns on particular aspects or in particular regions of Europe and the production of promotional goods.

A significant part of the information and promotional campaign will need to be financed from the preparatory budget in 2000. The public will need to be prepared for the official launch of the Year and it will therefore need to be given very wide preparatory publicity from mid-2000 onwards. There will be significant costs in developing the logo, slogans and audio-visual material (e.g television "spots"), which will need to be ready well before the end of 2000. The first newsletter should also be ready for distribution before the end of 2000.

Total finance estimated necessary for Community-wide information and promotional campaigns: EUR 3.200 Mio, with EUR 1.300 Mio to be covered from the preparatory year budget and EUR 1.900 Mio from the main budget.

7.1.1.3 Surveys and studies on a Community scale

Community-wide surveys and studies within four broad categories will be undertaken within the framework of the European Year. Those in the first three categories will involve detailed questioning of a relatively limited number of people and will be undertaken, after calls for tender, by consultants with specialist knowledge and experience.

a) Preparatory surveys in the Year 2000 will aim to:

- assess attitudes within various target groups (both general public and those already active in the field of languages, including in an administrative capacity) within each Member State, with regard to language learning;

- establish before the beginning of the Year target groups' expectations with regard to the Year and to other Community actions relevant to language learning;

- research views on how specific actions envisaged for the Year might be implemented.

In order to provide for a sufficiently wide sample of people to be involved, it is envisaged that the cost of this work, which will be financed from the preparatory year budget, will be around EUR 175 000.

b) Studies will be carried out during the Year 2001 itself with the aim of collecting more detailed data on the situation in the EU with regard to language learning, as well as of informing future Community actions in this field. The results of this work will be disseminated very widely, giving it dual value as an awareness-raising instrument, as well as an analytical tool. The cost is estimated at EUR 200 000.

c) An impact study of the European Year will be undertaken. It is intended that, as far as is possible, the same respondents who have taken part in the preparatory study will be recontacted in order to establish the Year's effect on their views and behaviour. They will be asked to identify strengths and weaknesses in the implementation of the Year. The cost of this work will be less than that of the detailed preparatory survey - see a) above - given that the work of establishing a respondent group with a balanced profile will already have been done in preparing that initial survey. It is estimated at around EUR 125 000.

d) In addition to the above, specific questions will be inserted into Eurobarometer surveys of samples of the general public in 2000 and 2002 in order to determine, for example:

- (2000) how many people regard language learning as important, how many people regard language learning as enjoyable, how many people would like to learn more foreign languages and which ones, how many people think they are capable of learning more foreign languages, how many people think they will learn more foreign languages (this question will be financed from the preparatory year budget at an estimated cost of EUR 125 000);

- (2002) changes to the above views and approximately what proportion of people living in Europe have been aware of the European Year. Estimated cost EUR 125 000.

Total estimated cost of Community level surveys and studies: EUR 0.750 Mio with EUR 0.300 Mio to be covered from the preparatory year budget and EUR 0.450 Mio from the main budget.

7.1.2 Local, regional, national and transnational actions (set out in Part 1(B) of the Annex to the draft Decision)

These actions can be financed up to 50 % from the Community budget. They are designed to be in synergy with the Community-wide actions described above, creating a structure whereby larger and smaller-scale actions will share the same objectives and contribute to each other's success. The co-financed actions will be submitted via coordinating bodies in each participating country and will, like the Community level actions, include events, information initiatives, competitions and surveys and studies. There will also be scope for the co-financing of any other action promoting language teaching and learning, provided it would be ineligible for funding under existing Community programmes. This will in itself act as a stimulus and as a tool for raising awareness of Europe's involvement in this area. Small organisations and initiatives based in a single country will for the first time have access to European funding, and the very experience of taking part will be a significant encouragement to them in their efforts at grass-roots level, which in addition to being boosted by the funds received, will be validated in the eyes of their local target publics by the European "imprimatur".

For the European Year to take advantage of its potential, the message transmitted in general terms through the Community-wide initiatives described above will need to be complemented by many smaller-scale initiatives throughout the Community, which can reinforce the message and tailor it to particular national, regional or local circumstances. For example, for the Year to succeed in encouraging the learning of languages, the public will need to be given information from sources geographically close to them on how and where they as individuals can learn.

