Speech by Jan van Zanen at the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the European School The Hague, 15 June 2023
Dear director, staff, parents and students,
Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of the European School The Hague.
The European School now has 1,600 students.
In 2014 there were just 520.
The rapid increase in the number of students underlines the success of the European School.
Something to be proud of and to celebrate.
How appropriate and symbolic that this tenth anniversary more or less coincides with another:
Just last month it was 75 years ago that the Congress of Europe was held here in our city.
Considered by many as the first federal moment in the history of Europe.
Since then Europe has gone through a process of unification and ever closer cooperation.
And in recent decades The Hague has gained an increasingly distinct European profile.
Institutions such as Europol, Eurojust, the European Patent Office and ESA/ESTEC are all based in and around The Hague.
More than 6,000 people now work in European institutions in our region.
The Hague aims to be a welcoming home for members of the international community and their families.
This is about more than just suitable housing and everything that makes life pleasant, such as sports and cultural facilities.
High quality education in the mother tongue is an essential requirement for international and European institutions seeking a base.
The Hague therefore largely owes its attraction for European bodies to the presence of the European School.
As the European organisations grew, so did the European School.
As illustrated by the expansion of the second site on Oostduinlaan.
The results speak for themselves.
After ten years the European School of The Hague has become an essential part of our city.
I wish The European School of The Hague all the best for the future.
Know you can always count on us.