Negotiators from the European Union and the United States met in Brussels on 10-14 March to continue the controversial talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). At the TTIP chief negotiators' briefing on 12 March, the US chief negotiator stated that the US aims to include education into the scope of the agreement. ETUCE together with the European Students' Union sent out a press release expressing concerns about the potential impact of a proposed EU-US free trade deal.

On 27 March 2014, the European Commission finally launched its public consultation on investment protection and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The deadline for submission will be three months following the date when the consultation is available in all official EU languages. The deadline will be indicated on the consultation webpage when available in all EU languages. The consultation is accompanied by a consultation notice, consultation document and privacy statement. ETUCE is welcoming the public consultation and will encourage all member organisations to contribute to the consultation. ETUCE will prepare a guideline for the public consultation in due time before the deadline.

A common letter by Education International, ETUCE, AFT and NEA calls on US President Obama and President of the European Commission Barroso to safeguard quality education in TTIP. The letter raises the common concerns that the inclusion of "private" adult learning and "other education services" into the scope of the TTIP agreement poses potentially serious risks for educational policy, for public schools and other educational institutions, and for teachers, students and communities in both the EU and the US.

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: