On 21 and 22 June, members of EFEE and ETUCE gathered in Amsterdam for the final conference of the joint EFEE and ETUCE project on “European Sectoral Social Partners in Education promoting the potentials of their dialogue through knowledge transfer and training. The ESSDE capacity building project II.” During the last years, the European education social partners have defined their social dialogue’s promotion as one of the main objectives within the European Sectoral Social Dialogue’s (ESSDE) work programme. Strengthening the ESSDE’s capacities by improving its structures and contents but also by increasing the delegates’ commitment seems essential to make it as efficient and effective as possible. Against this background, ETUCE and EFEE have been focusing intensively on the quality of their dialogue aiming to improve its structure, its contents through the work program, its development and future objectives. In the framework of the Capacity Building projects, they have successfully conducted round table meetings in nine EU countries and a candidate country to discuss the essentials of their dialogue with the national education social partners.

The aim of the final conference was to present the outcomes of the roundtable meetings, to further discuss how to improve social dialogue in education on European and national level (and to strengthen the linkages between both levels), and to jointly reflect on how social partners in education could contribute to current issues in the education sector highlighted in the Joint ESSDE Work Programme for 2016-2017.

In a panel session Cypriot, Latvian and Spanish (potential) members from EFEE and ETUCE shared their experiences of the roundtable visits organised to their countries. From education employers side, Ms Alona Babica from the Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia, and Mr José Antonio Blanco Fernández and Ms María Ángeles Gil Blanco from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport from Spain presented their views on the roundtable meetings in their countries and the challenges and opportunities of social dialogue in education.

Furthermore EFEE would like to kindly thank herewith its member from the Netherlands, the VO-raad (secondary education council of the Netherlands) for its active contribution to the conference. The VO-raad warmly welcomed all participants to Amsterdam on behalf of all Dutch members of EFEE and Hans de Wit and Miriam Appelman provided an interesting insight in the work of the VO-Academy regarding the professionalisation of school leaders, one of the key topics of EFEE and ETUCE’s joint work programme. EFEE and ETUCE aim to continue their capacity building activities in the framework of social dialogue in education further in the future and they are now in the process of developing a new project proposal.

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