Education and Training

Core values

Schools EducationAs the European trade union federation of teachers, researchers and educational staff, ETUCE not only promotes and defends the rights and status of the teaching profession but also advocates for quality education for all, underpinned by the following core values:


  • Quality education as a human right;
  • Education should be inclusive and equally available for all;
  • Quality of education should be sustainable;
  • Investment to education should be maintained even in the time of financial and economic crisis;
  • Professional status for teachers and other education employees should be high;
  • Teachers trade unions should be involved in European and national social dialogue on education and training policies

These values are described in detail in our 10 Key Messages - What is needed to improve the Quality of Education in Europe? , which was adopted by our Member Organsiations in October, 2013 in the framework of Unite for Quality Education Campaign (2013-2014).

ETUCE actions on advocating for quality education for all

  • ETUCE promotes the policies of Education International (EI), the European Region of Education International (ETUCE) and national member organisations;
  • ETUCE advises the Council of Europe and EU institutions on policy design on education and training;
  • ETUCE promotes, follows up and advocates the implementation of positive achievements of education and training policies of the Council of Europe and EU institutions among teacher trade unions in Europe and keeps in touch with the relevant EU institutions and agencies on its implementation.
  • ETUCE develops and implements projects and programs designed to further the interests of education unions in the European Region and, especially, in the EU/EFTA countries;
  • ETUCE cooperates with other unions, organisations which follow the same goals, such as:
  • ETUCE is member of the Lifelong Learning Working Group of ETUC;
  • ETUCE cooperates with EUA, ESU, OBESSU, EAEA, ATEE, etc.

Representation in EU consultative structures

ETUCE represents its member organisations in EU consultative structures and at EU meetings, such as:

  • ETUCE has been represented in the Clusters (from 2003), then Open Method of Coordination Working Groups (from 2010), and now in Technical Working Groups of the European Commission on education and training. At the present it is represented in and follows up 9 Technical Working Groups of the European Commission:

- Vocational Education and Training
- Adult Learning
- School Policy – Early School leaving
- School Policy – Teacher education
- Modernisation of Higher Education
- Transversal Skills – entrepreneurship
- Transversal Skills – ICT
- Transversal Skills – languages
- Digital and Online Learning

  • ETUCE had an observer role in the technical committee of the European Commission on Lifelong Learning Programme (2007-2013). Institutional Human Resources Strategy Group Call for Candidates for the 4th Cohort of the European Commission.
  • ETUCE, via Education International, is a member of the Bologna Follow-Up Group of the Bologna Process.
  • ETUCE has been advising to and cooperating with ETUC on representing the trade unions' education and training policies in further bodies and high-level events of the EU institutions and agencies, such as in DGVT, ACVT, CEDEFOP, ETF, EQF, EQAVET, ECVET, ELPGN.

ETUCE bodies for quality education

ETUCE responds to proposals, policies and decisions of the EU institutions affecting the members of education unions in Europe. To achieve this goal, ETUCE has numerous permanent and temporary bodies, working groups to discuss about improving quality in different education sectors.

ETUCE permanent committees:
  • Higher Education and Research Standing Committee represents 45 trade unions, which has higher education teachers (professors) and research membership. The Committee meets twice per year to discuss about recent higher education and research policy developments of the European Union, Bologna Process, Council of Europe, and of partner organsiations. Composition
  • Equality Standing Committee representing 45 trade unions. The Committee meets twice per year to discuss about strategies to achieve equality in learning and teaching in all education sectors.
ETUCE temporary bodies:
  • Education Advisory Panel is an advisory group of 15 trade unionist experts on each education sectors set up based on gender and geographical balance. They advise ETUCE on education and training policies. The Advisory Panel (2012-2016) represents experts of early childhood education, general education, VET, adult learning, school leadership, and higher education. Composition
Recent temporary working groups:
  • Working Group of researcher trade unionists to discuss about Early Stage Researchers (2010-2014). Result of work: ETUCE policy paper on Early Stage Researchers /Doctoral candidates (to be adopted by ETUCE Special conference in November, 2014).
  • Working Group of trade unionists representing higher education teachers and researchers to discuss about Quality Assurance in Higher Education (2012-2014). Result of work: ETUCE Policy paper on Quality Assurance in Higher Education (to be adopted by ETUCE Special conference in November, 2014).
  • Working Group of researcher trade unionists to discuss about Organising Researchers (2012-2013). Result of work: Recommendations on organising researchers (2013)
  • Working Group of trade union experts and teachers in Early Childhood Education (2010-2012). Result of work: ETUCE Policy Paper on Early Childhood Education (2012)
  • Working Group of trade union experts and teachers in Vocational Education and Training (2010-2012). Result of work: ETUCE Policy Paper on Vocational Education and Training in Europe (2012)
  • Working Group of school leaders and trade union experts on School Leadership (2010-2012). Result of work: ETUCE Policy Paper on School Leadership (2012)

Social dialogue for quality education

ETUCE is a social partner for education workers in the EU Social Dialogue process.

The European Social Dialogue for Education meetings also deal with the issue of quality education.
Under work programme for 2010-2013, ETUCE, EFEE and their member organisations discussed in three working groups on the following issues:

  1. Quality in Education
  2. Demographic Challenges in education
  3. Higher Education and Research

During the recent years, ETUCE urged the European Commission to invite the social partners to more dialogue on policy initiatives of the European Commission on education and training. As a result, the European Commission initiated a dialogue with the cross –sectoral social partners (ETUC, BusinessEurope, UEAPME, CEEP), and with the social partners of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (European Trade Union Committee for Education - ETUCE and European Federation of Educational Employers - EFEE). During the meetings, the social partners and the European Commission drafted a joint document, entitled: "High-level proposals of the Social Partners to guide the way forward for a strengthened cooperation between the Commission's education and training services and the European social partners in the field". The six Social Partners presented the proposal to Ms Androulla Vassiliou, European commissioner for education and culture (2009-2014) on 16 October, 2013.