It is also important that sufficient funding be reserved for the co-financing of projects under the heading "Other". This gives scope for new ideas which do not fit easily either into any of the main categories of action for the European Year or into other Community programmes. The ex-post evaluation of the European Year of Lifelong Learning stated that activities classified as "other" "generated a high level of impact in relation to their overall aims and objectives" [20].

[20] Ibid p.27.

It is expected that many of these co-financed projects will continue after the end of the Year. This was the case of 65 % of the activities co-financed under the European Year of Lifelong Learning (see 6.5 above).

In order to be able to fund initiatives at a level where they can have a significant impact and to provide sufficient encouragement for organisations to apply for co-financing with a realistic chance of success, it is estimated that approximately EUR 5 Mio will need to be made available for local, regional, national and transnational actions. This is based on a projection of funding 250 projects at an average subsidy of EUR 20 000. The average funding for the 454 co-financed projects under the European Year of Lifelong Learning was EUR 10 000, but the ex-post evaluation, on the basis of feedback from national coordinating bodies, recommended that European Years should in future fund fewer projects, with more substantial funding per project.

It is envisaged that there will be two calls for proposals under the heading of the European Year. The first will have a deadline for applications of summer or early autumn 2000 and the subventions allocated as a result will be covered from the preparatory year budget. This call will target specifically information and communication actions preparing the ground for the European Year at national, regional and local level. About 60 projects overall are expected to be co-financed as a result of this call for proposals, although the exact number of projects funded will of course depend on the quality of the applications received.

A further and wider call for proposals will follow with a deadline in spring 2001, targeting actions which advance any or all of the European Year's specific objectives. It is expected that 180-200 projects will be financed as a result of this call. Subventions accorded will be covered from the main European Year budget.

Total estimated funding for co-financed actions: EUR 5.0 Mio, with EUR 1.2 Mio to be covered from the preparatory year budget and EUR 3.8 Mio from the main European Year budget.

7.1.3 Technical assistance

The cost of technical assistance, to the mutual benefit of the Commission and of the beneficiaries of the action, is estimated at EUR 500.000, equivalent to 4.16 % of the total budget for the European Year, including preparatory measures. Use of such technical assistance will be necessary in particular with regard to administering the co-financing of the local, regional, national and transnational projects described in Part 1(B) of the Annex to the draft Decision. This will involve numerous standardised transactions, which in most cases will concern relatively small amounts. Technical assistance organisations may also be used to assist with certain aspects of the actions in Part 1(A) of the Annex, for example the organisation of large-scale meetings, in cases where the Joint Interpreting and Conference Service is not in a position to take responsibility for this.

It is envisaged that the necessary services will be obtained either via one or more framework contracts or via a technical assistance organisation corresponding to the definition set down in the Commission's "Vade-mecum on Technical Assistance Offices" of 1 July 1999.

In all cases, the tasks concerned will be carried out under the supervision of the Commission, and will not involve delegation of the tasks of a public authority. Contracts with technical assistance organisations will include deontological clauses to prevent conflicts of interest, define incompatibilities and impose respect for confidentiality.

In the context of the launch of a first call for proposals for co-financed activities, one of the most important initial tasks involving the use of technical assistance will be the assistance to the Commission for the selection of projects and the preparation of financial agreements with the beneficiaries. As set out at 7.1.2 above, it is envisaged that this first call, which will target specifically actions preparing the ground for the European Year at national, regional and local level, will take place well before the end of 2000. Technical assistance will therefore need to be in place at that time. The cost of technical assistance in 2000 is estimated at EUR 150 000, with the remainder of the EUR 500 000 referred to above to be covered by the main European Year budget in 2001.

7.1.4 Actions receiving no financial aid from the Community budget (set out in Part 1(C) of the Annex to the draft Decision)

There is significant potential to further the objectives of the European Year at little or no cost, by giving permission for the logo and other material associated with the Year to be used by organisations involved in initiatives in line with its objectives (e.g. existing national, regional or local government/NGO initiatives promoting language learning, companies introducing language training schemes, television companies broadcasting language courses, etc.). During the European Year of Lifelong Learning, approximately 600 authorisations of this sort were given. It is to be noted that this level of added value from "free" actions is dependent upon a European Year achieving a sufficiently high profile as a result of "paid-for" actions, and in particular communication activities, for organisations to seek to be associated with it.

