Europe Day / Schuman Day

9th May is Europe Day, also known as Schuman Day because it’s the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration.  When I was a pupil at the European School Brussels II, we had a half-day holiday on Schuman Day, and FootFest (sports and cultural programme) at around this time.

I’m not sure if these temporary reprieves from the academic timetable alone turned me into a committed European, but I think a good deal of Marcel Decombis’ European Schools mission statement became part of my identity:

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.

Being European is important to me, and yet so little of why it matters to me is reflected in the current media “debate” ahead of the EU Referendum on 23rd June.

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  1. Marcel Decombis (and not Jean Monnet as it is commonly believed) wrote this statement, first sealed in the cornerstone of the European School, Luxembourg and then in the others schools that followed.
    Marcel Decombis was headmaster of the European School, Luxembourg from 1953 to 1960.

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