The EU maternity leave directive is back in the European Parliament. The newly-elected FEMM Committee in the European Parliament had a first discussion on amending the directive in their first meeting in September 2014. Contrary to the European Commission's proposal to withdraw the proposed maternity leave directive earlier this year, the European Parliament has decided to take it up again in this legislature. Before the proposed withdrawal of the directive was discussed in Parliament in July, many MEPs, trade unions and the European Women's Lobby had demanded that the Commission and the Council of Ministers resume talks on the controversial directive.

This report shows the recommended annual instruction time in full-time compulsory education in public sector schools. The report covers 32 countries of the Eurydice network (reference year 2013-2014). National sheets are included. Diagrammes allow the reader to easily access data on instruction time in general education according to country and according to subject. The report also provides additional information on specificities within countries. Joint data collection was undertaken by the Eurydice network and the OECD.

The European Parliament is fully back to work. Its Committees have been formed anew. One of the first topics they addressed, is the fundamental issue of the European Semester for economic policy coordination: the implementation of 2014 priorities.  In August, the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) issued a Draft Report on the implementation of the European Semester and the Employment Committee of the European Parliament (EMPL) commented on it.

On 22 September 2014, the EI initiative Unite for Quality Education Campaign will reach its peak in the European Region. On this special day, ETUCE is organising a Public Hearing on the Future of Quality Education, hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels, to celebrate one year of Campaign activities.

After 5 years of freezing of salaries in the education sector the patience was no longer to find amongst Lithuanian educators and their trade unions. On Wednesday 18 June, thousands of teachers demonstrated in front of the government's offices. This was only the steam of many years of frustration as the Lithuanian education system seems to fall at the bottom of all international surveys. The employment structure for teachers is out-dated and looks more like a "feudal system" of hiring and firing. Year after year contracts are established on part time basis without guarantee for employment the following year.

Ahead of EU-US trade negotiations the American and European trade unions – AFL-CIO and ETUC have issued a Declaration of Joint Principles. "The AFL-CIO and ETUC demand a commitment from the E.U. and U.S. to achieve a "gold standard" agreement that improves living and working conditions on both sides of the Atlantic and guards against any attempt to use the agreement to lower standards or impinge on democratic decision making.  The risk of the current model of trade and economic integration agreements to democratic decision making cannot be overstated.  The U.S. has already lost state-to-state challenges to its anti-smoking, meat labelling, and tuna labelling policies and even now, European multinationals are using the investor-to-state system to challenge decisions to phase out nuclear energy and raise minimum wages.  Simply put, these policies are part of a government's most basic responsibility to promote the general welfare of its people."