At the ETUCE Committee meeting on 19 March 2015, ETUCE presented the final report and a declaration following the recently finalised project on "Supporting early career researchers in Higher Education in Europe and the role of employers' organisations and trade unions". The very successful one-year project was conducted jointly by the European education social partners, ETUCE and  EFEE (European Federation of Education Employers). It was established by the Working Group on Higher Education of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (ESSDE) with the support of the European Commission.

Among others, project activities included important research work focusing on the challenges faced by early career researchers and the universities in which they work and study. The thorough report includes information  on the political and economic context, the social dialogue in Higher Education and the situation of research careers within Higher Education and beyond. The report then deals with seven particular aspects of the challenges which early career researchers in Europe face. It also covers the results of more detailed case studies from Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Italy, Romania, and the United Kingdom. The report leads to joint recommendations which could be useful for social partners at different levels depending on the particular situation in each EU Member State. European policy making and action could benefit from these recommendations, too. Finally, the report results in the joint declaration which is addressed to social partners in education representing the Higher Education and Research sector and their national, regional and local members as well as the European Institutions and interested stakeholders at European or national and local level.

The outcomes of this project show once more the promising potentials of the ESSDE. The European education social partners hope that their declaration will provide valuable support to early stage researchers by raising awareness of their challenges and by showing possible solutions to address these challenges. ETUCE and EFEE have therefore committed themselves to actively promote their social dialogue and this declaration at all possible levels. ETUCE European Director Martin Rømer states: "A well established and effectively functioning social dialogue in education is important to ensure that education unions can best serve the interests of their members both at national and European level. Therefore, ETUCE will remain engaged in developing the ESSDE further and in promoting and improving its results. I would like to encourage member organisations to promote the ESSDE outcomes at national level, too".

Read the final project report and the ESSDE Joint Declaration