On 22 February 2017 the European Commission has published the Country Reports  for each EU Member State, which form the basis for the dialogue ahead of the presentation of the National Reform Programmes in April 2017 and the preparation of the Country Specific Recommendations in May 2017. The Country Reports monitor reforms and point to issues that EU Member States should address.  All the Country Reports include a chapter on Education and training systems. The Country Reports of the European Semester are a crucial element in the Semester process. They are the annual analysis of the economic and social situation in the EU Member States, including an assessment of imbalances.

8 March is International Women’s Day. This year, the overarching topic of the UN Women’s campaign is “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”, aiming at raising awareness for the special situation of women in the labour market in times of globalisation and increasing digitalisation.

The Council of the European Union has highlighted the importance of inclusive high-quality education for the future of the European Union. This was stated in the Council’s Conclusions on Inclusion in Diversity to achieve a High Quality Education For All, adopted on 17 February.

On 22 February 2017, the French High Council for Equality between men and women published a report on gender equality in education. The High Council recognises the role of schools as essential for the realisation of an equal society in the future. Noticing that education personnel, and the entire society alike, has internalised gender stereotypes and reproduces these stereotypes throughout the process of education, the High Council critically remarks the lack of additional training dedicated to equality in education.

On 15 March 2017, several education trade unions mobilise for the World Action Day Against Precarity In Higher Education and Research. The action day was initiated by the World Federation of Scientific Workers and is supported by several international associations as well as a number of French, Portuguese and Senegalese national education trade unions, like the  SNCS-FSU, SNEP-FSU, SNESUP-FSU, SNTRS-CGT (France) as well as ABIC, FENPROF and OTC (Portugal).

Turkish media supported the strong voice of education trade unions’ solidarity in the aftermath of the second EI/ETUCE Mission to Ankara, Turkey. The local media reports highlighted the Turkish authorities’ unwillingness to meet with the mission delegation in order to put an end to the ongoing violation and prosecutions of Turkish education  personnel.