Speech; Dr. Kari Kivinen, the Secretary-General of the European Schools
Chers ministres, excellences, M. le Bourgmestre, M. le directeur, mesdames et messieurs,
In the name of the Board of Governors of the European Schools, I would like to congratulate the Stadt Bad Vilbel for the inauguration of the European School RheinMain!
Kondrad Adenauer, the great German statesman and chauncellor, stated once that “Europe must be created” (“Europa muss jeschaffen werden”).
Adenauer saw Europe as potentially more than an economic community. His ambitious and courageous vision was to create a united Europe of peace and freedom. Adenauer’s policy on Europe was hotly disputed in Germany, especially in the late forties.
If we look at the European Union today – and if we forget the actual the euro-crises – we can state, that Europe has shaped very much in direction pointed out by Mr Adenauer. The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided yesterday to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 to the European Union. The union and its leaders have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.
Mr Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of the European Union, had a pragmatic idea that multicultural and multilingvistic education would be the best mean to create in practise unified Europe. The European Schools have been one of the main components of the EU and what it stands for, and therefore I think we can all be proud to be part of the movement which have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2012!
“Europe must be created!” Yes indeed, we are witnessing of a creation of European Schooling in Bad Vilbel at this very moment. The present 400 pupils, and the future generations of youngsters who will be schooled in this school, will learn true European values through everyday interaction with each other in this School establishment.
As you might know, the European School System was created in Luxembourg in 1953, nearly 60 years ago. In 2013 we will celebrate our 60th anniversary. During the last 60 years our School system has grown in a considerable way. At present, there are about 27.000 pupils who follow European Education in 14 traditional European Schools in 7 different countries, and 8 accredited schools in 4 additional countries.
The principle of the EuropeanSchool has from the beginning been to bring pupils coming from different countries, speaking different languages together – under the same roof. We are unified in our diversity. The pupils coming from different cultural backgrounds learn to play together, work together and celebrate together. Today is the day of celebration.
The mission of all our Schools is to provide a broad education of high quality, from nursery level to university-entrance and offer an opportunity for pupils to stay connected with their Mother Tongue while being educated in a multi-lingual and multi-cultural environment, to become open minded citizens.
I have a pleasure to discover, that the building process in Bad Vilbel has been finalised, and the School has had an opportunity to start the School year 2012-2013 in wonderful new premises.
I would like to thank the initiators of the School for their engagement and their vision. Today we can all witness, that their dream have come true.
I would like to thank the German Head of delegation in the Board of Governors for the creative and innovative approach. The BadVilbelSchool is the first Type 3 School, ever.
And of course I address our gratitude to the local regional authorities and to the town Bad Vilbel for their investment for the European education. I would like to express my admiration also to the architects and builders who have made excellent work in good co-operation with the direction of the new school.
I am very grateful that our students can enjoy high quality European education in best possible conditions in this ultramodern school environment and that the teachers of the MainRheinSchool have an opportunity to work and teach in the extraordinary conditions in a purpose build and well equipped School!
In 1954 Kondrad Adenauer held his famous speech in Nice. He stated: “The unity of Europe was the dream of a few. It became the hope of many. Today it has become a necessity for all of us. It is necessary for our security, for our freedom and for our existence as a nation and as an intellectually creative community of peoples.”
I wish success to all the present and the future pupils of the European School MainRhein!