On 26 April 2017, the European Commission released the long-awaited European Pillar of Social Rights.  Centered around overarching key principles and rights to support fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems, the European Pillar of Social Rights represents a welcome stance towards a fairer and more social Europe. It is issued at a time where millions of citizens across Europe struggle with burdening austerity measures leading to the deterioration of living and working conditions, and is set to reaffirm the European Union’s commitment to ensure the upwards convergence of social rights.

From 4 May onwards, a film entitled “ICH.DU.INKLUSION.” on inclusion in German schools will be shown in German cinemas. The VBE, a German education trade union and ETUCE member organisation is involved in the project. Director Thomas Binn produced a long-term documentary on inclusion in the German school system. Two years after introducing the right to education for all children in regular schools and promoting an inclusive education system, the film shows that there are still many unanswered questions. The project aims at giving a voice to children and education personnel and to trigger a public debate.

A research study completed upon request of the European Parliament’s Committee for Culture and Education reaffirms the central role education plays for a vivid civic political culture and a collective European identity. The author recommends placing a focus on relevant educational measures, with a special emphasis on school education, aiming at providing students with high quality education on history and citizenship.

Over the course of several months, the Education and Science Trade Union Federation of Moldova (ESTUFM), ETUCE member organisation in Moldova, has been tirelessly fighting for an increase of education personnel’s salaries in the country. As ESTUFM earlier reported, the increase in education personnel’s salaries in Moldova remains at the core of the union’s demands.  ETUCE addressed the Moldovan government recalling its responsibility and asking to take into account the union’s repeated demands.

In the aftermath of the referendum of 16 April 2017 in Turkey, Mesut FIRAT, Eğitim Sen General Secretary, said “Despite all threats and repressions, half of the Turkish citizens voted ‘No’ which shows that people’s aspiration to democracy, equality and freedom is growing in Turkey. The presidential system adopted as a result of the referendum, has no legitimacy for us. There is also no doubt that the AKP (Justice and Development Party) will increase the oppression on its opponents by using these results.

In his communication of 12 April 2017 to ETUCE, Mesut FIRAT, Eğitim Sen’s General Secretary, said: “Today, the most important for us is to share information with the education trade union movement and the public. We are in a process of further strengthening our ties with EGITIM-SEN-friendly organisations”.