published 8 February 2018 updated 12 February 2018


Ad-hoc seminar on flexicurity challenges in Belgium

On 6-7 November, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Employment and Labour Market Committee held a seminar on flexicurity challenges in Brussels. The seminar started with a definition and overview of the current state of flexicurity at the European institutions level, followed by a presentation from Professor Maarten Keune (from ETUI and the University of Amsterdam) on the origins, development of flexicurity, and political context.

Directorate General Employment representative Carola Bouton gave an overview of the implementation of flexicurity since the financial crisis from the perspective of the Commission, and Dr. Dragos Adascalitei provided an economics-based view of flexicurity.

Finally, ETUC Confederal Secretary Thiebaut Weber and European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) Agnes Roman gave presentations on the role of lifelong learning in flexicurity and European policies on vocational education and training and employee training.

Jawad Kahn also attended the seminar for ETUCE/EI.

Employment and labour market committee meeting in Belgium

On 8 November, the ETUC Employment and Labour Market Committee met in Brussels. Among the topics discussed were

·         The European Network of Public Employment Services

·         The upcoming proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights by European Union (EU) leaders

·         ETUC’s actions in preparation for and during the Gothenburg Summit

·         The ETUC project on the definition of quality work

·         The seminar on Flexicurity on 6-7 November

·         The European Semester cycle for the 2018

·         The publication of the Annual Growth Survey and the content of ETUC’s position on this document

Marie Raverdeau attended the event on behalf of ETUCE/EI.

COMMUNIA stakeholder strategy meeting in Belgium

On 13-17 November, a stakeholder strategy workshop for education organisations active in advocacy for the ongoing EU copyright reform took place in Brussels.

A shared action plan was agreed, with a joint letter to be sent to the Legal Committee of the European Parliament in January 2018. The ETUCE has been advocating for a better copyright exception for education in the interest of teachers and educators, as shown in the ETUCE statement on copyright in the Digital Single Market.

Eduardo Nadal participated in this meeting on behalf of ETUCE/EI.

Round-table on European Social Dialogue in Italy

On 14 November, the joint European social partnership project on social dialogue capacity building III brought the Italian ETUCE member organisations, and representatives from the Italian education employers organisations together in Rome. The social dialogue round table was jointly organised by ETUCE and the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE), together with the project partner and event organiser, UIL Scuola.

The education social partners renewed their commitment to relaunch their social dialogue to support education personnel’s professional and industrial needs. A representative from ETUCE member organisation in the Netherlands,the Algemene Onderwijsbond(AOb), outlined actions taken by Dutch social partners around training and continuous professional development of the teaching profession.

Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director, co-chaired the meeting. ETUCE/EI’s Paola Cammilli and Marie Raverdeau also participated in the event.

EIGE learning seminar ‘Achieving gender equality, improving education systems’ in Lithuania

On 16-17 November, the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) organised a learning seminar ‘Achieving gender equality, improving education systems’ for gender equality experts in Vilnius. Stakeholders working on gender equality and education learned about EIGE’s recent work on education and skills. They also shared national experiences and approaches to gender challenges in education and their negative effects and consequences on employment and access to income and labour market.

Ekaterina Efimenko attended the seminar on behalf of ETUCE/EI.

EESC seminar social innovation for refugee inclusion in Belgium

On 16-17 November, an event on social innovation for refugee inclusion was held by the European Economic and Social Committee, the United States and Canada Missions to the EU, and the Migration Policy Institute Europe, in Brussels.

Participants examined successful examples of new approaches to promoting the social and economic inclusion of refugees and how to grow beyond and inspire structural change.

The ETUCE participated in the workshop on recognising refugee and asylum seekers’ skills to help their transition to employment. Jawad Khan attended the seminar on behalf of ETUCE/EI.

ETUC Health and Safety Committee in Belgium

On 20 November, in Brussels, the ETUC Health and Safety Committee focused on a new European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) project on psychosocial risks in the workplace. Funded by the European Commission, the project is set to include three training seminars during 2018 with a final conference in 2019. The occupational focus will be on workers in a managerial position.

Jawad Khan represented ETUCE/EI at the meeting.

Lifelong Learning Week: Workshops on inclusive education and lifelong learning in a technological world and digitalisation in Belgium

From 20-22 November, ETUCE attended two workshops organised in Brussels by the Lifelong Learning (LLL) Platform as part of the LLL Week. The first workshop explored building bridges for inclusive education, while the second, organised with the Association for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE), focused on LLL in a technological world. Jawad Khan attended the workshops on behalf of ETUCE/EI.

