History and background

What are European Schools?

The European Schools are official educational establishments controlled jointly by the governments of the Member States of the European Union. In all these countries they are legally regarded as public institutions.

The mission of the European Schools is to provide a multilingual and multicultural education for nursery, primary and secondary level pupils.

There are currently fourteen Type I European Schools: Brussels I (Uccle), Brussels II (Woluwé), Brussels III (Ixelles), Brussels IV (Laeken), Mol, Frankfurt am Main, Karlsruhe, Munich, Varese, Luxembourg European School & European School Luxembourg II (Mamer), Bergen, Alicante and Culham in seven countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom) with a total of approximately 22,500 pupils.

There are also seven Type II European Schools: European Schooling Helsinki, Ecole européenne de Strasbourg, Ecole internationale Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur à Manosque, School of European Education Heraklion, Centre for European Schooling Dunshaughlin, Scuola per l’Europa, and Europese School Den Haag Rijnlands Lyceum in six countries (Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands).

There is currently one Type III European School: Europäische Schule RheinMain GmbH – Bad Vilbel (Germany).

The History of the European Schools

The European Schools began in October 1953 in Luxembourg, on the initiative of officials of the European Coal and Steel Community, with the support of the Community’s institutions and the Luxembourg Government. This experiment in education, side by side, of children of different mother tongues and nationalities quickly took shape as the six different governments and Ministries of Education co-operated in matters of curricula, appointment of teachers, inspection and recognition of levels attained.

In April 1957, the signing of the Protocol made the Luxembourg School the first official European School. The first European Baccalaureate was held there in July 1959 and the qualification was recognised as fulfilling basic entrance requirements by all the universities of the member states.

The success of this educational experiment encouraged the European Economic Community and Euratom to press for the establishment of other European Schools at their various centres.