A distinguishing feature of the ETUI is that we not only produce and collect knowledge relevant to the world of work, but we also organise and support training and learning activities for trade union members and their leaders. Our Education Department offers a unique programme of European trade union courses, all in a transnational and multicultural setting, aimed at strengthening the European dimension in the work of trade unions and deepening their sense of belonging to the same community.

EduDays is an important yearly event at which the European trade union education community meets to reflect upon and discuss pressing issues of great importance in the field. This year, the event took place in Budapest on 7-9 November and the leading theme was (in)equalities. Participants gathered to discuss what aspects of this issue trade union education is already dealing with and what else could be done. It is of course not a coincidence that the topic is the same as of our last Benchmarking Working Europe publication and of the three-day ETUI-ETUC conference held in June of this year. Our education activities are aligned with our research agenda.

In adult learning we use the participants’ own knowledge and experience – along with relevant research findings – as a base upon which to develop strategies for trade union action aimed at stimulating positive social change. In the trade union community, education is a crucial tool in the fight against inequality and the promotion of sustainable development as defined by the Sustainable Development Goals. In this context, the ETUI Education Department offers training activities on topics as diverse as inequality and discrimination, the gender perspective in trade union action, leadership and capacity-building for trade union leaders, women, youth, EWCs and AI (both in relation to the core topic of inequalities). Inequality unfortunately looks set to be sticking around, and our department will continue to provide training on this important subject. If you want to know more, take a look at the very user-friendly and informative Education Department webpages on the ETUI website.

In other news, the ETUI has recently published the study ‘Rethinking the European single market: Moving towards new frontiers for a highly competitive, socio-ecologically sustainable and resilient Europe’, commissioned by the FPS Economy department of the Belgian Federal Public Services. The purpose was to carry out a preparatory study for the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in order to develop a vision for a mature and resilient internal market. The report, which you can now find in English, Dutch and French on the website of the FPS, focuses on the strategic importance of the internal market in a changing geopolitical, technological, socioeconomic, and environmental context, and provides a strategic analysis of the potential opportunities of the internal market with regard to social, environmental, and economic challenges.