European Commission

Prince Philippe of Belgium to Open European Year of Languages Event

Brussels (ots) - On Friday 7 December at 14.30, HRH Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium will open the event marking the end of the European Year of Languages, in the presence of Ministers Vanderpoorten, Hazette and Gentges, Lord Russell-Johnston, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Mr Van der Pas, representing the European Union. The event will be attended by representatives of the 45 European countries which have participated actively in the European Year of Languages. It will take place on the premises of the European Parliament in Brussels (programme attached). The closing event is being held, under the Belgian Presidency of the European Union, to mark the end of a European Year which was organised jointly by the Council of Europe and the European Union and which, in addition to extensive information campaigns, has seen thousands of activities in the 45 participating countries. The principal message of the Year was to make citizens more aware of Europe's rich linguistic and cultural diversity. In a Europe which is and will remain multilingual, a knowledge of several languages, including those which are less widely spoken, fosters tolerance and opens the door to cultural and economic opportunities. This same message provides the inspiration for the central theme of this final conference, which is "Together in Diversity". The European Year has also endeavoured to help promote lifelong learning and show that everyone can acquire several languages. The participants from the member states of the European Union and the Council of Europe will review all the achievements and discuss the prospects for the future, on the basis of the many initiatives launched at all levels during the Year. They will also form study groups to consider the major themes linked to the Year's objectives, in order to identify together the means of developing the networks launched in the course of recent months. The general public has benefited from the cooperation between the European Commission and the Council of Europe, which among other things has led to the development of an interactive website and a language learning guide aimed at adults. The European Commission has provided cofinancing amounting to EUR 6 million for 199 European, national, regional and local projects to disseminate the Year's messages. It has also distributed 4 million promotional objects. The Council of Europe has actively supported information campaigns by producing publicity material which countries have then tailored to their purposes. It has also launched a game which introduces players to 40 languages. A large number of activities have been organised to introduce the European Language Portfolio in all member countries. This is a document that has been designed to facilitate mobility and promote lifelong language learning; it has already been used by around a million learners [http://culture.coe.int/portfolio]. The participating countries have organised a wide range of different events and activities, including the European Day of Languages, which took place on 26 September. Throughout Europe, wide coverage has been given to the Year by the press, TV and radio. Complete programme of closing ceremonies Rencontre dans la diversité Conférence de clôture de l'Année européenne des langues Parlement européen, Bruxelles 7-8 décembre 2001 Vendredi 7 décembre 2001 Matin: 8h30 Transfert des coordinateurs nationaux du Tulip Inn vers le Parlement européen (PE) 9h30 - 11h15 Réunion des coordinateurs nationaux (PE 3G2) 11h15 Ouverture de la zone de démonstration par le Commissaire européen Reding, Lord Russell-Johnston, Président de l'Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l'Europe, les ministres M. Vanderpoorten, P.Hazette et B. Gentges, en présence des coordinateurs nationaux. 11h30 Conférence de presse par le commissaire Reding, Lord Russell-Johnston, les ministres M. Vanderpoorten, P. Hazette et B. Gentges (PE 3G2) 12h30- 14h Dîner des coordinateurs nationaux au Parlement Après-midi: 13h30 Transfert des participants logeant à l'hôtel du Tulip Inn vers le Parlement européen (PE 3C50) 14h30 Introduction : bienvenue 14h35 Discours de S.A.R. le prince Philippe de Belgique 14h45 Chorale 14h55 Mme Marleen Vanderpoorten (Présidente du Conseil des Ministres de l'Education de l'Union européenne - Communauté flamande de Belgique) 15h05 Lord Russell-Johnston, Président de l'Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l'Europe 15h15 Chorale 15h25 Le Ministre B. Gentges (Communauté germanophone de Belgique) 15h35 M. Nikolaus Van der Pas, directeur général de la DG EAC - Commission Européenne 15h45 Théâtre - sketches 16h15 Pause café 17h - 18h30 3 groupes de travail : * Plurilinguisme et apprentissage tout au long de la vie (PE 3C50) * L'AEL et les médias (PE 3G2) * Le défi de l'Internet (PE 3G3) 18h45 Réception au Parlement européen offert par la présidence belge 19h30 Transport vers le Tulip Inn 20h30 * Dîner au Tulip Inn Brussels offert par la présidence belge * Discours par M. F. Thielemans, bourgmestre de Bruxelles Samedi 8 décembre 2001 9h Transfert des participants logeant à l'hôtel Tulip Inn vers le Parlement européen 9h30 - 11h00 3 groupes de travail : * Langue et emploi (PE 3G2) * Diversité linguistique et culturelle (PE 3C50) * Motivation et promotion (PE 3G3) 11h00 - 11h20 Pause café 11h25 Allocution par Mme V. Reding, Commissaire européen (PE 3C50) 11h30 - 11h40 Compte-rendu de la réunion des coordinateurs nationaux (U. Bunjes, rapporteur) 11h40 - 13h00 Session plénière avec des représentants de panels (modérateur: Mme Mia Doornaert). 13h00 Discours de clôture par M. P. Hazette, Ministre de l'Enseignement secondaire et de l'Enseignement spécial (Communauté française de Belgique), suivi d'une réception offerte par la présidence belge Press conference: Friday 7 December 2001 (11.30) at the European Parliament (room 3G2), in the presence of Ministers Vanderpoorten, Hazette and Gentges, Mrs Reding, European Commissioner, and Lord Russell-Johnston, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Information and registration: fax +32/2'553'95'65 (Nina Mares). Information on the European Year: www.eurolang2001.org ots Originaltext: European Commission Internet: www.newsaktuell.ch Contact: Henriette Girard, Council of Europe press contacts Phone +33/388'41'21'41, E-mail: henriette.girard@coe.int Philippe Potentini, Phone +33/388'41'28'95, E-mail:philippe.potentini@coe.int European Commission press contacts: 1. European Commission spokesman: Mr Christophe Forax: Phone +32/2'295'69'64 and +32/2'299'64'38 2. European Commission representation in Belgium: phone +32/2'295'38'44 Radio and television journalists should register with Kirsten Tingsted-Andersen at the European Parliament press service at phone +32/2'284'48'17

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