Following the report of the unfavourable climate of industrial relations in Bosnia Herzegovina, a high-level ETUCE mission headed by ETUCE European Director, Susan Flocken, was organised on 14-15 February 2019 to Sarajevo, joined by Branimir Struklej, ETUCE Vice-President and Valentina Ilic and Borka Visnic from Serbia. Representatives from member organisations in Macedonia and Croatia joined the delegation.

On 30th January 2019, the European Commission proposed a comprehensive Erasmus+ Contingency regulation which protects all those travelling abroad for learning mobility activities funded by Erasmus+, regardless of the exit deal reached by the European Union and the United Kingdom. These measures pertain to all Erasmus+ programme countries as well as all international activities which are financed by Erasmus+ before March 2019.

The European Commission Advisory Committee on equal opportunities for women and men has recently published two opinions, regarding future gender equality policy after 2019 and new challenges for gender equality in the changing world of work.In its opinion on future gender equality policy after 2019, the Advisory Committee calls for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention by all Member States, the re-establishment of gender equality as a priority issue for the EU, and the adoption of a high-level intersectional gender equality strategy 2020-2025 by the European Commission.

Access to education and training for children with migrant background is not sufficient if it is not combined with quality education and learning which meets students’ learning needs and aspiration, concludes the Eurydice report on “Integrating Students from Migrant Backgrounds into Schools in Europe: National Policies and Measures” published on 17 January 2019. The report offers a comparative analysis of the policies and measures on integration of migrant students in education in 42 education systems (in 28 EU member states), including such areas as access to education, language, learning and psycho-social support, and support for teachers and school heads.

Standing Committee for Equality members gathered for another productive annual meeting in Brussels on 7-8th February 2019. The theme of this year’s meeting was ‘Education Trade Unions for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, it is time to take the lead!’ which focused on the inclusion of migrants, refugees, and ethnic minorities into education, and the teaching of citizenship and transmission of democratic values across Europe. In addition to the main points of discussion, the delegates addressed the digital gap, given the increasing digitalisation of our societies and the opportunities and risks new technologies can bring in terms of equality and inclusion.

On 20 June 2018, the Executive Board of the Greek Primary Teachers’ Federation (DOE), one of the ETUCE member organisations in Greece, submitted to the European Parliament Petitions Committee a petition No 0580/2018 referring to the issues of non-recruitment of permanent teachers and to the absence of provisions in national legislation on the protection of substitute teachers, in particular, in accordance with the Directive 1999/70/EC and Directive 91/533/EEC, pointing out the important distinction between permanent and substitute teachers.