Takes two to tango: Education system reforms triggered by EU’s Recommendations for 2015-2016 must involve teachers


On 13 May 2015 the European Commission has published the 2015 Country Specific Recommendations of the European Semester for each Member State.

Last week, commenting  on the Country Specific Recommendations, ETUCE European Director Martin Rømer welcomed the recent shift of the European Semester from a mere budget surveillance towards a more 'socially oriented' economic governance. "Started in 2010, in the wake of the economic crisis" - he said - "the European Semester has so far mainly focused on the implementation of the EU's budgetary and fiscal targets. Only recently, the new European Commission has started focusing more and more on the achievement of the Europe 2020 strategy targets - here included the EU specific and national level targets on education and training: the reduction of the rate of early school leaving below 10% and to have at least 40% of 30-34-years old completing third level education".

The Country Specific Recommendations have become crucial for national reforms and financing of public education systems across Europe. Also this year, half of the Euro-area countries have received Country Specific Recommendations covering education and training priorities. Regrettably, despite the various call of the European Commission to increase growth-enhancing investment in education and to involve social partners in European Semester governance, the voice of teachers has remained too often unheard. "Teachers stand at the core of the school community, bearing the biggest responsibility for educational outcomes. Governments across Europe should recognise the key role that teachers play in implementing school systems' reforms and they should finally open the way for a greater involvement of education social partners in consultations and negotiations on such reforms" concluded Martin Rømer.

The Country-specific Recommendations 2015 are published here

Overview of national progress to Europe 2020 targets is published here