On 19 February 2016, ETUCE and the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE) conducted their annual plenary meeting 2015 within the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (ESSDE). The meeting gathering about forty delegates from the two organisations had been postponed from  November 2015 due to the security lock-down following the terror attacks in Paris.

As every year, delegates learned about the work results made at two annual working group meetings and within various social dialogue projects. The outcomes of two finalized projects were presented as well as experiences made during the course of two current projects. The delegates exchanged their views on the future work following up on these achievements.

At the same time, the meeting also offered an occasion again to  learn more about other European processes and projects with relevance for the education sector. European Commission representatives reported on the ET2020 Joint Report regarding the Investment Plan for Europe in Education with a focus on the role social partners can play in the process. There was also a presentation on a project, aiming to create a multilingual taxonomy of European skills, competences, qualifications and occupations (ESCO) for the different sector of economic activity.

The core issue of the meeting though was clearly the new ESSDE work programme 2016/17. Last autumn, ESSDE delegates were asked to suggest their three top work priorities to feed the work program with. In January 2016, the ESSDE steering group members looked into the proposals and elaborated a draft programme which was submitted to delegates of the plenary group. Following a very lively and fruitful debate  on proposals for modifications, the delegates agreed finally to adopt the new work programme which will be now sent out to all member organisations.

The further development and promotion of the education social dialogue itself was confirmed again as a key task. A series of round table meetings at national level have taken place and more meetings are being planned in in several countries in this continuous process. In order to strengthen the role of education social partners effectively, the cooperation process with DG Education and Culture as well as with DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion remain a top priority, too. Apart from the many resumed or continued topics, the delegates have also agreed to pick up new priorities focusing amongst others on the development of the teaching profession as well as on European initiatives such as the European Skills Agenda or on highly topical challenges such as the education social partners’ possible contribution to facilitate the better integration of migrants into the educational and socio-economic environment of the host countries.

The meeting was concluded successfully. It supported again the further strengthening of the European education social partners’ dialogue. The next plenary group meeting is foreseen to take place in Brussels for 8 November 2016.

2016-2017 Work Programme