European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) recently published two articles on gender equality, focusing on digitalisation and the opportunities and risks it can bring to Europe’s youth. Both information sheets are based on the findings of EIGE study ‘Youth, digitalisation and gender equality’ which is to be published in the beginning of 2019. EIGE reports that digitalisation presents many opportunities for young people in Europe, notably exciting career prospects in the STEM sector, with good salaries and flexible working arrangements, and the possibility of becoming active citizens by joining the vibrant online community thanks to social networking.

The OECD released its latest report entitled PISA: Equity in Education - Breaking Down Barriers to Social Mobility 23 October 2018. This report sheds light on the widening gap between advantaged and disadvantaged learners in education systems in 72 countries, including all 36 OECD countries and 36 partner countries.

On the eve of the demonstration against the pension reform, ETUCE addressed the Croatian government on behalf of its member organisations in the country.In support of the demonstration on 20 October 2018 in Zagreb ETUCE expressed its solidarity with the Croatian Teachers' Union (CTU), the Independent Trade Union of Workers in Secondary Education of Croatia (ITUWEC), the Independent Union of Research and Higher Education Employees of Croatia (IURHEEC) and the Trade Union of Workers in Pre-School Education of Croatia (TUWPSEC) and the whole trade union movement in the country speaking up for fair pension reforms.

In Hamburg, Berlin and Lower Saxony, the German far-right extremist party “Alternative for Deutschland (AfD)” has recently introduced so-called registration portals to report AfD-critical teachers, allowing the denunciation of AfD-critical teachers.  Similar platforms have been created in other countries, e.g. The Netherlands, which  jeopardise critical discussions of political-related content and, in some cases make them impossible. GEW recommends its members to  push back these developments and  show commitment to universal values and freedom of opinion instead of restraint - with regard to the demand of the AfD to students and parents to expose teachers on online reporting platforms.

Yesterday, on 17 October 2018, on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, trade union organisations staged the national protest action in Kiev.As reported by the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine (TUESWU), thousands of trade unionists joined the action to express their strong resentment over increasing consumer prices and common charges  at the same time demanding to increase salaries and pensions and take into account trade unions’ proposals to the State Budget 2019.

In light of the forthcoming protest action, which is to take place on 20 October 2018 in Zagreb, ETUCE expressed its strong support with its member organisations and the whole trade union movement speaking up for fair pension reforms in Croatia.The Croatian Government has refused to negotiate the pension reforms with trade unions, questioning the government’s goodwill and intention to commit to the European constitutional framework and agreements as well as the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) promoting, among other things, social dialogue.