News

After the four week lock out of Danish teachers in 2013, the Danish Union of Teachers filed a complaint against the Danish government with the ILO. The Danish government pushed a bill through which terminated the lock out but only upheld the employers' interests and requirements.

On 26 November, the European Commission has announced the Investment Plan for Europe, which is foreseen to boost investments in support of jobs and growth. The Plan will be endorsed by the European leaders during their meeting in Brussels next 18-19 December 2014. The Plan is the outcome of an established partnership between the European Commission and the European Investment Bank. It intends to mobilise €315 billion in additional investments over the next three years, maximising the impact of public resources and unlocking private investments. It also identifies targeted initiatives to make sure that investment finance reaches the real economy in the field of infrastructures: broadband and energy networks, transport, education, research and innovation, renewable energy and efficiency.

Teacher trade unions in Europe support the aim of the European High Level Conference Education in the Digital Era to improve education via digital tools. Together with the Italian Presidency, the European Commission invited high level representatives from European Education Ministries and other stakeholders in education to discuss education in the digital era. The conference, which took place in Brussels on December 11, evolved around three topics: Increasing the quality and relevance of learning, increasing the Impact of educators and addressing inequalities through better access and lower costs.

Negotiators from the European Union and the United States met in Brussels on 10-14 March to continue the controversial talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). At the TTIP chief negotiators' briefing on 12 March, the US chief negotiator stated that the US aims to include education into the scope of the agreement. ETUCE together with the European Students' Union sent out a press release expressing concerns about the potential impact of a proposed EU-US free trade deal.

On 27 March 2014, the European Commission finally launched its public consultation on investment protection and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The deadline for submission will be three months following the date when the consultation is available in all official EU languages. The deadline will be indicated on the consultation webpage when available in all EU languages. The consultation is accompanied by a consultation notice, consultation document and privacy statement. ETUCE is welcoming the public consultation and will encourage all member organisations to contribute to the consultation. ETUCE will prepare a guideline for the public consultation in due time before the deadline.

A common letter by Education International, ETUCE, AFT and NEA calls on US President Obama and President of the European Commission Barroso to safeguard quality education in TTIP. The letter raises the common concerns that the inclusion of "private" adult learning and "other education services" into the scope of the TTIP agreement poses potentially serious risks for educational policy, for public schools and other educational institutions, and for teachers, students and communities in both the EU and the US.