Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education
9th Session - Stockholm, Sweden, 9-12 June 1975

Resolution on recurrent education (N1)

Resolution on migrants' education (N2)

Resolution on international educational co-operation (N3)

Resolution on recurrent education (N1)  

(adopted during the Ninth Session of the Standing Conference of  Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe, Stockholm, 9-12 June 1975)

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

RECALLING their Resolutions adopted in Brussels in 1971 and in Berne in 1973, whereby they first endorsed the principle of recurrence in post-secondary studies and recognised the need for re-distributing educational opportunities throughout life in accordance with the concept of permanent education,

BELIEVING that recurrent education should lead to greater freedom and responsibility for each citizen in making the decisions which affect his or her education and working life, and also to a greater measure of educational and social equity,

NOTING that the principle of recurrence already operates to some extent in the education systems of member countries, but as yet insufficiently to realise the potential benefits which a fully functioning and flexible system of recurrent education could provide,

HAVING CONSIDERED the analytical reports of OECD and the Council of Europe, the country reports and statements, and the discussion paper prepared by the Committee of Senior Officials,


I. Recurrent education as a concept of public policy

The basic purpose of recurrent education is to give the individual the opportunity to decide on his or her own personal future development. it aims to counteract the inequalities of present educational systems and to distribute educational opportunities over the lifespan of the individual.

Recurrent education may be regarded as a strategy for the long-term planning of education, Primarily for the post-compulsory sector but with repercussions on other areas of educational provision. Its objectives however entail the progressive implementation of short- and. medium-term measures. It forms an indispensable part of broader socio-economic and cultural policies for translating the concept of permanent education into practice.

Recurrent education has implications for the organisation of work and leisure, and requires a close coordination between education, social, cultural and economic policies. It also means coordinating the various sectors of educational provision - formal and informal, vocational non-vocational - which are often today insufficiently interrelated.

II. Action in member countries

With the above aims and considerations in mind, the resolve to action 4 their in give active encouragement to the following lines of respective countries:

- providing education for the 16-19 age group which prepares both for further periods of study as well as for entry into working life in the immediate or near future;

- adapting other post-compulsory education to meet- the needs and interests of individuals with widely different experience;

- re-casting the rules of admission to higher education so that work experience is more widely taken into account as a basis of qualification for entry;

- re-designing on a modular basis extended programmes of post-compulsory education and training, so that qualifications can be obtained in different ways and at different times through recurrent periods of study.

III. Areas of common concern

Recurrent education will necessarily develop 4 different ways in different countries. The Ministers note that, according to national circumstance the following forms of action may usefully be envisaged:

A. Ensuring a greater measure of educational and social equity

- the provision of adequate means of financial and social support for the individual, incorporating the principle in of positive discrimination;

- the introduction of active policies to reach the socially and educationally disadvantaged and to encourage them to benefit from educational provision;

- the introduction of new methods and technologies, and policies for distributing and locating educational facilities so as to reach outlying communities.

B. Coordinating policies for education, social welfare and employment

- the introduction of arrangements for the coordination of education, social welfare and employment policies and for consultation between social partners;

- the further development of measures which give the individual the right to take paid educational leave.

C. Re-deploying educational opportunities and resources

- the establishment of the right and the opportunity of the individual to resume education in later life, and also of the role of the public authorities in securing the effective exercise of this right;

- the development of a coherent system of financing youth and adult education, and the establishment of a proper balance between the two.

IV. Future international cooperation

A. The Ministers resolve that national arrangements for the implementation of recurrent education should be studied and planned wherever possible in the light of the collective experience of member countries.

B. The Ministers note the complementary nature of the work carried out by OECD and the Council of Europe in this field, as illustrated by their contributions to the Conference. They would welcome further explorator work based on the conclusions contained in the OECD report, and on the Council of Europe project for the concerted evaluation of practical innovations, with a view to the further refinement of policy concepts in cooperation with all interested parties. They look forward to the continuation and strengthening of the projects and activities which have formed the basis of the two analytical reports.

Resolution on migrants' education (N2)  

(adopted during the Ninth Session of the Standing Conference of  Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe, Stockholm, 9-12 June 1975)

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

RECALLING that at their Seventh Session (Brussels 1971) they agreed to convene at Strasbourg an ad hoc Conference at which attention would be given to problems relating to the education and training of migrants, both adults and adolescents, and to the schooling of migrants' children,

NOTING that this Conference took place, under the joint auspices of the Council of Europe and of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education, from 5 to 8 'November 1974, under the title 'Ad hoc Conference on the Education of Migrants'

NOTING FURTHER that this Conference was attended by representatives of eighteen of the States signatory to the Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe, and of Portugal; by observers from the International Labour Office, UNESCO, OECD, the European Communities and the Intergovernmental Committee for European 'Migration; and by the Special Representative for-migrant questions of the Council of Europe, in addition to a representative of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly,

I. THANK the Council of Europe for its able and efficient organisation of the Conference, as well as all those associated with its preparation and conduct;

II. COMMEND to member Governments the conclusions and recommendations of the ad hoc Conference, which reflect a conviction that the time has come to move on from analysis and appraisal to the widespread application of practical measures on behalf of migrants and their families, beginning in particular with bilateral initiatives;

III. RECOMMEND therefore that, to the greatest extent possible, member Governments initiate and/or promote practical arrangements designed to achieve the following aims

