Working Group meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Education enhances the dialogue on migrants’ integration and the role of education in preventing radicalization


On 30 September, the European Sectoral Social Dialogue on Education Working Group took place in Brussels. European sectoral social partners in education discussed three main issues. Firstly, how they can contribute to facilitate migrants’ integration in the education and the socio-economic environment of the host country. Secondly, the Paris Declaration on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education, and the role of social partners in preventing and combating the radicalization of young people in education. And, finally, the new Skills Agenda for Europe of the European Commission, was discussed. The meeting offered a fruitful platform for exchange of practices among the several delegates of ETUCE and EFEE, for mutual learning and for posing questions and comments, as well as for underlining critical aspects of European Commission’s initiatives.

During the plenary discussion on how the social partners could contribute to the integration in the education and socio-economic environment of the host country, several concrete examples were made  by the trade union delegates from Portugal, Germany, Slovenia, Spain, Ireland and Cyprus, as well as EPSU, and by the education employer organisations’ representatives. The two delegations lined out problems and challenges they are facing for a successful integration process. They also provided concrete examples on how social partners can contribute to the prevention of radicalization among students and young people. Thus, ETUCE and EFEE updated their knowledge on what education social partners at national levels are doing to prevent the radicalization of students in schools and to offer tailor-made support which ranges from prevention to active intervention.

Although welcoming the information received by the European Commission on its initiatives, concerns were raised on the involvement of education social partners in the design and implementation of the New Skills Agenda. More concretely the issues of data collection, the strict focus on skills for the labour market at the expense of the broader concepts of knowledge, attitudes and competences were addressed. The capacity of some initiatives of the Skills Agenda to reach out those most in need, is perceived as being not sufficiently emphasized.

The Working Group meeting concluded with a shared willingness of the European Education Social Partners to continue to work jointly, via peer learning and updated knowledge, on how social partners can contribute to the follow-up of the Paris declaration and to facilitate migrants’ integration in the education environment of the host country.