ETUCE is a strong advocator of free quality public education for all and maintains that education is a human right and a public good, which is the responsibility of governments. ETUCE monitors international trade and investment agreements that the EU is pursuing and which may expose the education sector to privatisation and commercialisation pressures. ETUCE urges decision makers to entirely exclude education from trade agreements. Formally these trade agreements currently being negotiated are about trade, that is lowing tariff rates and quotas, however the main issues concern regulatory convergence and the elimination of "non-tariff" barrier to trade. Therefore, such trade agreements pose potentially serious risks for education policy, for public schools and other educational institutions, as well as for teachers, students and communities in the EU.

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Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

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Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)

Cdn EU flagsThe negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) were launched in May 2009. The EU and Canada announced the end of the CETA negotiations at the EU-Canada Summit on 26 September 2014. The European Commission has published the result of the CETA negotiations.  It has been suggested by the European Commission that CETA is most ambitious trade agreement seen so far. CETA includes, among other things, the controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), service liberalisation, regulatory cooperation and government procurement. ETUCE demands that education is entirely excluded from the CETA as it otherwise could pose significant risks to public education. In particular, it could intensify the pressures of privatisation and commercialisation. ETUCE is also very concerned about the inclusion of the flawed ISDS mechanism.



ETUCE opposes the EU-Colombia free trade agreement due to the continuing violations in Colombia of human and trade union rights. Teachers are particularly affected by the violence. The ETUCE Conference calls on the members of the European Parliament to oppose the EU FTA with Colombia due to the serious violations in Colombia of human rights and trade union rights. In addition, teachers are particularly affected by the violence, which continues due to widespread impunity.

ETUCE Conference Budapest Resolution on EU-Colombia Free Trade Agreement of 27 November 2012