The Culture Committee adopted four major reports on 12 September calling for increased funding from 2007 to 2013 for EU education and cultural exchange programmes. MEPs also recommended some changes in the scope, including the target groups, of these multi-annual programmes. The reports were all adopted under the co-decision procedure by overwhelming majorities.
In their vote on Erasmus, Leonardo, Comenius and other sub-programmes that make up the EU Lifelong learning programme for 2007-13, the committee followed the suggestions of rapporteur Doris PACK (EPP-ED, DE), who described the European Commission proposal as "well-designed" while nevertheless calling for more money to cover proposed improvements.
Youth in Action
Another programme MEPs are keen to support is Youth in Action, designed to promote active citizenship and mutual understanding among young people across Europe. Instead of the 915 million budget proposed by the Commission, the Culture Committee voted for the figure of 1.128 billion suggested by rapporteur Lissy GRNER (PES, DE) on the basis of Parliament's position on the Financial Perspective for 2007-13.
Turning to the Culture 2007 programme, the committee supported the proposal by rapporteur Vasco GRAA MOURA (EPP-ED, PT) that EU funding should be increased from the figure of 236.5 million for the period 2000-2006 to 600 million for 2007-13. The Commission had suggested 408 million. And while the Commission's figure assumes 8% would be used for administration the Culture Committee wants this cut down to 6%.
The Media 2007 programme seeks to support the fragmented and under-capitalised European film industry. Its aims include preserving and enhancing Europe's cultural diversity and its cinematographic heritage, better distribution of European films both within and outside the EU and boosting the competitiveness of Europe's film industry. Rapporteur Ruth HIERONYMI (EPP-ED, DE) pointed out that American movies account for 71% of the film market in Europe.