The launching of the ESSDE was an historical event as it brought the largest public sector in Europe into the European Social Dialogue system, making the social partners co-legislators for their professional area at European level.

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A Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee is composed of one representative per country in each of the two social partner delegations. It is a bipartite social dialogue body, the social partners being responsible for their agenda and the conduct of their discussions.  The Committee meets in Plenary at least once a year, three times a year being the maximum. It can also create working groups with a maximum of 15 representatives per side, who will meet for a maximum of 6 times a year.

In the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Education, ETUCE represents the labour side and holds all the 28 country seats, complemented at the EU level by 2 representatives from the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) and 1 representative from the Confederation of Independent Trade-Unions (CESI), the later having no voting rights in the Committee.

The European Commission assists the social partners for organising the meetings but does not interfere in the dialogue.

The ESSDE Committee covers the entire Education Sector: Pre-Primary, Primary, Secondary, Vocational Education and Training, Higher Education and Research. In the European Union member states, the Education sector employs 14.7 million workers to educate 93 million pupils and students. The total public expenditure in European education is 583 billion Euros per year, an equivalent to 5, 7% of the total European GDP.

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