Gathering high-level representatives from education trade unions in Europe as well as representatives from different actors and civil society organisations working on education, ETUCE on 12 March 2019, held a hearing in the frame of its campaign “Shaping the future of Europe with teachers” in Brussels.

In light of the elections for the European Parliament in May 2019 and the global campaign against privatisation and globalisation in education, the ETUCE campaign aims to propel the attractiveness of the teaching profession and to call on politicians at European, national, regional and local level to take an active stance for quality education together with teachers and their unions with a view to ensure that teachers are given the necessary support and resources to help bring about a brighter future for Europe.

The hearing drew attention to ETUCE’s four key demands for the future of Europe:

  1. Promoting quality education for all based on quality teacher training and professional autonomy/academic freedom
  2. Increasing public investment and the attractiveness of the teaching profession
  3. Strengthening effective social dialogue and the meaningful involvement of education trade unions in decision-making
  4. Promoting democratic citizenship and social inclusion to support education as a human right and a public good with a view for students to develop into democratic citizens who are able to think critically and who are aware of their rights and obligations

Mr Augustin Mihalache, Education Attaché, Permanent Representation of Romania presented in his keynote speech the Romanian Presidency’s goals highlighting the importance of citizenship education. In the panel discussion on “The role of education, teachers and academics for the future of Europe”, Calin Rus, Council of Europe Expert, Director of Intercultural Institute, Timisoara, Katrina Koppel, Vice-President of the European Students Union, and Trudy Kerperien, ETUCE Vice-President, shared their expectations towards the candidates for the European Parliament elections and government representatives regarding education as well as their vision for the future of education in Europe. The speakers pointed to the need to ensure a fairer Europe which offers equal opportunities in education for all.

ETUCE European Director, Susan Flocken, emphasised that: “As we witness shifts across Europe towards nationalist, separatist and right-wing movements and a rise in violence and radicalisation, this campaign on the future of Europe is timely. Democratic values, trade union rights and the voice of civil society are under pressure. More than ever, we need to discuss, uphold and defend the democratic and universal values we stand for. With this campaign we raise our voices, spreading the vision of teachers and education trade unions for a social Europe based on meaningful and effective social dialogue.”

For more information on the campaign, please click here.