The European Commission runs a public consultation on investment protection and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in TTIP until 6 July 2014. ETUCE strongly encourage all member organisations to respond to the consultation. Therefore, ETUCE has drafted a set of guidelines to the European Commission's public consultation on modalities for investment protection and ISDS in TTIP.

The new National Sheets on Education Budgets in Europe: 2014 reveal that 2 out of 3 countries/regions in Europe are increasing their education budget for 2014 by more than 1 % at current prices. Conversely, 7 countries decreased their budgets by more than 1 %. Budgets coming from national, regional, local and EU level are considered. It should be noted, however, that not all budget levels are covered in all countries. Even if the statistics reveal that the education budgets are increasing, the second reading is that the budget differences between the countries are bigger and deeper.

A recent article in the Brussels Times analyses the main issues at stake in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) such as the secrecy of the negotiations, ISDS (investor-state dispute settlement) and the consequences on growth and employment. The consequences on education, health and public services are also outlined in the article. Explaining the consequences for the education sector the article quotes the common letter by Education International, ETUCE, AFT and NEA sent in June 2014 to both presidents of the US and of the European Commission:

A recent EurActiv article illustrates how education policy faces similar threats from the ongoing TTIP negotiation and the Services directive.  The European Commission's DG Internal Market initiated an infringement case against Slovenia's Higher Education Act back in 2011 based on the Services Directive. The European Commission claims that the Slovenian law is "incompatible with freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services" in its reasoned opinion.  This is despite that fact that the provisions' of the Service Directive clearly exclude education as a service of general interest and special meaning from the scope of the directive.

In October 2014 DG ECFIN and DG TAXUD published the annual report on Tax Reforms in Member States which evaluates key tax reforms implemented in member states, and identifies the present taxation policy challenges. Overall, the report shows that member states have increased the tax burden in the past years as a part of fiscal consolidation policies, but it is anticipated that the tax burden will stabilize in 2014. In the first part of 2014 most member states decreased the tax burden on labour, especially for low income workers, but increased consumption taxes such as the VAT. In general, environmental and property taxes only saw a minor increase. The majority of member states have taken steps to combat tax fraud and evasion.

The 16 days of activism against gender violence is an international campaign that started on 25 November 2014, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and ends on 10 December 2014, Human Rights Day. The campaign hopes to raise awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at local, national, regional and international level. EIGE (European Institute for Gender Equality) launched this international campaign together with other organisations to denounce gender-based violence (GBV), i.e. violence that is directed against a person on the basis of gender.