The members of the ETUCE Committee elected at the ETUCE Conference in December 2016 in Belgrade convened for their first meeting in Brussels on 3-4 April 2017.

The main topic concerned the role and structure of ETUCE as the European Region within Educational International and its link to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), with a specific focus on the role of the ETUCE Committee and its members, who each represent a country and in some cases several unions. The meeting included a presentation and discussion on the EI consultation of member organisations in light of Education International’s review of structures commended by EI Congress in 2015. Many Committee members expressed their content with the work, structure and role of ETUCE, confirming that in its current form it serves best the interest of member organisations in Europe.

Another important agenda item was the solidarity with Turkish colleagues. Following the report on the recent EI-ETUCE Mission to Ankara  (27-28 February 2017) and the worrying developments regarding trade union and human rights in the country, Kamuran Karaca, EGITIM SEN President, addressed the Committee members and thanked European colleagues, the ETUCE Secretariat and EI for their continuous support. He emphasised the need to maintain pressure on the Turkish government and gave an overview of the actions undertaken by EGITIM SEN in support of education staff in Turkey.

Among the decisions taken, Recommendations on Securing Diversity in Education put forward by the ETUCE Standing Committee for Equality were adopted by the Committee to support ETUCE member organisations in implementing the 2016 ETUCE Conference Resolutions on equality. The ETUCE Committee also adopted a statement put forward by the Higher Education and Research Committee (HERSC) in relation to the March for Science rallies organised across the world on 22 April. With this statement ETUCE member organisations express their concern about the European scientists being increasingly threatened through European-level and national policies that focus on short-term research objectives.

Also, Gitta Franke Zöllmer (VBE-Germany) was re-elected Chair of the Status of Women Committee for the next 4 years with a wish from colleagues to continue her excellent work in this position.

The next ETUCE Committee meeting takes place In Brussels on 23-24 October 2017.