25 March 2017 marked the 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. To commemorate this historical landmark, an informal EU summit took place in Rome, attended by European heads of State or government, and stakeholders. At this occasion, European social partners, including the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) took part in the celebrations and met various stakeholders to reflect on the past and future achievements and challenges of the European project. A joint declaration of ETUC, BusinessEurope, CEEP and UAPME was presented to the Tripartite Social Summit on 24 March 2017. In this declaration, European Social Partners reaffirm their commitment to the European Union, and call for a stronger and more sustainable social model, and social dialogue, as well as an increase in public and private investment.

On behalf of ETUCE, Susan Flocken, European Director, expresses her profound concern on the Wednesday's attack occurred outside of the Houses of Parliament in London. These acts of violence attempt to destabilise and undermine the core values and principles of the European society must be regarded as a sign of disrespect of democratic citizenship, tolerance, open-mindedness and critical thinking. In sincere sympathy with the victims, she emphasised that education plays an important role in shaping student’s personality and ability to build constructive dialogue and resolve conflicts in a peaceful way.

UIL-Scuola and FLC-CGIL in Italy renounce the Italian authorities intention to give  Italian non-state schools wider access to funds made available under the Italian National Operational Programme on Education for the implementation of the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in the period 2014-2020.

Building on the Paris Declaration of 2015, in which education ministers call for promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has recently launched a report entitled “Together in the EU – Promoting the participation of migrants and their descendants”, whereby the promotion of societal participation in and through education and the encouragement of participation in trade unions and in the public sphere are enhanced.

In celebration of the historical signing of the Sectoral Agreement on Education, ETUCE member organisation, the Educators’ and Scientists’ Free Trade Union of Georgia, ESFTUG, hosted the ceremony dedicated to such a ground-breaking milestone on 16  March 2017 in Tbilisi.

Tax havens and tax tricks are a major source of revenue loss throughout Europe. Recent scandals like the Panama Papers or the Lux Leaks have further proved the gravity of the issue. The European Commission estimates the loss of tax revenues to around 1 000 billion euros each year within the European Union. In the meantime, the economic crisis has deeply affected public expenditure in Europe, leading to a context of generalised austerity and budget cuts to public services. This has resulted in a substantial loss of resources for essential sectors such as education and public services which has, in turn, led to raise in inequalities all over Europe.