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EGITIM SEN keeps on fighting for the respect of human and trade union rights all over the country. "We will win" said Mesut Firat at the opening session of the General Assembly that took place in Ankara from May 26 to 28 with 515 delegates. While pointing out the difficult period  that the education union is going through, especially after the April referendum, Kamuran Karaca, the President of Egitim Sen emphasized the fact that "the organisation has never stopped fighting for democracy, equality and peace...  Anyone who is an opponent to the Turkish authorities is targeted by repressive measures".

On 22-23 May 2017, the workshop “Trade union and Youth – Together. Together to future!” was organised in Minsk under the auspices of the Belarussian Trade Union of Education and Science, BTUWES, ETUCE member organisation in Belarus. Representatives from 15 ETUCE member organisations in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Tajikistan and Ukraine participated in the event.

Eurydice has published the 4th edition of the report presenting key data on Teaching Languages at School in Europe. The report shows that language skills are considered an asset: the number of pupils studying foreign languages has increased considerably in recent years with English, French, German and Spanish being the most popular foreign languages. The report shows that students in vocational education and training do not have the same opportunities to learn foreign languages as their peers in general education.

ETUCE, European Director, Susan Flocken, expressed her sincere condolences to colleagues, and those who have been injured in the incident and those who are suffering the loss of a family member in Manchester. Deeply appalled, the European Director said “It is sad to learn that the incidence targeted in particular young people. There are no words to express the deep sadness when children and young people who have all their life ahead of them are torn from the world and for their friends and family to experience such a tragic event”.

The European Commission recently published a working paper, concluding that refugees, even if well qualified, still face obstacles in accessing the European labour market, for instance legal obstacles, low acceptance of qualifications acquired abroad, or discrimination. The working paper highlights the impact of education for increasing refugees’ chances on the labour market – however, the impact remains low when compared to native-born people. It is concluded that strong language skills are key for accessing the labour market.

On 22 May 2017, the European Commission published, as part of the 2017 cycle of the European Semester, its Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs). Addressed to the governments of each European Member State[1], the CSRs are the culmination point of the European Semester, as they express the voice of the European Commission regarding its assessment of Member States’ need for reform in order to ensure stability and growth and to reach the Europe 2020 strategy targets. The CSRs are to be endorsed by the European Council in June, and formally adopted by the Economic and Financial Affairs Council configuration in July.