Education International
Education International

CEE Round Table reaffirms the importance of independent and effective teacher unions to democratic societies

published 8 October 2007 updated 8 October 2007

The 3rd annual EI Round Table for Member Organisations in Central and Eastern Europe was recently held from 4-6 October in Riga, Latvia.

The three-day event saw the participation of EI member organisations from the sub-region who gathered to discuss common issues and challenges. Participants unanimously declared their support for colleagues in Bulgaria, who are currently on indefinite strike for better wages and working conditions.

Other issues discussed included the situation of early childhood education and vocation education and training, as well as the importance of independent and effective teacher unions to democratic societies.

For more information, please refer to the Declaration issued by the Round Table, in English:



The EI member organisations from Central and Eastern Europe, representing four million teachers and other education workers, meeting in Riga from 4th to 6th October, 2007,

Reaffirming the Declarations adopted in Belgrade and Sofia by previous Round tables


Recognising that Education at all levels is devoted to human development and the progress of society. As such education including early childhood and vocational education and training should be viewed as a public good publicly funded and regulated and not as a private commodity

Recognising that quality education at all levels is made possible by the quality of the teaching force and the quality of their working conditions. The 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers and other relevant instruments must be taken into account by all governments, institutions and providers to support good working conditions and terms of service, and to allow opportunities for professional development.

Reaffirms the importance of independent well organised and effective teachers trade unions in helping to maintain the stability and democratic values of society. In that context calls on Education International to support the development of strong representative education unions through the provision of training for capacity building, focusing on recruitment and retention of young teachers, improving professional development, increasing membership participation in union decision-making bodies and raising awareness among young people, especially of the essential role unions play in society.

Urges governments to consider teachers trade unions as essential partners and to open proper negotiations with them on the basis of the principles enshrined in the relevant ILO Conventions and Declarations. Supports claims of their colleagues in particular in Bulgaria, Georgia and Latvia, in their efforts to obtain better salaries and working conditions as stipulated in the European Social Charter.

Invites EI Europe

  1. To increase its work on vocational education and training issues , particularly on funding aspects, quality assurance mechanisms, recognition of qualifications and diplomas, through networking and organisation of seminars
  2. To assist member organisations in developing a constructive social dialogue with governments and other social partners for the achievement of quality public education for all and the reinforcement of the status of teachers
  3. To fully implement the Policy on ECE adopted in 2006, in particular to carry out a study on various ECE systems and practices.