The European Parliament is fully back to work. Its Committees have been formed anew. One of the first topics they addressed, is the fundamental issue of the European Semester for economic policy coordination: the implementation of 2014 priorities.  In August, the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) issued a Draft Report on the implementation of the European Semester and the Employment Committee of the European Parliament (EMPL) commented on it.

On 22 September 2014, the EI initiative Unite for Quality Education Campaign will reach its peak in the European Region. On this special day, ETUCE is organising a Public Hearing on the Future of Quality Education, hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels, to celebrate one year of Campaign activities.

After 5 years of freezing of salaries in the education sector the patience was no longer to find amongst Lithuanian educators and their trade unions. On Wednesday 18 June, thousands of teachers demonstrated in front of the government's offices. This was only the steam of many years of frustration as the Lithuanian education system seems to fall at the bottom of all international surveys. The employment structure for teachers is out-dated and looks more like a "feudal system" of hiring and firing. Year after year contracts are established on part time basis without guarantee for employment the following year.

Ahead of EU-US trade negotiations the American and European trade unions – AFL-CIO and ETUC have issued a Declaration of Joint Principles. "The AFL-CIO and ETUC demand a commitment from the E.U. and U.S. to achieve a "gold standard" agreement that improves living and working conditions on both sides of the Atlantic and guards against any attempt to use the agreement to lower standards or impinge on democratic decision making.  The risk of the current model of trade and economic integration agreements to democratic decision making cannot be overstated.  The U.S. has already lost state-to-state challenges to its anti-smoking, meat labelling, and tuna labelling policies and even now, European multinationals are using the investor-to-state system to challenge decisions to phase out nuclear energy and raise minimum wages.  Simply put, these policies are part of a government's most basic responsibility to promote the general welfare of its people."

ETUCE participated in the two stakeholder events organised by the European Commission during the 6th round of TTIP negotiations, taking place from 14 July to 18 July 2014 in Brussels. During the TTIP stakeholder presentation event ETUCE explained to the negotiators the demand to entirely exclude education from the TTIP negotiations. ETUCE highlighted that the European and American colleagues stand united in the commitment to quality education for all. In the context of TTIP negotiations, this causes concerns as the inclusion of so-called "private" education services 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 ETUCE presentation is available here.

The ETUCE Bureau has issued a position paper regarding the European Commission's Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014-2020. With this position paper, ETUCE wishes to convey its opinion on this EU Framework to the Italian Presidency and to contribute to the on-going preparation of the Council resolution on this document. While ETUCE acknowledges the launch of a new common initiative and underlines the necessity to further invest in occupation health and safety in times of economic recession, the position paper takes up the opportunity to comment on a number of issues.