Social dialogue country-delegates from ETUCE and the European Federation of Education Employers met in Brussels for the plenary meeting of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education. They set out their plans for the coming years and committed to concrete measures and policy priorities on multiculturalism and the integration of refugees and migrants.

Social dialogue is an institutional framework that brings together employers’ organisations and trade unions, collectively known as social partners, for negotiations on issues relevant to the employment relationship. The EU supports Europe-level social dialogue for various sectors of the economy, and ETUCE is the trade union organisation representing workers in education. The annual plenary meeting of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (ESSDE) is the formal decision-making body of our joint committee, where we negotiate with the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE). This year’s meeting took place on 2 December 2019.

The participants discussed, amended and approved three documents produced within joint social partner projects:

  • A joint statement on multiculturalism, inclusive education and EU fundamental values
  • Joint practical guidelines addressing the European, national and local level to promote effective integration of migrants and refugees in education and the socio-economic environment of the host countries
  • A proposal for a quality framework for the effective integration of migrants and refugees in education

ETUCE and EFEE member organisations also evaluated the work of the ESSDE over the last two years, before agreeing on key topics, instruments and goals for the 2020-2021 work programme. At the heart of the social partners’ joint work over the next period will be:

  • the quality of education
  • an attractive profession to deal with current and foreseen teacher shortages across Europe
  • equity, equality and inclusion
  • climate change
  • digital transformations

This work programme will now be finalised by the two organisations’ secretariats. The ESSDE also congratulated EFEE on their 10th anniversary.