Acknowledging the broad effect of the European economic governance process on education and training reforms at national level, and considering education as the priority lever for progress, ETUCE monitors all the phases of the new European economic governance process (European Semester) with a view to promote the European teacher unions’ vision of quality education for all. Since 2011, under the strain of the economic and financial crisis, the coordinated economic governance has failed to deliver a sustainable recovery. On the contrary, based on the austerity dogma, implemented structural reforms are dramatically deteriorating education and training systems, as well as teachers’ professional and personal wellbeing and education outcomes. In the context of the current austerity policies, many governments are opening the way to increasing privatisation of potentially profitable education services by free enterprise interests, thus jeopardizing across Europe free access to quality education for all, which is in ETUCE’s view one of the fundamental pillars of a just and democratic society. ETUCE has long been campaigning and mobilizing its member organisations for Quality of Education in Europe, proposing teachers’ alternative approaches to improving education systems based on growth-enhancing investment and solidarity rather than economic and social competition.

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Since the outbreak of the economic crisis, the quality of education and training in Europe is deteriorating dramatically due to severe cuts in national education budgets and reduced investments.

ETUCE believes that education is an investment in the workforce of the future, and as such it has a key role to play in tackling the economic crisis, increasing social well-being and democratic participation in society, as well as in fostering sustainable and quality economic growth prosperity and in reducing social inequalities. Despite the common consensus around the fact that investment in education, lifelong learning, skills and training are crucial to achieve smart, inclusive and sustainable growth as envisaged in the Europe 2020 Strategy, education is often considered by national governments as an easy target for fiscal consolidation in times of economic crisis.

ETUCE has been undertaking policy actions, mobilizing its members across Europe against the crisis and promoting quality of education.



Trade unions experts on education and training as well as higher education discuss the issue of economic governance and education in the permanent committees of ETUCE, in particular the Advisory Panel and the Higher Education and Research Standing Committee.

ETUCE is member of the ETUC working group on Economic and Employment Committee where ETUC members and European Trade Union Federation coordinate their actions to influence the European Semester

  • ETUCE is supporting FTT: Financial Transaction Tax now!, A campaign to regulate the financial market and to generate public revenue
  • ETUCE is member of the Alter Summit, a platform gathering together social movements and trade unions to cooperate to fight anti-social and anti-ecological austerity policies.
  • ETUCE is supporting the No to Tax Heavens Campaign action: a campaign to fight unfair tax practices and urging a fair contribution to the common goods, such as education, from multinational corporations abusing from tax evasion and avoidance.


  • ETUC-CEEP-ETUCE and EFEE organised a joint conference on 23 November 2016 entitled “Investment and EU Funds for Education and Training – The European landscape and the role of the Social Partners”. The joint conference took place in the context of a joint project which aims at mapping out available funding and investment opportunities for training and education and the role of social partners. The Project Report Eu-Level Funds And Financial Instruments For Education And Training And The Role Of Social Partners (2016) was presented at this occasion.
  • ETUCE member organization mobilise for Quality of Education, dedicated campaign webpage gathering all activities carried out across Europe, by ETUCE members advocating for Quality of Education. The campaign is based on the 10 Key Messages on 'What is needed to improve Quality of Education in Europe?' approved by the ETUCE Committee on 23-24 October 2013.
  • ETUCE Public Hearing at the European Economic and Social Committee on 'The future of Quality Education in Europe', where European Commission and governments' representatives, as well as Members of the European Parliament engaged to foster investments on education.
  • ETUCE Special Meeting 'What is needed to improve the Quality of Education in Europe?' on 23 – 24 October 2014 in the framework of the EI/ETUCE initiative Unite for Quality Education. ETUCE member organistions gather to discuss measures, strategies and tools that are needed to improve the quality of education in Europe.
  • The ETUCE Action and Campaign Framework on the Economic Crisis revealed the detrimental effect of the crisis on the education sector.
  • ETUCE Special Meeting in March 2013 when Members of the European Parliament engaged with teacher trade unions into a 'coalition to protect public education'.
  • ETUCE/ETUI Conference: Alternatives to austerity measures in the Education sector in Europe where teacher trade unions analysed the impacts of the new economic governance on the education sector, detailing its procedure and analysing influence opportunities for trade unions.
More information
ETUCE Circular 1/2014: Spending on education is an investment: progress in countries in 2013
ETUCE Circular 3/2012: Financing adult learning
ETUCE Newsletter 1/2011: European sectoral social dialogue for education joint declaration on investments in the future