1. Introduction

Unbelievable but true, The New Year is almost already upon us. And what an unusual year the present one has been. International politics have gone crazy, Britain is finally leaving the EU and a young Swedish climate activist has been named "Person of the year" by Time magazine. For a year now, she has forced us to re-think how we are treating the world. While not everybody agrees with her, especially not the powers that be, she has made an impact - even on our industry.

Earlier this month, PISA results were published and I'm sure, all of you have been looking at your countries results and have either been elated, like our colleagues from Estonia, or worried because your country has dropped down some places. However, did you know that here, you can not only find a video by Andreas Schleicher, Director, Directorate of Education and Skills, summing up the key findings, but also lots of interesting info graphics, statistics and examples of the test questions. So, for those of you dealing especially with reading skills, it might be useful to check this out.

Last year, in the December newsletter, I was politically correct and sent you a "word cloud" with season's greetings in all the languages of the member states. This year, I'm going to be very incorrect and just show you how nice winter can be in a warm country, while in Berlin it is wet and miserable.