On 29 February and 1 March, ETUCE held the first training seminar of the project “Investment in education: Strengthening the involvement of teacher trade unions in the European Semester on education and training” in Malta. The project objective is to provide specific knowledge to teacher unions to be more involved at national level in the European Semester governance process, and to shed some light on the effects of the European Semester on national reforms and investment on education and training. The report of trainings are to be published on the ETUCE website.

During the training seminar, representatives of ETUCE member organisations from Southern European countries (Malta, Spain, Cyprus and Portugal) shared experiences and discussed about the impact of the Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) of the European Semester on national reforms on education and training, on education budgets and on the work of teachers. At the training the participants learned how teacher trade unions could participate in the policy making process of the European Semester as national social partners for education. Ms Alexandra Zammit, European Semester officer of the European Commission in Malta, explained the actors and timeline of the European Semester while Ms Gwen Gatt, from the Maltese Minister of Education, clarified the interaction between the Ministry of Education, Employment and Finance concerning the design and implementation of Country Specific Recommendations  at national level. As part of the project activities, a research is also being conducted on investment patterns in education and training in Europe in the context of the European Semester and whether this has led to privatisation in and of education.

The Maltese Union of Teachers (MUT) co-organised the event as project partner. Mr Kevin Bonello, president of MUT underlined that teacher trade unions have a great role in the implementation of  the yearly recommendations of the European Semester on education and training. Recommendations should link to the real needs of the students and teachers and the national and European decision makers should consult more with teacher trade unions on their design and implementation. Ms Kristina Aaltonen (DLF) presented an interesting example of actions of the Danish union of teachers getting involved in various phases of the European Semester process in Denmark.

The next training seminars are going to take place in 2016:

  • in Copenhagen for the Nordic and Anglo-Saxon region,
  • in Vilnius for the Baltic and Central region,
  • in Rome for the Western region and
  • in Ljubljana for Balkan and Eastern region.

The trainings will be organized in cooperation with DLF (Danish Union of Teachers), FLESTU (Lithuanian Education Employees Trade Union), FLC CGIL (Trade Union Federation for Education of CGIL) and ESTU (Education and Science Trade Union of Slovenia).

Well aware of the specificities of national frameworks, participants to the ETUCE training are now eager to develop their national strategy to influence the European Semester on education and training.

Pictures from the training