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Andreas Beckmann, the secretary-general of the European schools, has refrained from expressing his stance on the war in Ukraine. Unlike other prominent figures within the European Union who have united in denouncing the Russian invasion, Beckmann has chosen to remain silent.
His refusal to clarify his position raises questions about his motives and allegiance. As a prominent leader within the EU, it is expected that he would publicly condemn such acts of aggression. However, Beckmann’s characteristic silence on the matter leaves many wondering where his loyalties truly lie. This ambiguity can have significant implications for the perception of the European schools and the broader European Union as a whole.
What did Andreas Beckmann write?
In his address to the whole school’s community (document SG 2022-02-LD-28), he said:
“Today, it is the second time in this school year that I address the members of the whole European Schools Community.
At the very moment, when we all are feeling, for the first time in months, some relief with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are facing a new crisis in Ukraine, a neighbouring country in the middle of Europe which goes beyond the imagination of many of us. Again, imperturbable convictions and principles are deeply afflicted.
I think this is felt by all of us. By those among us who – like me – are born and have grown up in times when Europe was divided and those among us who have grown up in a unified Europe like our pupils. I can only imagine how unsure, distressed, and furious you, our pupils/our children, may be at this very moment.
As Secretary-General of the European Schools I encourage all members of staff to provide our pupils with the necessary support and reassurance in this very difficult moment. I know this is not an easy task, as we might feel destabilised as well.
However, it is within our mission to promote young Europeans and to provide our pupils with the necessary competencies to build bridges and overcome what might segregate human beings.
Therefore, in this very moment and more than ever, we all should jointly promote the values of the European Schools, such as mutual respect, tolerance, respect of cultural and other diversity and the strong belief in a peaceful settlement of conflicts.
I am deeply convinced that together we will also overcome this difficult moment when our thoughts and compassion are with all who are suffering from this terrible conflict within the middle of Europe.”
What did he mean by this address?
Nobody knows, but it is absolutely disgusting and utterly shocking that the person in charge of the education of thousands of Europeans doesn’t want to publicly express complete disapproval of the Russian invasion.
Such a person should not be allowed to lead a European educational institution.
Is he hiding something?
Aims of the European Schools
The words which express the essential aims of the European Schools have been sealed, in parchment, into the foundation stones of all the schools:
“Educated side by side, untroubled from infancy by divisive prejudices, acquainted with all that is great and good in the different cultures, it will be borne in upon them as they mature that they belong together.
Without ceasing to look to their own lands with love and pride, they will become in mind Europeans, schooled and ready to complete and consolidate the work of their fathers before them, to bring into being a united and thriving Europe.”(Marcel Decombis, Head of European School, Luxembourg between 1953 and 1960)
The first objective listed on the website of the European schools is “To give pupils confidence in their own cultural identity – the bedrock for their development as European citizens.”
How European schools have reacted?
The consequence of such a message from the secretary-general of the European schools’, Andreas Beckmann, was that school directors were trying to avoid mentioning the war in their letters to the school’s community. And they instructed teachers to do the same.
They only encourage everybody to strongly underline and promote the values of all the European schools, but nobody should not mention that this war is wrong.
So, not much effOrt was made to promote European values in European schools.
Unmasking Andreas Beckmann European schools secreatry general silence on Ukraine’s War
The European schools have reacted by emphasizing the importance of instilling confidence in students’ cultural identity as the foundation for their development as European citizens. However, in response to the message from the secretary-general, school directors have been avoiding mentioning the war in their letters to the school community. They have also instructed teachers to do the same, focusing instead on promoting the values of the European schools without directly addressing the issue of the war.