ETUCE webinar discusses recovery and investment needs for sustainable education systems at times of crisis and beyond


On 22 October 2020, representatives from education trade union members of ETUCE met online to discuss challenges and priorities for sustainable investment in education and training for the years to come.

With the sharp drop in many European economies caused by the Covid-19 crisis, governments’ finances across Europe and the world risk being permanently weakened, endangering public investment in free, universal and high-quality education and training. With the proposal for the Next Generation EU, and the new Recovery and Resilience Facility for Europe, the European Union has provided one of the most important instruments to respond to the health, economic, social and climate crisis, and to steer the recovery through green and digital transitions.

Against this background, and supported by the expert contribution of the ETUC Head of Institutional Relations, Marco Cilento, who framed the main features of the European Recovery and Resilience Facility and outlined ETUC priorities for growth, social progress and recovery, ETUCE member organisations elaborated on the need for strengthened cooperation. Participants discussed strategies to achieve an effective social partner involvement in the European and national governance coordination. They outlined priority areas to ensure that resources mobilised to support reforms and investments in the education and training field reflect the needs and perspectives of teachers and other education personnel, and are in line with education trade union priorities for quality public education for all.

‘With an unprecedented mobilisation of resources to support European countries’ economies, it is now more crucial than ever that we learn from the past, and that we do not just do the right thing, but we do it correctly’ said Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director, concluding the webinar. ‘In ETUCE, we are ready to embrace the challenges of digitalisation in education and to contribute to achieve climate neutrality through education in Europe. This cannot be done, however, if for-profit and commercial organisations enter education systems to offer quick, easy, and cheap solutions for teaching and learning to future generations.’

ETUCE member organisations will remain vigilant to ensure a strong democratic accountability on the use of resources in areas that are and should remain a public responsibility, such as education and training, in view of future negotiations and when the Recovery and Resilience Facility will become operational.