Me addressing the first meeting of the S&D group in my new role as coordinator.

The elections for political group co-ordinators on the European Parliament Committees is continuing.  Today it was my turn.  This afternoon I had the great pleasure and privilege of being elected as the Coordinator for the S&D (Socialists and Democrats) Group for the Culture and Education Committee.  The S&D group met before the main committee meeting where I was formally elected, following which I gave a short speech of thanks before we moved on to discuss possible events the Group could run, as well as our involvement in the committee. 

I’m very much looking forward to engaging on issues including education, sport and the arts in Europe.  As I have said before, the Co-ordinator’s position is an important one.  In the case of the S&D Group it is close to the House Minority Leader in the United States.

The Culture and Education Committee has a full programme for the next few months.  Amongst other things, there will be legislation on volunteering across the EU, a legislative Opinion on sexual abuse and child pornography, a report on setting up a European digital library for important government documents and an Opinion on internet governance.  Members of the Committee are also planning to discuss culture and education issues in some detail with the Swedish Presidency.

In terms of S&D Group activity on the Culture and Education Committee, I am pleased to report that there will be a delegation to London to discuss the Olympics and visit the site.  We are also intending to hold a seminar in Brussels on the European initiatives concerning further and higher education – the Copenhagen and Bologna Processes. 

Discussing the various issues the culture committee will be dealing with this parliament.

Discussing the various issues the culture committee will be dealing with this parliament.