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Back to school: Commissioner Andor returns to his former school

27/05/2011

Commissioner Andor visited his former secondary school in Zalaegerszeg today. Mr Andor was keen to participate in the Back to School Programme stressing that "returning to speak to students is a special opportunity to not only strengthen relations between citizens, but also to present the diversity of the EU".

"The Back to school project is a chance to exchange ideas. I hope it will motivate and inspire youngsters to get interested in the EU. They are the Europe of tomorrow", he added.

As part of the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the European Commission's EU Back to School Programme took off on 23 May in Hungary. More than 100 Hungarian EU officials visited their former secondary schools to share their personal European experience and to give Europe a more human face, bringing it closer to its younger citizens.

The programme involved a number of high profile politicians and public personalities like the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion as well as Gábor Baranyai, Deputy State Secretary for EU Sectoral Policies of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In parallel - and continued from the beginning of the school year in September - the Hungarian "Our School, Europe" initiative, which has been successfully organised since 2009 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also running. Enikő Győri, Minister of State for EU Affairs and other high ranking Hungarian officials visited their former schools as a part of this programme.

The EU Back to School programme, which was first organised in 2007 under the German Presidency, has gone from strength to strength increasing its popularity every year. In 2011 it has reached the highest participation in its history to date with 13 EU countries hosting the initiative.

Back to School in the EU countries:

Latvia

 April / May

Czech Republic

 6-10 May

Germany

 16 May

Hungary (Presidency)

 23-27 May

Bulgaria

 May

Austria

 May

Romania

 All year long

Spain

 Second half of 2011  (tbc)

Sweden

 October / November

Ireland

 17-21 October

The Netherlands

 31 October

Poland (Presidency)

 3-10 November

Portugal

 November