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Speech of the President of Committee Europe to the Netherlands King

Oude Pekela - June 4th 2015
Authorities, principals, members of school boards, teachers, students, ladies and gentlemen,
Committee Europe was born in January 1991.  A few months earlier, May 1990, a group of P.E. teachers from differrent countries had organized an encounter of  students in Briec de l’Odet (France).  From the success of that meeting, they decided to build the school association we belong to 25 years afterwards.
At first, it was just an agreement by Physical Education teachers to organize a yearly encounter of European students based on sport, on games and physical activity in general.
After a few years of sport competitions and orienteering activities, the committee took a step forward and adopted a new guideline:  different disciplines were brought in and the encounters, from 1995, opened to themes such as theatre, art, music, circus, traditions, dance, games, sensibilization about the environment...
From 2005, the committee incorporated new perspectives, new languages, new codes as a response to the world change process which was going on then and still goes on.  Proposals like Euromime, Eurobeat, Eurofriends, Euroreview, Euroreporter and Eurohumour would lead us to the most modern stage of the Committee’s development.
Up to the last period, the committee’s proposals used to focus on the creation of shows that could be represented on stage.  From 2012, its action is centred on students’ learning process from the integration of active, cooperative methodologies and the reinforcement of multiple intelligences treatment.  Events such as Euroviking, Europaxket and the two-year project Eurowater are worth mentioning.
Since the first Eurocrosscountry to the present Eurowater in Oude Pekela 25 years have passed.  This organization has always kept alive the spirit of bringing European students together, making them feel part of a common reality.  Committee Europe has offered the youngsters challenges to be overcome by means of communication, understanding, collaboration, comprehension, persistence...  Committee Europe has always reinforced the integration of the difference and pushed the students to acquire the basic competences to face the present and the future global world.
But a rich history and good manners is not enough to prove that the effort has been worth it.  Apart from all that, the committee has got the students’ looks and their own testimony.  Whenever they’re looked in the eye or simply asked, one can see their will to be part of this great vital experience.
25 years of work and over 7000 participating students would have never been possible without the commitment, devotion and altruistic effort of principals, teachers and families from the school members.
From the deepest conviction that European society needs a method based on education in order to overcome problems and difficulties; from pride of 25 years of experience and from the most sincere humility, Committee Europe expresses its wish to be heard by authorities, to be supported and helped by political and educational institutions.
At the same time, the association would like to show its greatest thankfulness to Dollard College for the wonderful hosting and organization tasks; to Oude Pekela town council and the representative of the Dutch king for this magnificent official reception.
Education is not a short race, but a long distance one.  We know we need patience, insistence, devotion, activity, capacity to overcome obstacles...  Committee Europe trusts teachers, families and institutions, but its real faith is on students. Their success in taking over their reality implies our satisfaction for the work done and our hope for the tasks to come.
Thank you.
Hèctor-Xavier Salvo
President of Committee Europe
Committee Europe 2013