News

On 1 October 2014 the ETUCE held the 4th Round Table Meeting in Vilnius to promote social dialogue in the education sector. The meeting was conducted at a very opportune and important time as the trade unions and the Ministry of Education and Science are currently in comprehensive negotiations about reforms of the education financing model, the employment structure and teachers' salaries. The meeting was attended by the Lithuanian Minister of Education and Science, external experts on social dialogue in the Baltic Region, and representatives from the Lithuanian social partners.

The public consultation on transparency of the TTIP negotiations by the European Ombudsman runs until 31 October 2014. Submissions can be made in any of the 24 official EU languages and can be provided by email, letter or fax. The European Ombudsman will take into account the input received by the public consultation before presenting a set of further suggestions to the European Commission on how to proceed with the TTIP negotiations.

On 22 September 2014, the EI initiative Unite for Quality Education Campaign reached its peak in the European Region. ETUCE affiliates, government and European Commission representatives, as well as various stakeholders in education took part in the ETUCE public hearing on the Future of Quality Education in Europe. The event was hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels to celebrate one year of campaign activities.

The EU maternity leave directive is back in the European Parliament. The newly-elected FEMM Committee in the European Parliament had a first discussion on amending the directive in their first meeting in September 2014. Contrary to the European Commission's proposal to withdraw the proposed maternity leave directive earlier this year, the European Parliament has decided to take it up again in this legislature. Before the proposed withdrawal of the directive was discussed in Parliament in July, many MEPs, trade unions and the European Women's Lobby had demanded that the Commission and the Council of Ministers resume talks on the controversial directive.

This report shows the recommended annual instruction time in full-time compulsory education in public sector schools. The report covers 32 countries of the Eurydice network (reference year 2013-2014). National sheets are included. Diagrammes allow the reader to easily access data on instruction time in general education according to country and according to subject. The report also provides additional information on specificities within countries. Joint data collection was undertaken by the Eurydice network and the OECD.

The European Parliament is fully back to work. Its Committees have been formed anew. One of the first topics they addressed, is the fundamental issue of the European Semester for economic policy coordination: the implementation of 2014 priorities.  In August, the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) issued a Draft Report on the implementation of the European Semester and the Employment Committee of the European Parliament (EMPL) commented on it.