Founded in Luxembourg in 1953, the very first European School, like all schools, was tasked with providing an education to young children. The big difference was that the children the European Schools were teaching were children whose parents were employees of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The ECSC was the early forerunner to what today has become the European Union.
The concept was both unique and successful, so much so that it attracted the attention of one Jean Monnet. Mr Monnet was one of the original architects of the EU idea. He believed that the European School could be a powerful tool to both reconcile and integrate Europe, which was in shambles at the end of World War II. Fast forward to today, and there are now 13 European Schools in 6 EU countries (with a 14th on the way).
What is the Mission of the European Schools?
The mission of the European schools is to educate children and help them become valuable members of society. Their specific purpose is first to provide a multilingual education, meaning that students will be taught several languages. Their education is multicultural and exposes students to a wide variety of cultures from around the world.
What Are the Main Objectives of the European Schools?
The main objectives of the European Schools are unique from typical schools. Rather than teach the basics such as reading, writing, arithmetic, and so forth, they aim to go much further. Primary education is at a very high quality from the nursery level, all the way until a child is ready to enter University.
More than that, students at European Schools are taught from both a European and a global perspective. Children learn multiple languages, for example, as well as tolerance, cooperation, and compassion for others. An excellent example of this is the weekly “European Hour” that brings together all the primary school students. Together they share in games, culture, and activities from around the EU to get a deeper cultural perspective. The idea is to erase cultural prejudice before it starts.
What Are Locations of the 13 European Schools?
As mentioned earlier, today, there are 13 European Schools in six different EU countries. The original, Luxembourg I, was founded in 1953 in Kirchberg, Luxembourg. The other 12 include:
- Brussels I, which is in Ukkel, Belgium, 1958
- Mol, in Mol, Belgium, was founded in 1960.
- Varese, in Italy, was founded in 1960
- Karlsruhe, in Germany, was founded in 1962
- Bergen, in the Netherlands, was founded in 1963
- Brussels II, in Woluwe, Belgium, founded in 1974
- Munich, Germany, was founded in 1977
- Brussels III, in Ixelles, Belgium, was founded in 2000
- Frankfurt am Main, in Germany, was founded in 2002
- Alicante, in Spain, was founded in 2002 also.
- Luxembourg II, which opened in 2004 in Bertrange, Luxembourg
- Brussels IV, in Laeken, Belgium, was founded in 2006
There is also a 14th European School in Belgium, Brussels V, which will open in 2021. Plus, there was a European School in the town of Culham, UK. It opened in 1978 but closed in 2017. These are all of the present (and one former) locations of the European Schools operating in the EU today.