On the occasion of the European day of the persons with disabilities (4th-5th December 2017), the European Parliament has started to analyse the implementation of the EU Disability Strategy 2020, including education and training for children and adults with disabilities and special needs and access to quality education and lifelong learning. More precisely, the ‘Committee on Culture and Education (CULT)’ of the European Parliament has recently published an opinion (2017/2127INI) which addresses key issues for teachers and educators teaching students with disabilities and special educational needs.

A new report released by DG CONNECT of the European Commission has revealed that 44% of Europeans do not have basic digital skills. This study predicts that 9 out of 10 jobs in the future will require these basic digital skills, meaning that Europe could suffer a digital skills gap. This study stems from the WiFi EU initiative and from the 2016 ‘Communication on Connectivity for a European Gigabit Society’ which indicates as strategic objective for 2025 “Gigabit connectivity for all main socio-economic drivers such as schools” with the purpose of opening up education.

The Directorate General for Internal Policies and the Committee on Petitions (PETI) of the European Parliament have published a report entitled “Inclusive Education for Learners with Disabilities”. The report was presented at the “Workshop on the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” in collaboration with the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education.

More than 200 Swiss public and private organisations working to promote children's and human rights, including the umbrella organisation of Swiss teachers' associations (LCH) and the ETUCE member organisation SER-Syndicat des Enseignants Romands, have signed the Dublin Appeal launched internationally in late April.

Following the national strike of 15 November 2017 and negotiations on 17 November 2017 with the Ministry of Education of Portugal who was represented by Alexandra Leitão, the State Secretary, ETUCE member organisations in Portugal, Federaçao Nacional dos Professores (FENPROF) and Federação Nacional dos Sindicatos da Educação (FNE), have recently signed a declaration committing education authorities and education trade unions to set the basis and framework to negotiate the defreeze of the teaching career progression and harmonise education personnel’s working time.

On 24 November 2017, at the occasion of the Public Hearing, organised jointly by the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE), and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on the occasion of the second European Vocational Skills Week, around fifty representatives from national trade unions and education employer organisations across Europe, Members of the European Parliament, policy makers, education and industry stakeholders, and civil society organisations gathered in Brussels to discuss and to shed light on “The role of teachers and school heads in improving the status of VET”.