Several decades ago, I contracted a virus … from which I never wished to be cured, and hope to have passed on to others: that of the European Ideal.
Born French (and Parisian), I embrace my European identity because this ideal has been with me throughout my adult life and continues to be my governing human, historical, and cultural principal.
As a teacher in European Schools in Varese, Mol and, (for many years) in Uccle, it has been my great pleasure to share this ideal with thousands of students, their parents, and my dear colleagues and staff, all of whom I have found so diverse and enriching. The structure of Europe is certainly not perfect, but, as Charles the Bold said, “It is not necessary to hope in order to understand, nor to succeed in order to persevere.” !
In addition to our mission as teachers to make the heads of our young people (paraphrasing Montaigne) “a little full and, more importantly, well developed “, I believe that as educators at EE, we also have that of passing on the values bequeathed to us by the courageous ‘Fathers of Europe’, thanks to whom, despite all the hazards, obstacles, and challenges, we have lived in peace and freedom in Europe for three quarters of a century! It will be up to them, the adults of tomorrow, to continue carrying the torch and put into practice those fundamental principles for a more united and just Europe – principles from which the great European adventure took flight in the aftermath of the Second World War. As a famous Belgian author, Marguerite Yourcenar, wrote: ” A touch of madness is, I think, almost always necessary for constructing a destiny. “.
A big THANK YOU for the wealth of friendship, kindness, and knowledge that this great school community has given me over the years. I wish everyone good fortune, and embrace you all warmly. Long live the European Schools.