ETUCE calls to member organisations to take action and contact their ministers in charge and possibly use the template letter! The European Commission is planning to downgrade the future Strategy for Equality between Men and Women to a Staff Working Document rather than an official Communication. The proposal will be submitted to the EU ministers in charge for employment/gender equality attending the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council configuration (EPSCO) Meeting on 7 December 2015.

On 27 November, the annual cycle of economic governance coordination - the European Semester - was kicked off with the publication of the Annual Growth Survey 2016. The Annual Growth Survey (AGS) is a Communication from the European Commission setting priorities for Member states for the forthcoming year, also with a view of reforming their national education and training systems.

Eurydice has published a new Report on Early Childhood Education and Care Systems in Europe. The report provides national information sheets on the current situation of early childhood education policies in 28 EU Member States and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey.

Eurydice has published a new Report on National Student Fee and Support Systems in European Higher Education for the period 2015-2016. The report analyses student fees and support systems (grants and loans) across 38 European countries including. It information on fees and merit-based and/or needs-based support in public or State dependent private higher education institutions for the first (Bachelor level) and the second (Master level) cycles. It does not cover private higher education institutions.

The Joint Action on Mental Health and Well-being network has published two policy papers on mental health in education policies and in labour policies. Both policy papers show the benefits of including measures to support mental health and recommend actions to ensure psychological health in the education sector and the labour market. Mental health is defined as, ‘a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises their own potential, [...] can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community (WHO). Thus, mental health is not just the absence of illness’.

From 25 to 10 December 2015 Education International (EI) is organising the ‘16 Days Campaign’ to raise awareness to gender based violence. It is an international campaign which starts on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls and ends on the International Human Rights Day. This years’ theme is: ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All’.