On 23November, ETUCE assessed the need to further invest in appropriate ICT and digital training for teachers and educators during a workshop ‘ Let's de-Google the Internet: Alternative approaches to the digital world’ in Brussels. Eduardo Nadal attended the workshop on behalf of ETUCE/EI.

EU-OSHA campaign closing event in Spain

From 21-22 November, ETUCE attended the closing event of the 2017 EU-Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) official campaign on healthy workplaces for all ages, in Bilbao, Spain.

ETUCE is a partner organisation in OSHA and the event also marked the ‘European Week for Safety and Health at Work’. Eduardo Nadal represented ETUCE at the event.

European Parliament’s hearing on Turkey in Belgium

On 22 November, ETUCE represented teachers at the European Parliament’s hearing on Turkey in Brussels.

Separately, a public hearing to highlight the scrutiny of trade union rights in Turkey was organised by the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament and ETUC. Speakers included ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini, KESK (Turkish Confederation of Public Employees’ Trade Unions) General Secretary Ramazan Gurbuz, Genel-is (Public Services Employees’ Union of Disk) President Remzi Çaliskan, and Annie van Wezel, Senior Policy Adviser International Affairs at the FNV (Dutch TUC) and Co-Chair of the EU-Turkey Joint Consultative Committee of the European Economic and Social Committee. In addition, former Eğitim Sen General Secretary Sakine Esen Yılmaz shared her experiences as harassed education unionist.

The ETUCE European Director, Susan Flocken, also addressed the challenges of education personnel in Turkey.

European sectoral social dialogue in education plenary adopts a statement on improving vocational education and training

On 23 November, ETUCE and EFEE plenary members adopted a joint statement on Improving Vocational Education and Training (VET) at the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (ESSDE) annual Plenary meeting.

At the meeting, European social partners in education outlined the role of social partners in tackling the challenges in the VET sector. Solutions included ensuring high-quality VET and providing support for teachers, trainers, school leaders and other education personnel of the sector.

Plenary members assessed the outcomes of the ESSDE 2016-2017 Work Programme, and agreed on topics for the Joint Work Programme for 2018-2019. Both ETUCE and EFEE also analysed the presentation of European Commission, DG Education and Culture, on the new European Education Area 2025 EU initiative.

ETUCE President Christine Blower chaired the meeting along with ETUCE European Director Susan Flocken. Paola Cammilli, Agnes Roman and Marie Raverdeau also participated in the event on behalf of ETUCE/EI.

ETUCE/EFEE joint public hearing on vocational education and training in Belgium

On 24 November, ETUCE and the EFEE, along with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) organised a public hearing on ‘The role of teachers and school heads in improving the status of VET’. The hearing was held in Brussels during the second European Vocational Skills Week.

Around 50 representatives from national trade unions and education employer organisations across Europe, Members of the European Parliament, policy makers, education and industry stakeholders, and civil society organisations attended the event.

ETUCE President Christine Blower and ETUCE European Director Susan Flocken participated in panel discussions and ETUCE’s Agnes Roman chaired a panel discussion. Paola Cammilli and Marie Raverdeau also attended the event on behalf of ETUCE/EI.

Teachers’ professional needs in social dialogue: ETUCE regional seminar in Poland

From 27-28 November, the first regional seminar of the ETUCE project,“Education Trade Unions for the Teaching Profession. Strengthening the capacity of education trade unions to represent teachers’ professional needs in social dialogue”, took place in Warsaw. It gathered representatives from ETUCE member organisations in Central-East Europe, and was organised with the support of Zwiazek Nauczycielstwa Polskiego(ZNP), one of the project partners from Poland.

The meeting was chaired by ETUCE European Director Susan Flocken and attended by Agnes Roman and Ekaterina Efimenko on behalf of ETUCE/EI.

2017 EU Platform for Roma inclusion in Belgium

From 27-28 November, the 2017 EU Platform for Roma Inclusion was organised by DG Justice and hosted by the EESC in Brussels.

The conference focused on the transition from education to employment for the Roma and ETUCE participated in the workshop focusing on the educational aspect of this.

Jawad Khan represented ETUCE/EI at the event.

