Row erupts over EU creche
8 March 2005, BRUSSELS – A row has erupted over a new Brussels creche that will only admit the children of employees of the EU institutions.
8 March 2005
BRUSSELS – A row has erupted over a new Brussels creche that will only admit the children of employees of the EU institutions.
The new Dailly creche will not accept the children of Belgian parents working in Brussels despite the efforts of the authorities to open up ten percent of places to non-EU employees.
A request introduced by Brussels Secretary of State Francoise Dupuis to reserve 18 of the 180 places for Belgians was rejected.
Under the EU’s internal rules, European institutions cannot finance services for non-EU workers.
The mayor of Schaerbeek, Bernard Clerfayt, where the new creche will be based has joined the managers of other children’s centres in the area in criticising the EU policy.
Local leaders have warned that strictly separating the children of EU and non-EU employees could lead to "incomprehension" and "hostility" towards meeting the future needs of the European institutions.
Locals resent the fact that although planning permission was given to the creche, their request for just 18 beds was rejected.
Schaerbeek leaders have urged the Brussels authorities and Minister Charles Picque in particular, to enter talks with the EU institutions on how to integrate its buildings better into the local community.
An open letter has been sent to the prime minister, foreign minister and Belgian MEPs urging them to avoid the creation of an EU ghetto in the heart of Brussels.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news