On 10 – 11 October 2016, the members of the ETUCE Committee convened for the last meeting in the present term of office of this statutory body. A new ETUCE Committee is to be elected at the ETUCE Conference in Belgrade in December 2016. Thanking the committee members for their work in this term of office, ETUCE President, Christine Blower, highly valued and recognized the work, achievements and commitment of Martin Rømer, who is retiring from his post of European Director at the end of 2016.

The ETUCE Committee welcomed four new members: Ms Natalja Grazjeva (LIZDA) for the country seat of Latvia, Mr. Tomasz Gryzcan (NSZZ Solidarnosc), for the country seat of Poland, Ms Valentina Ilic (TUS) for the country seat of Serbia and Ms Jill Stokoe (ATL) for the country seat of the UK.

The main topic on the agenda regarded the preparation of the ETUCE Conference (5 - 8 December 2016) including the pre-conference events of the Central Eastern European Network (CEENET) and six workshops on higher education, early childhood education, capacity building on promoting gender equality, continuous professional development, European Social Dialogue and on migration.

Among the decisions taken, the Committee members agreed to submit the draft work programme for the 2017 – 2020 period and two additional resolutions to the ETUCE Conference: one on Promoting Education as the Key to Integration and Inclusion and one on the status and recognition of teaching in higher education.

Regarding the situation of education staff in Turkey, the Committee members expressed their concern about the seriousness of the present state. Sharing their views and reporting on actions undertaken at national level, the Committee members highlighted the importance of the various ETUCE and EI actions undertaken at European and global level in support of EGITIM-SEN and teachers, academics and education staff in Turkey. On the basis of the discussion the ETUCE Committee mandated the ETUCE Bureau to draft a resolution on Turkey to be submitted to the ETUCE Conference.

Discussing the recent developments regarding the Education and Training 2020 package New Skills Agenda for Europe, issued in June this year, the committee members discussed and adopted a statement to the European Commission. In addition, the committee members endorsed the latest outcomes of the joint projects of the social partners in education: A joint statement on promoting the potentials of the European sectoral social dialogue in education and the joint practical guidelines and joint declaration on social partners promoting decent workplaces in education. These three documents are to be presented for adoption at the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Education in November 2016.

The draft resolutions and documents submitted to the ETUCE Conference can be found at https://conference2016.csee-etuce.org/