ETUCE Webinar on Education Trade Unions and the Evolving European Semester


On Friday 23 February 2024, the ETUCE organised a webinar focusing on the European Semester. This yearly cycle of economic policy coordination within the European Union (EU) is undergoing significant adaptations due to a reformed EU economic governance framework. The webinar explored these changes and their implications, particularly for education policies and the employment landscape within the education sector. 

The European Semester is designed to align member states’ economic policies with broader EU objectives, ensuring stability and fostering economic growth. However, ongoing negotiations on the reformed EU economic governance framework are expected to introduce austerity measures and constraints on public investments, impacting member states' fiscal policies and priorities. 

During the webinar, discussions were held with representatives from the European Commission and the European Trade Union Conferederation (ETUC) to delve into the impending reforms and their specific effects on education policies and employment conditions within the education sector. The ETUCE’s initiative to provide a practical guide for education trade unions' involvement in the European Semester underscores the importance of this engagement, which will be further emphasised and updated to accommodate the reformed Semester in 2024. 

The webinar contributed to improving the understanding the reformed EU economic governance and its implications for the European Semester cycle, emphasising the significance of education trade unions' participation in the European Semester, and facilitating dialogue with the European Commission regarding policy priorities on education for the European Semester 2024. 

As the European Semester undergoes adaptations in response to changing economic dynamics and EU fiscal rules leading to a new austerity phase, the role of education trade unions in advocating for robust education policies becomes increasingly vital. By fostering dialogue and collaboration, education trade unions can work towards ensuring that the rights and working conditions of teachers, researchers and other education personnel are effectively represented within the European Semester framework.  

ETUCE adopted its position paper on the new economic governance framework in March 2024.