Access to education – Never a Luxury

Updated: Jun 10, 2021

Article written by Helen Conefrey




Those of you who have a child or several children of school age and have spent time in an EU Delegation in a third country, know just how complex it can be to find the right educational establishment for your children at your place of work.


Then after several years, you pack your bags and it starts all over again. You participate in rotation/mobility and some of you may even find yourselves on temporary assignment to Headquarters in Brussels. Once again, you need to find a suitable school – one that ideally follows the same language regime of previous years, the same system where possible, as of course the last thing you need is an unhappy child whose education is being harmed by your career. You are also worried about how your kids will eventually reintegrate into yet another school system once you are obliged to return to an EU Delegation a few years later!



Those of you who have a child or several children of school age and have spent time in an EU Delegation in a third country, know just how complex it can be to find the right educational establishment for your children at your place of work.

Then after several years, you pack your bags and it starts all over again. You participate in rotation/mobility and some of you may even find yourselves on temporary assignment to Headquarters in Brussels. Once again, you need to find a suitable school – one that ideally follows the same language regime of previous years, the same system where possible, as of course the last thing you need is an unhappy child whose education is being harmed by your career. You are also worried about how your kids will eventually reintegrate into yet another school system once you are obliged to return to an EU Delegation a few years later!

You see education as a continuum and you aim to make the right choices for your children to avoid disruption and ensure quality learning.

In the recent negotiations with the EEAS & COM, USHU on behalf of staff, requested the re-establishment of the FULL application of Article 15 (Education Allowance) of Annex X for all children in obligatory education (Primary and Secondary) when their parent/s are moved temporarily to Brussels (recyclage). Given the specific duration of Contract Agent periods at HQ (4 years) indeed the education allowance was ring-fenced for CAs during the original negotiations on CA Mobility back in 2014. Despite this important social pact, it was unilaterally broken by the Institutions in 2016 without any dialogue and leading to an even more unfair system where again colleagues on lower salaries and grades inevitably suffer more. Our colleagues and their children deserve to have a system, which empathises with families and facilitates them.

USHU is requesting the EEAS and COMMISSION to come back with a better proposal, which reflects the hard and fast commitment of all Officials, Temporary Agents and Contract Agents who devote large swathes of their lives to working in particularly complex environments in EU Delegations. We need FAMILIES in the EU Institutions and must do everything to support them! Your team for EU Delegations!



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