Seminar on the modernisation of education in the EU in Belgium

On 28 November, a seminar was organised at the European Parliament in Brussels on the modernisation of education in the EU. The seminar included an address by the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsis, and gathered MEPs from the Committee on Culture and Education along with social partners and stakeholders in the education sector.

Eduardo Nadal presented ETUCE’s views and opinions on the upcoming package of DG EAC to modernise education in the EU.

Flemish Education Council in Belgium

On 28 November, ETUCE presented the actions of education trade unions on the European Semester both at national and European level to the Flemish Education Council.

At the gathering, representatives from education trade unions, education employer organisations, civil society organisations and the Education Ministry of the Flemish region of Belgium, also learned about ETUCE’s 2017 research report‘Education and Training Policy in the European Semester - Public Investment, Public Policy, Social Dialogue and Privatisation Patterns across Europe’.

Attendees also discussed a new strategy around the European Semester on Education and Training.

Paola Cammilli attended the event on behalf of ETUCE/EI.

2nd cross-sectoral social partners’ project seminar on employee training in Poland

From 28-29 November, ETUCE participated in the 2nd project training seminar on Employee training, organised in Warsaw. ETUCE is an associated partner in this project along with cross-sectoral social partners (ETUC, BusinessEurope, the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, and the European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public Services and Services of general interest-CEEP). The invited social partners from Denmark, Poland, Portugal, and Germany discussed strategies to further support the training of employees, including teachers.

Agnes Roman attended the seminar on behalf of ETUCE/EI.

Joint high-level Conference on Investment in education and training: What strategy for Europe 2030?

On 1 December, ETUCE, together with other European social partner organisations, namely ETUC, CEEP and EFEE, organised a conference entitled “ What strategy and investment on education and training by 2030?”. The conference closed the two-year project undertaken by the four organisations entitled“Improving social partners’ involvement in EU support for public budgets for training and education”.

Eighty 80 representatives from social partner organisations and other stakeholders from education and the industry networked with speakers of various European Commission directorates, OECD, and national ministerial cabinets, discussing the use of EU funds for education and training needs and the role of social partners in their governance.

The ETUC-CEEP-ETUCE and EFEE research report“Investment in Education and Training: Trends and challenges, the role of EU Policies and financing from the perspective of European and national social partners” was also discussed.

ETUCE European Director Susan Flocken addressed the conference, and Agnes Roman and Paola Cammilli also attended the event on behalf of ETUCE/EI.

SDGs Multi-Stakeholder Platform Management Committee in Belgium

On 5 December, the first meeting of the Management Committee of the SDGs Multi-Stakeholder Platform was held at the General Secretariat of the European Commission in Brussels.

The Committee comprises members from various sectors and backgrounds, such as trade unions, non-government organisations (NGOs), companies and employer organisations at cross-sectoral level. They outlined the platform’s contribution to the Commission Work Programme of 2018, and devised strategies to ensure the inclusion of the SDGs in the EU’s policy proposals and legislative initiatives. This is significant, especially in the context of the forthcoming EC Reflection Paper,‘Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030’.

Paola Cammilli, ETUCE Coordinator, attended the meeting on behalf of ETUCE/EI.

ETUC Social Protection Committee meeting in Belgium

On 6 December, the ETUC Committee on social protection met in Brussels to discuss recent developments in social protection at European level. The discussion centred on the ETUC’s position on the European Commission-launched public consultation on universal access to social protection. This initiative, launched in the framework of, and in line with, the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights, will address the challenges of access to social protection for people in all forms of employment. It will also determine a possible EU-wide action tackling this issue.

Paola Cammilli attended the meeting on behalf of ETUCE/EI.

High-level Conference of the EU digital skills and jobs coalition in Belgium

On 7 December, the annual High-level Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Conference took place in Brussels. During the event, future investments in digital skills were discussed, while parallel workshops focused on digital skills for education and digital democratic citizenship.

The ETUCE pledged high quality education to appropriately prepare students for lifelong learning, and the skills they need in the future labour market, in line with the ETUCE policy paper on the use of ICT in the 21st Century teaching profession. It also highlighted the negative impact of solely business-centred and employability approaches. And it stressed the importance of lifelong learning and effective and responsible use of ICT as a tool to support personalised learning and individual equal opportunities for personal and professional development purposes.

Eduardo Nadal attended the conference on behalf of ETUCE/EI.