7.2. Summary table of costs by element - Mio EUR

7.2.1 European Year breakdown

Element // Budget

Community level (financed max 100%) //

Five Community level meetings and events // 1.500

Information and promotional campaign // 1.900

Two studies (+ impact study

+ one Eurobarometer question) // 0.450

Local, regional, national, transnational level (max 50 %) //

Grants to +/- 190 various projects (av. +/- EUR 20 000 each) promoting language teaching and learning (e.g meetings and events, information campaigns, competitions, surveys and studies) // 3.800

Technical assistance // 0.350

TOTAL // 8.000

7.2.2 P. m : preparatory actions (2000)

Element // Budget

Community level (financed max 100%) //

Preparation of one Community level launch event (EUR 0.3 Mio) and contributions to preparing 15 national events (EUR 0.75 Mio) // 1.050

Preparatory information and promotional campaign // 1.300

Preparatory surveys (+ one Eurobarometer question) // 0.300

Local, regional, national, transnational level (max 50 %) //

Grants to +/- 60 various projects (av. EUR 20 000 each) paving the way for further European Year actions // 1.200

Technical assistance for preparatory actions // 0.150

TOTAL // 4.000

7.3 Schedule of commitments / payment appropriations

>TABLE>

Payments

>TABLE>

8. FRAUD PREVENTION MEASURES

All contracts, agreements and legal undertakings entered into by the Commission and the beneficiaries provide for in situ checks to be carried out on the premises of beneficiaries of a Community grant by the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and bestow the power to require evidence of any expenditure made under such contracts, agreements and legal undertakings within five years following the end of the contractual period. Beneficiaries are subject to reporting and financial accounting obligations, and these are analysed from the point of view of content and eligibility of expenditure, bearing in mind the purpose of the Community funding, and taking account of contractual obligations and of the principles of economy and sound financial management.

Appended to the financial agreements is information of an administrative and financial nature, designed to specify the kind of expenditure which is eligible under such agreements. Where appropriate, Community coverage of certain cost elements will be limited to items which are real, identifiable and verifiable in the beneficiary's book-keeping arrangements, so as to facilitate checking and auditing (and evaluation for selection purposes) of projects in receipt of funding.

9. MONITORING AND EVALUATION

9.1 Monitoring

Given the short duration of the European Year, monitoring will principally be based on

- continuous exchange of information between the Commission, the national coordinating bodies responsible for the coordination and implementation of the European Year at national level, and any technical assistance organisations contracted;

- awareness-raising measures with a view to stimulating a "culture of evaluation and monitoring" among the various players.

9.2 Evaluation

Pursuant to Article 11 of the proposal for a decision establishing the European Year of Languages, the Commission will cooperate with the Member States in the evaluation of the programme and shall submit by 31 December 2002 at the latest a report to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. The final results of this evaluation procedure will be circulated to all interested parties.

Against this background, the Commission intends to pay particular attention to the following aspects:

The quantitative results of the European Year will be assessed in terms of, among other things:

- the numbers of people who participated in initiatives organised in the framework of the European Year and in terms of the proportion of European residents who became aware of it and of its aims and objectives;

- the rate of conversion of European Year activities (where applicable) into post European Year initiatives in general and as a function of the characteristics of projects;

- the proportion of organisations receiving European funding for the first time;

- the geographical breakdown of activities, the breakdown by languages involved and the balanced nature of partnerships.

The qualitative results of the European year will be assessed in terms of, among other things:

- the success of the Year in raising awareness of various aspects of language learning and of influencing the views and behaviour of the general public and sub-groups within the general public (e.g. by profession, age, mother tongue);

- the quality of the content of projects financed or co-financed by the Commission.

Strong and weak points of the organisational aspect of the European Year will be assessed, through obtaining and analysing the views of national coordinating bodies and of those who organised or participated in initiatives.

10. ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENDITURE

How much of the requisite administrative resources can be mobilised will depend on the Commission's annual decision on the allocation of resources, with special reference to staffing strength and supplementary sums granted by the budgetary authority.

10.1 Effect on the number of jobs

>TABLE>

10.2 Overall financial impact of human resources (EUR)

>TABLE>

(*) By using existing resources allocated to management functions (calculation based on A-1, A-2, A-4, A-5 and A-7) - annual cost.

10.3 Financial impact of other operational expenditure resulting from the action (EUR)

>TABLE>

The appropriations will come from the Education and Culture Directorate-General's existing financial envelope.

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