Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education
8th session - Berne, Switzerland, 5-7 June 1973

Resolution N° 1 on the educational needs of the 16 to 19 age group 

(adopted during the 8th session of the Conference of  Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe, Berne, 5-7 June 1973)

The European Ministers of Education, at the Eighth Session of the Standing Conference,

HAVING CONSIDERED the analytical report on the educational needs of the 16 to 19 age group, prepared by Mr Henri Janne and Mr Lucien Géminard ;

EXPRESS their gratitude to the authors ;

AWARE of the problems specific to the period between 16 and 19 years of age, period which constitutes a transitional stage between adolescence and adulthood ;

CONSIDER that it is necessary to promote educational policies designed to secure

equal opportunity of access to the various forms and levels of education

equal opportunity for success at school

the personal fulfilment of each individual in the general context of social development and according to his abilities and aspirations,

CONSIDER that the role of the educational system is not only to transmit the cultural heritage of European countries and to preserve the constant, basic values of society, but also to enrich this heritage and to facilitate the democratic evolution of society;


that teaching conditions be sufficiently varied to allow education to take place in a more adult atmosphere;

that teaching methods be sufficiently varied to enable learning to be individualised and to encourage pupils to work on their own;

That subjects be decompartmentalised so as to make pupils aware of knowledge in everyday life;

that school education should take due account of the information acquired by pupils outside school;

that studies and their development should take account

through guidance and counselling, of the aptitudes, preferences and social needs of pupils

of the assessment of their abilities, using all suitable methods

of the employment opportunities available to them;

that too early specialisation should be avoided and that general and vocational education be better co-ordinated;

that courses available should be flexible and provide a wide variety of choice;

that, in addition to their specialist training, teachers of this age group should receive appropriate psycho-pedagogical training and be made fully aware of the opportunities available for full-time and part-time education in the various disciplines;

that young persons who have chosen to start work be provided with additional instruction to ensure their cultural development and to prepare them for their responsibilities as citizens;

that structures be set up to provide for effective participation between the different partners in the educational process ;

INVITE governments to exchange information on their experiences, on innovations planned or introduced, and on new national trends, and to keep the interested international organisations informed;

INVITE the international organisations to promote and pursue studies and research on the needs of the 16 to 19 age group.

Resolution N°2 on Areas, ways and means of intensified European co-operation in education 

(adopted during the 8th session of the Conference of  Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe, Berne, 5-7 June 1973)

The European Ministers of Education, at the Eighth Session of the Standing Conference,

HAVING examined the “Analysis of the Educational Situation in Member Countries” prepared by the OECD Secretariat and the Report on “Areas for Intensified Co-operation” submitted by their Committee of Senior Officials, and

HAVING taken note of the country reports on “Problems and Pressures in Education Policy” and of the “Progress Report” on international activities in the field of education by UNESCO, OECD, the Council of Europe and the Commission of the European Communities ;

ADOPT the following statement :


The Conference expresses its gratitude to the national authorities and international organisations which have prepared these reports. In particular it expresses its warm appreciation of the analysis prepared by the OECD Secretariat. It endorses the general conclusions of this analysis and hopes that OECD will continue, in its own programmes of work, to make provision for the preparation of analytical studies of this kind as a basis for the discussion of educational policies and problems ;

Common trends and problems

The Conference considers that the increasing evidence of common trends and similar approaches to educational problems in European countries provides solid ground for the intensification of European co-operation;

Within the list of fields in which priority projects of intensified European co-operation might be developed, as proposed in the Report of the Senior Officials’ Committee, the Conference attaches particular weight to the following:

Recurrent education: the distribution of educational opportunities throughout life in acccordance with the concept of permanent education

Pre-school education and its links with primary education

Compensatory education for the disadvantaged

Further development of policies for the education of the 16 to 19 age group
Reform of initial education and further training of teachers
Education of migrants and their families
Ways and means of intensified co-operation
The Conference emphasises the positive value of the great diversity of forms which educational co-operation assumes at the present time. In certain fields the exchange of information and experience remains, at least for the present, the most effective form of co-operation. Other fields, however, are suited for intensified co-operation which represents a new phase in international activity. Such co-operation will often be based on voluntary participation by member goverments, national agencies, research centres and the like, and can be organised in a highly flexible way. It can take the form, for example, of collaboration on a European scale between national committees or councils, of co-operative projects of research and development, of participation in national pilot projects, of exchange schemes of common training of key personnel.
The Conference notes the examples of such forms of intensified co-operation which are listed in the Report of the Senior Officials’ Committee. The Conference welcomes these new activities and invites member governments to consider how such activities might be further developed.
Instructions to the Senior Officials’ Committee
The Conference instructs the Committee of Senior Officials to keep under review, in close consultation with the international organisations concerned, the initiation and progress of concrete examples of intensified European co-operation in education and to submit a report thereon to the Ninth Session of the Standing Conference.