A. guaranteeing and/or promoting access to education, and equality of opportunity;

B. giving migrants and their children, through the necessary incentives, an opportunity to acquire an adequate know ledge of the language and culture of both the host country and the country of origin with a view to developing their personalities; and providing them with such forms of general and technical training, including permanent education facilities, as they, need for satisfactory adjustment to and-integration in the new environment, while retaining opportunities for re-integration in the country of origin;

C. making provision in the field of general education and vocational training for the benefit of the children of migrants at all age levels, including such measures as :

- the creation of 'reception' and 'special' classes to facilitate integration in the new social environment

- the supply of text-books free of charge in the same way as for local children

- the award of grants or scholarships for secondary, tertiary and vocational education, in the same way as for local children

- in the interests of pupils, the general use of a standard school career record

- the training of teachers, educators and 'animateurs'

- the mutual acceptance of certificates issued at the different levels of compulsory education
- the promotion of participation by parents in school activities;

D. officially recognising and encouraging the contribution of the private sector (e.g. industry and recognised voluntary service organisations): to avoid dispersal of resources and effort, action should be coordinated at -national level, for instance by setting up joint committees of representatives from responsible bodies working on behalf of migrants and their families;

E. making adequate resources available for research into and experimentation with -methods of :

- promoting the linguistic education of migrants and their families (in particular through a study of optimum periods for assimilating the language and culture of the country of origin) as well as their -vocational and general education

- helping them to adapt to the new social environment in which they find themselves

- improving the supply of information to them;

such research and experimentation, as, well as the dissemination of the findings, should be made the subject of international cooperation.

IV. THE MINISTERS RECOGNISE that the role of the competent international organisations active in this field is of considerable and growing significance. In addition to their general tasks of informing and stimulating national efforts - and, where appropriate, coordinating such efforts - they, have in several cases been asked to initiate specific action programmes. If such programmes, which should be more fully coordinated, were to be expanded, the organisations concerned should be provided with the necessary, resources.

V. THEY REQUEST the international organisations to include in their reports to the Tenth Session an analysis of measures taken as a result of this Resolution.

VI. THE MINISTERS ALSO RECOGNISE that many of the problems raised by the education of migrants and their children cannot and should not be dissociated from their economic and social context. They note that the ad hoc Conference laid stress, amongst other things, on the need to reduce the period during which the families-of-migrants are separated, and on the need to provide them with access to subsidised housing and social security Benefits. They agree to draw the attention of their Government colleagues responsible for such measures to the importance of these considerations.

Resolution on international educational co-operation (N3)  

(adopted during the Ninth Session of the Standing Conference of  Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe, Stockholm, 9-12 June 1975)

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

BEARING IN MIND the functions and working methods of the Standing Conference, as defined in Brussels Resolution No. 3 (1971),

RECALLING their affirmation in this Resolution of the autonomy of the Standing Conference,

STRESSING the need to promote the most effective use of the total resources devoted to multilateral educational cooperation, in the general interest of all its member countries,


1. The Ministers thank UNESCO, OECD, the Council of Europe and the European Communities for their contributions to the progress report on international educational cooperation. They. particularly thank the Nordic Council of Ministers for contributing to this report for the first time, and they take note with special interest of the far-reaching concept of cooperation as defined in the Agreement on Nordic cultural cooperation. They would welcome the preparation of a similar report for the Tenth Session.

The Ministers note with satisfaction the examples of growing inter-organisational collaboration mentioned in the introductory chapter of the progress report. They look forward to further developments in this direction, especially in regard to the planning of future activities. They invite the international organisations to pay particular attention to this aspect of their programmes in their reports to future Sessions of the Standing Conference.

Il. While appreciating the advantages of having a plurality of frameworks for European educational cooperation, the Ministers are also aware of the risks of duplication of effort and dispersal of resources. To obviate these risks, they consider it essential

- that each organisation should make its own distinctive contribution to the total pattern of-multilateral cooperation, in accordance with its characteristic aims, constitution and working methods ;

- that proper arrangements are made to ensure that the educational programmes of the organisations are genuinely complementary

- that there is adequate coordination of policies within national administrations towards international educational activities.

Further developments along these lines would help towards a more effective concentration of effort and functional specialisation.

III. Pursuant to Brussels Resolution No. 3 (1971), the Ministers consider that, at the present juncture, the following aspects of the role and operation of the Standing Conference should be emphasised :

- to define political priorities for European educational action and cooperation

- to provide a forum for reflection, dialogue and exchange of views on fundamental educational issues of common concern.

IV. In addition to the lines of action indicated in their Resolutions on recurrent education and on the education of-migrant workers and their families, the Ministers identify the following priority areas for European action and cooperation :

- pre-school and primary education

- the school in its relations with the community

- lower secondary education

- attitudes to the study of science and technology.

V. The Ministers accept with pleasure the invitation of the Turkish Minister to hold the Tenth Session of the Standing Conference in his country in May 1977. The theme will be ; "The school in its relations with the community".

The Ministers also accept with pleasure the invitation of the Minister of Education for the Netherlands' to hold the Eleventh Session in his country in June 1979, this being the twentieth anniversary of their first meeting in The Hague.

The Ministers decide to convene in Strasbourg at the earliest convenient opportunity an ad hoc conference on the subject of attitudes to the study of science and technology.

VI. The Ministers instruct the Committee of Senior Officials

- to make preparations for the Tenth Session, in consultation with the international organizations ;

- to develop more effective procedures for the organisation and conduct of their debates;

- to make arrangements for an ad hoc conference, in collaboration with the Council of Europe and other interested organisations, on the subject of attitudes-to the study of science and technology.