http://clicktotweet.com/7c63e BAC 2012 was a fiasco, Maths and Chemistry in particular EU citizens have no rights of redress against the EURSC. The European Schools system, EURSC, is an unregulated body not subject to European Law or national law. The EURSC was set up by an intergovernmental treaty signed by the EU Member states and it operates totally outside the laws of the European Union but has its own “internal” sui generis legal system. Citizens have no ability to enforce their rights under European Law against this European institution. A petition is now before the European Parliament and the petition calls for: 1) An independent audit of the EURSC and in particular in relation to the Maths and Chemistry examinations in Baccalaureate 2012 to restore credibility to the European Baccalaureate. 2) Implementation without further delay of the European Parliament resolution of September 2011 securing “profound change” in the legal status of the European Schools, and 3) Pending 2 above, an immediate interim agreement by EURSC that it will submit itself to the laws of the European Union without restriction. BACKGROUND The European Schools system was created in 1953 to provide high quality education, primarily for the children of staff of the European institutions. The main objective of the European Schools is to educate pupils from nursery school until the baccalaureate. The governing body of the European Schools (the Board of Governors) is composed of 31 members: the Ministers of Education of EU member states an European Commission official representing all Community institutions a representative from the European Patent Office a representative appointed by the teachers’ Staff Committee and a representative of the parents appointed by the Parents’ Associations. LEGAL BASIS OF EURSC The European Schools are not subject to the Treaty for Europe, any EU Directives or EU Regulations, nor national laws. Indeed EURSC is not bound by laws on Freedom of Information, Data Protection, or any similar European legislation making it utterly opaque and unaccountable. The European Commission, Parliament and Council has no effective rights of audit or governance control yet this body received hundreds of millions of Euro’s each year from European taxpayers (reference at note 1). EUROPEAN OMBUDSMAN VIEW (SO FAR IGNORED) The European Ombudsman on 2nd April 2012 (reference at note 2) after a lengthy case over several years found the European Commission guilty of maladministration in relation to the operation of the European schools and demanded an independent audit. The European Commission has so far has simply refused to comply with the Ombudsman’s ruling. EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE VIEW (SO FAR IGNORED) The European Court of Justice has, on 14th June 2011 (reference at note 3) issued a judgment from its Grand Chamber which said it had no jurisdiction over the EURSC, that this is unsatisfactory and that the legal nature of the schools system needs to be changed. Nothing has changed. EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT VIEW (SO FAR IGNORED) The European Parliament passed a resolution on 27th September 2011 stating that the EURSC creates a “legal limbo” or absence of rights for citizens and that this is unsatisfactory and needs to be changed (reference at note 4). Specifically the European Parliament resolved: “10. ….that the European Schools are currently in a legal limbo, which manifests itself in the unclear legal and jurisdictional status of acts adopted by the Schools’ bodies, insufficient possibilities to challenge those acts before national courts, no possibility of recourse to the European Ombudsman; 11. Considers that the current intergovernmental legal status of the European Schools has reached its limits and requires profound change; considers that this change should be of such a nature as to allow Union action to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of the Member States, without superseding their competence, and to adopt legally binding acts to that end within the meaning of Articles 2 and 6 TFEU; 12. Stresses the need to give the European Schools the foundation of an adequate legal base, within the EU’s area of competence, and hopes that the Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture, together with the Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education – responsible under Annex VII of its Rules of Procedure for the promotion of the system of European schools – can be involved in any discussions on the subject and in any consideration of the future of the Schools; 13. Considers that the European Schools should be brought under the umbrella of the Union; considers that an appropriate legal basis in this regard could be Article 165 TFEU, which reads: ‘The Union should contribute to the development of quality education by encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, by supporting and supplementing their action, while fully respecting the responsibility of the Member States for the content of teaching and organisation of education systems and their cultural and linguistic diversity’, and further specifies the aims of the Union’s action, which correspond to the aims of the European Schools;” This resolution of the European Parliament has so far been ignored. EUROPEAN COUNCIL VIEW (NO ACTION TAKEN) The European Council discussed the issue in May 2013 after it was tabled by the Irish Presidency (reference at note 5). The European Commission at that meeting referred to there being a “crisis” with the European Schools system. The European Commission called for an urgent meeting of all national Education Ministers to discuss. No meeting is arranged. So, we have Parliament, Commission, Council, ECJ and European Ombudsman all recognising the problem, yet nothing happens. There is a lot of ongoing disquiet and litigation, from parents and pupils. In reality it is a crisis of governance, probity and lack of any accountability or control at the EURSC. BACCALAUREATE 2012 FIASCO An example of this crisis and its real world impacts on students took place in Baccalaureate 2012. In my opinion the European Baccalaureate in 2012 was an utter fiasco and in my opinion a huge cover up operation took place by EURSC to create fictitious exam results for maths. Officially according to EURSC, there was a problem with the maths paper set and so they decided that all results be increased by 13% (Course 3) or 14% (Course 4) (reference at note 6). Increasing pupil marks by 14% is a huge distortion. In my opinion the Chemistry paper was utterly botched with questions that were on issues not in the syllabus and that were wrong in themselves. Many pupils did disastrously but having been found out on the maths issue the European School sought to totally deny any problem with Chemistry. The EURSC have not been subject to any independent oversight on this fiasco. The impact on certain pupils has been profound and they have had their university plans destroyed. There is no right of redress for these European citizens against EURSC. They simply deny the problem and are totally unaccountable under European Law. There is an internal appeal system within the EURSC. It sits in the European Schools HQ, the Registrar is a senior official at the European School reporting to its Director General and so it is biased. The European Schools rarely lose a case appealed to this body and there is no other appeal mechanism as the whole system is outside of European Law and National law. This legal limbo and lack of governance is recognised by the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Council in May 2013, the ECJ and the European Ombudsman The crux of the matter is that this poster child of the European Union, EURSC is a fiction in so far as being a European institution and it operates on laws of its own if not in anarchy, with zero oversight and outside of any international norms, European or otherwise. This is harming the European school system which should be great. Annually it is harming 30,000 sons and daughters of those who work in the European Institutions. So to conclude This petition calls for: 1) An independent audit of the EURSC and in particular a detailed analysis of the Maths and Chemistry examinations (syllabus, exam papers and marking) in Baccalaureate 2012 to restore credibility to the European Baccalaureate. 2) Implementation of the European Parliament resolution of September 2011 securing “profound change” in the legal status of the European Schools, and 3) Pending 2 above, an immediate interim agreement by EURSC that it will submit itself to the laws of the European Union without restriction. References (1) The ES total 2013 budget amounts to EUR 288.3 million i.e. an increase of 2,1 % as compared to 2012 (EUR 282.5 million). The foreseen EU direct contribution is proposed to be set at EUR 173.9 million. (2) http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/cases/decision.faces/en/11413/html.bookmark (3) http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=85143&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first∂=1&cid=2259785 (4) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P7-TA-2011-0402&language=EN (5) http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/educ/137150.pdf (6) see page 24 , http://gudee.eu/Alternat/2012-09-D-20-fr-2.pdf which says ““il a donc été décidé que toutes les notes obtenues pour le cours de Mathématiques 3 périodes seraient augmentées de 1,3 points et que toutes les notes obtenues pour le cours de Mathématiques 5 périodes seraient augmentées de 1,4 points (étant entendu que si la note finale obtenue dépassait 10, elle serait arrondie à cette note).”
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