March 25, 2009
Regarding ‘Unreformed European school system ‘might collapse’‘:
Thank you for reporting about the European schools and the public hearing about the system in the European Parliament.
I draw your attention to a comment made by one of the parents during the hearing: when talking about the European schools and the issues connected to them, all the attention focuses on the situation in the big centres of Brussels and Luxembourg.
Eight of the 14 schools are situated elsewhere, and the circumstances in these schools are very different. The percentage of cat. 1 pupils can be fairly small, giving the opportunity to enrol even a majority of children of ordinary European taxpayers. So no social apartheid there, but an opportunity for expats as well as citizens of the host country to be educated in a European-oriented, international environment and experience in real life that foreigners are perhaps different, but not weird.
Europe should seize the opportunity offered by those schools to promote the integration of Europe and work towards the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon.
Moreover, the European schools outside of the big centres are at least as much needed to ensure the proper working of the European Institutions as those in the big centres. As pointed out during the hearing, some of the EU institutes are located in rather unfavourable areas, e.g. because there is a nuclear reactor on the site.
This leads to difficulties for the institute to attract and maintain staff and also to husbands and wives living separate from one another because the needs of the children do not fit in with the needs of the job. The presence of a fully-fledged European School is necessary, as only the national education system is available as an alternative.
Bergen European SchoolAuthor : Andreas