On (mis)managing recruitment of European Schools teachers

Let us not kid ourselves. It is a widely known fact that the reforms of 2004 and 2014, and the lowering of working conditions for EU staff, drastically reduced the attractiveness of the European Civil Service.

However, working conditions are not the only attractiveness factor. Another important aspect of the offering is the European Schools system. This is indeed a valuable card in the effort to improve attractiveness of the European Civil Service. Its proper management is therefore a must to make sure its functioning is as good as possible so that it is an effective tool in attracting new colleagues.

Unfortunately, the situation is not as such… For the last few years (quite a few actually) the European Schools in Brussels have been riddled with problems of capacity. These problems have their source not just in the inability of the national authorities to provide a building for a new permanent European School, but also on the European Commission that repeatedly fails to assert itself and demand the Belgium state to comply with its obligations.

Recently though, we have had good news, at least apparently. Several member states decided on short notice to second an exceptional amount of teachers to the European Schools for the 2019-2020 school year. If at first sight this looks like a good thing, it also brings adverse consequences for locally recruited teachers, who will see their contracts terminated. A side effect is that this also affects the ambiance at the schools, which ultimately affects the education of our children and the image of the European Schools system as a whole. This is especially true in the Laeaken European School in Brussels, which will receive the largest share of new seconded teachers.

Generation 2004 therefore calls on the administration of the European Schools system to reform the process of hiring its teachers to ensure this kind of situation does not repeat itself in the future.

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