The European Commission has adopted an Action Plan on the Gender Pay Gap for 2017-2019. The Action Plan was presented recently at the Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights 2017 by Commissioner Jourova. The colloquium focused on the topic of “Women’s Rights in Turbulent Times”.

Education trade unions should be involved in the design and implementation of the initial and continuous teacher training, concluded the participants of the first regional seminar of the ETUCE project “Education Trade Unions for the Teaching Profession. Strengthening the capacity of education trade unions to represent teachers’ professional needs in social dialogue”. The seminar took place in Warsaw, Poland, on 27-28 November 2017 and was organised with the support of ZNP, one of the Polish education trade unions, as a project partner.

On the occasion of the European day of the persons with disabilities (4th-5th December 2017), the European Parliament has started to analyse the implementation of the EU Disability Strategy 2020, including education and training for children and adults with disabilities and special needs and access to quality education and lifelong learning. More precisely, the ‘Committee on Culture and Education (CULT)’ of the European Parliament has recently published an opinion (2017/2127INI) which addresses key issues for teachers and educators teaching students with disabilities and special educational needs.

A new report released by DG CONNECT of the European Commission has revealed that 44% of Europeans do not have basic digital skills. This study predicts that 9 out of 10 jobs in the future will require these basic digital skills, meaning that Europe could suffer a digital skills gap. This study stems from the WiFi EU initiative and from the 2016 ‘Communication on Connectivity for a European Gigabit Society’ which indicates as strategic objective for 2025 “Gigabit connectivity for all main socio-economic drivers such as schools” with the purpose of opening up education.

The Directorate General for Internal Policies and the Committee on Petitions (PETI) of the European Parliament have published a report entitled “Inclusive Education for Learners with Disabilities”. The report was presented at the “Workshop on the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” in collaboration with the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education.

More than 200 Swiss public and private organisations working to promote children's and human rights, including the umbrella organisation of Swiss teachers' associations (LCH) and the ETUCE member organisation SER-Syndicat des Enseignants Romands, have signed the Dublin Appeal launched internationally in late April.