Published on February 26th, 2016 | by ECSWE0
Membership in the European Commission Working Group on Schools
In January 2016, ECSWE put in an application for membership in the Education and Training Working Group on schools. The Working Group is one of six working groups established by the European Commission to support Member States in addressing the key challenges of their education and training systems and the new priorities agreed at European level.
“ET 2020 Working Groups are informal Commission expert groups at the service of the ET 2020 framework. The primary focus of the Working Group is to benefit the Member States in their work of furthering policy development through mutual learning and the identification of good practices. They are a forum for discussions, providing high-level input from a wide range of sources and stakeholders, and as such are also open for input by European social partners and European-level stakeholder/civil society associations.”
To this end, the European Commission initiated four “sector-focused Working groups” and two “issue-focused Working groups”
- WG schools;
- WG vocational education and training;
- WG higher education;
- WG adult learning.
- WG digital skills and competences, and
- WG on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and nondiscrimination through education (follow-up of the Paris Declaration).
Regular members of the Working Groups are EU Member States, Candidate Countries, EFTA Countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland), relevant EU bodies, EU agencies such as the ETF, CEDEFOP and the Eurydice Network and other international organisations such as the OECD and the Council of Europe. To involve a limited number of European Social partners and European civil society organisations, the European Commission published a public call on 21st December 2015.
Following a decision of the ECSWE Board and the Advocacy Group and after consultations with our partner organisations, Georg Jürgens drafted the application in close cooperation with Richard Landl and members of our Advocacy Group. The results of the call were published by the European Commission on 17th February 2016.
ECSWE is one of only three European Civil Society / stakeholder associations who made it into the Working Group schools. The other two are Eurocities and the Association for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE). As Social partners, BusinessEurope, European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE) and the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) were admitted into the Working Group.
The mandate lasts for 2½ years; it involves regular meetings in Brussels and peer learning activities in participating countries. During these events, ECSWE is represented by its president Richard Landl.
Because of the expected workload, we decided not to apply for more than one Working group. ECSWE is however represented in the two issue-focused groups through our membership in the Lifelong Learning Platform.
Executive & Administrative Officer
European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education
 European Commission: Results of the call for application for the selection of members of ET 2020 Working Groups. Available online: http://ec.europa.eu/education/policy/strategic-framework/