On 13 May 2015 the European Commission has published the 2015 Country Specific Recommendations of the European Semester for each Member State. Last week, commenting  on the Country Specific Recommendations, ETUCE European Director Martin Rømer welcomed the recent shift of the European Semester from a mere budget surveillance towards a more 'socially oriented' economic governance.

On 14-15 May 2015,  the 2015 Ministerial Conference and Fourth Bologna Policy Forum took place in Yerevan, Armenia. During the meeting, 47 European ministers responsible for higher education and research – the "Bologna ministers" - signed the Yerevan Communiqué and the Fourth Bologna Policy Forum Statement to further advance in the implementation of the European Higher Education Area.

Over 600,000 education workers participated in the strike in Italy on 5 May 2015. As a result, the government met the trade unions, among them the three ETUCE member organisations, but decided to go on with the approval procedures of a draft law to reform the education staff's working conditions. In practice, this would reduce education workers' rights and increase their workload without a corresponding wage increase.

The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) took place on 17 May 2015. The event is celebrated worldwide with cultural and political actions to criticise the remaining discrimination against LGBTQI-persons. On this occasion, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has announced that they are preparing a new survey to better measure homo- and transphobia in Europe.

Brussels, 18 May 2015 – More than 50 civil society organisations - and among them ETUCE - have joined forces to create the 'Better Regulation Watchdog' – a network to protect citizens', workers' and consumers' rights. The network was launched today in Brussels, one day ahead of the expected announcement of the European Commission's so-called 'Better Regulation' reforms.

European Commission released a new video to support its long-term mobility scheme. "Your first EURES job" helps young people aged 18-35 to find jobs, traineeships and apprenticeships in other EU countries, Norway and Iceland. The video demonstrates in practice how the scheme can be helpful for both workers and employers.