Budapest will host the 2012 Conference of the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) from 26-28 November. ETUCE is the European branch of Education International in Europe and represents over 12 million teachers and education workers in 45 countries.
ETUCE holds this agenda-setting Conference every four years, where it sets out its policy to advocate for educators’ rights and quality public education for all to governments and organisations at European level.
The Conference is a unique opportunity for teachers and education workers to build regional solidarity by encouraging and facilitating mutual cooperation, as well as to debate the key educational issues in Europe, according to ETUCE Director Martin Rømer.
“In the current context of a global crisis, the positive role of education must be emphasised,” he said, highlighting the Conference theme, Promoting Public Sector Education in an Age of Austerity.“Although investment in education is an official policy of the European Union, why has this not manifested itself in specific policy initiatives at national level?”
Participants will discuss a series of resolutions drawing together key policy elements to promote education personnel’s views on policies and political decisions affecting education and teaching in Europe.
ETUCE will also present four Policy Papers for discussion on strategic issues including work-related stress, early childhood education, vocational education and training, and school leadership.
Participants will also reflect on Europe’s dilemma in exiting the crisis: whether to push for a stronger integration, at the expense of national sovereignty, to share the burden in solidarity with other nations or to unwind the European project, including the economic and monetary union.
In this context, EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen, outlined: “The economic crisis in Europe is causing a social crisis and a crisis in democratic legitimacy. Education unions, as democratic institutions, are the best placed to promote and restore democratic values within society.”