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Parliamentary questions
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10 May 2011
Question for written answer E-004510/2011
to the Commission
Rule 117
Maria Badia i Cutchet (S&D)

 Subject: Budgetary cuts in the European Schools
 Answer in writing 

With regard to the announcement of budgetary cuts and reorganisation of classes and curricula in the European Schools (ES), is the Commission working on an impact assessment which will ensure that resources are used more efficiently, and will prevent adverse effects on the quality of the schooling being provided? If so, when will this assessment be forthcoming?

Since the European School was set up in 1951, it has been an important channel for disseminating Community values. The various European Schools offer a genuinely multicultural environment, which makes it possible to cultivate a range of civic virtues which perfectly square with the ideal represented by the Union, and at the same time preserve the pupils' native cultures and languages.

The recently announced cuts in the schools' budgets are drastic: a total of EUR 7 million for the 2011 and of EUR 17 million for 2012. In Luxembourg, where the first ES was set up in 1953, the cuts will come to EUR 2.6 million in 2011.

This situation has caused concern amongst the parents and teachers of ES pupils. Resolution 1/2011 of the Luxembourg Local Staff Committee of the Commission's Human Resources and Security DG voices this alarm, citing the opinion of the Parents' Association of the European Schools in Luxembourg and of the European Schools' Staff Committee. They are calling for an impact assessment to be drawn up before any budgetary cuts or freezes are imposed, and complementarily, for an undertaking to be given that the cuts will be compensated for with other forms of funding.

As the European Parliament recognised in its report INI/2004/2237 ‘Consultation on options for developing the European Schools system’, the European School faces major challenges in coming years, such as the third category of pupils, administrative reforms, and the dissemination of the European Baccalaureate. How might the budgetary cuts proposed by the Commission compromise the achievement of these objectives? Does the Commission intend to compensate for the cuts with supplementary funding of some other kind?

Original language of question: ESOJ C 314 E, 27/10/2011
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