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C 110 E/108 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.

2003

What are the reasons for this phenomenon?

Will the Commission at least accelerate the integration of many Europeans in their host region by
providing language teaching in Dutch at the European Schools (both primary and secondary sections) in
Belgium, bearing in mind that Dutch is the language of a majority of the population?

Does the Commission acknowledge that, by not establishing Dutch-language sections at the European
Schools in Belgium, it is potentially influencing later voting patterns among pupils and their parents in
Belgium by systematically ignoring Dutch?

Answer given by Mr Kinnock on behalf of the Commission

(3 December 2002)

Under the Convention of 21 June 1994, the European School system is a sui generis system, the purpose
of which is to ‘educate together’ children of people working for the European Communities. This system
constitutes a form of co-operation between the Member States and between them and the European
Communities while fully acknowledging the Member States’ responsibility for the content of teaching and
the organisation of their educational systems, and for their cultural and linguistic diversity.

In order to promote the unity of a School, to bring pupils in the different language sections closer
together, and foster mutual understanding certain subjects are taught to joint classes of the same level. The
Board of Governors is the intergovernmental body responsible for these Schools and it consists of
representatives from all of the Member States and one representative of the Commission. The Board
decided  in accordance with the powers vested in it by the Convention  that English, French and
German should be used as the working languages in these joint classes. The decision was taken
unanimously.

Four European Schools have been established by the Board of Governors in Belgium (Brussels I, Brussels II,
Brussels III and Mol). Of those schools, only Brussels I does not have a Dutch-language section. The Board
of Governors considers that the number of pupils currently enrolled in the Dutch-language sections at the
other two Brussels Schools (a total of 533: 266 at Brussels II, and 267 at Brussels III) does not warrant the
opening of a new section for this language.

All applications for enrolment in the two Dutch-language sections in Brussels of children entitled to be
admitted to the European Schools have been accepted by these Schools.

The Commission does not see any rational or objective argument to support the Honourable Member’s
view that ‘the absence of a Dutch-language section’ at Brussels I could influence future voting patterns of
pupils and their parents in Belgium. Voting decisions plainly are, and will rightly remain, entirely a matter
for individual citizens in a democracy.

The Dutch language is certainly not being ‘ignored’ in the European Schools in Brussels, ‘systematically’ or
otherwise. It is clear that the Dutch-language sections at Brussels II and Brussels III are capable of meeting,
and do meet, all demand from entitled pupils.

(2003/C 110 E/111) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2811/02


by Salvador Jové Peres (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(7 October 2002)

Subject: Irregular acceptance by the Commission of upwards vision of processed tomato quantity data

On 15 January 2002, the Processed Fruit and Vegetable Management Committee gave its consent to the
tomato quantities communicated to it by the Member States, which meant that the full amount of aid was
established for all Member States, since the Community threshold had not been overshot. Why did the
Commission not make this agreement official by issuing the relevant regulation?