In October 2014 DG ECFIN and DG TAXUD published the annual report on Tax Reforms in Member States which evaluates key tax reforms implemented in member states, and identifies the present taxation policy challenges. Overall, the report shows that member states have increased the tax burden in the past years as a part of fiscal consolidation policies, but it is anticipated that the tax burden will stabilize in 2014. In the first part of 2014 most member states decreased the tax burden on labour, especially for low income workers, but increased consumption taxes such as the VAT. In general, environmental and property taxes only saw a minor increase. The majority of member states have taken steps to combat tax fraud and evasion.

The 16 days of activism against gender violence is an international campaign that started on 25 November 2014, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and ends on 10 December 2014, Human Rights Day. The campaign hopes to raise awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at local, national, regional and international level. EIGE (European Institute for Gender Equality) launched this international campaign together with other organisations to denounce gender-based violence (GBV), i.e. violence that is directed against a person on the basis of gender.

Embedded in the discussions at the ETUCE's first Special Conference on 26-27 November 2014 in Vienna on The Future of the Teaching Profession, the teacher union delegates unanimously adopted the two policy papers from the Standing Committee for Higher Education (HERSC) on Quality Assurance in Higher Education and on Early Stage Researchers as well as the main conference resolution Shaping the Teaching Profession of the 21st Century and the Resolution on the Impact of Neoliberal Policies on Education as proposed by OLME and TUS. The resolution Shaping the Teaching Profession of the 21st Century foresees the creation of a taskforce to develop an ETUCE Policy on the 21st Century Teaching Profession and the Use of Information and Communication Technologies.

Welcoming the participants to ETUCE's first Special Conference on 26-27 November 2014 in Vienna on The Future of the Teaching Profession, the ETUCE President Christine Blower reflected on what education and teachers' work will be like in future taking reference in today's world that is already constantly online. EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen outlined the potential consequences when children fall through the cracks of society because of insufficient education and touched on the challenges confronting quality education, such as austerity measures, privatisation and de-professionalisation. Framing the conference theme, the European Director Martin Rømer highlighted the challenges of rapid developments in ICT, the decreasing investment in education and with a view to initiate the discussions, provocatively questioned the participants whether teacher unions can match governments and private providers in the discussions on innovation in education and whether teacher unions will in future be an attractive partner for debate on this topic.

Early Leaving from Education and Training (ELET) has a negative impact on young peoples' opportunities in the labour market and therefore has high costs for the individual as well as for society and the economy. Completing education, on the other hand, can lead to a series of better employment opportunities and health related outcomes for the individual. The Highlights from the last Eurydice study: Tackling early leaving from Education and Training in Europe are the following ones:

The recommendation was originally adopted in 1962 and was revised in 1974 and 2001. The aim of the current revision is to reflect new trends and issues in the field, considering demographic changes, youth unemployment and growing inequality as well as the central role of "skills for work and life" in the process of defining global priorities for education beyond 2015. Following a limited consultation earlier this year, to which EI's Task Force on Vocational Education and Training contributed, a first draft of the Revised Recommendation has now been sent to Member States. The revision is, in fact, a complete rewrite of the recommendation. The new draft is significantly shorter than the recommendation approved in 2001.