Dissatisfied education personnel, students and teachers are protesting against education personnel’s precarious working conditions, low salaries or salaries that have been frozen for several years, large classroom sizes and dismissals in Spain that pose a severe threat to the future of the teaching profession in Spain and jeopardise the future of Spain’s youth.

The conference was organised by Bulgarian Union of Teachers (SEB) and gathered representatives of education trade unions from many European countries, including ETUCE member organisations, such as F.E.CC.OO. (Spain), TUS (Serbia), SONK (FYROM), UIL Scuola (Italy),  OLME and DOE (Greece) and others. Among special guests were representatives from the Bulgarian government (Iliyana Yotova, Vice President of Republic of Bulgaria, and Nikolai Denkov, Minister of Education and Science), Plamen Dimitrov, President of Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria (CITUB), Martin Rømer, Senior Consultant to the General Secretary of EI, and Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director.

The European Parliament’s theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Women’s economic empowerment”. The European Parliament published a leaflet entitled “Women’s economic empowerment: let’s act together” with an accompanying fact sheet compilation. Furthermore, the European Parliament has issued a briefing on young women’s unemployment in the EU.

On 22 February 2017 the European Commission has published the Country Reports  for each EU Member State, which form the basis for the dialogue ahead of the presentation of the National Reform Programmes in April 2017 and the preparation of the Country Specific Recommendations in May 2017. The Country Reports monitor reforms and point to issues that EU Member States should address.  All the Country Reports include a chapter on Education and training systems. The Country Reports of the European Semester are a crucial element in the Semester process. They are the annual analysis of the economic and social situation in the EU Member States, including an assessment of imbalances.

8 March is International Women’s Day. This year, the overarching topic of the UN Women’s campaign is “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”, aiming at raising awareness for the special situation of women in the labour market in times of globalisation and increasing digitalisation.

The Council of the European Union has highlighted the importance of inclusive high-quality education for the future of the European Union. This was stated in the Council’s Conclusions on Inclusion in Diversity to achieve a High Quality Education For All, adopted on 17 February.