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Green light for new European School in Evere
Belgian ministers have approved the construction of a fifth European School in Brussels - on the former Nato site in Evere.
The new school could open in 2021, using temporary facilities with room for 1,500 students, while building work is completed on permanent school buildings that would accommodate 2,500.
European Schools are open to children of staff associated with the EU, Nato, the UN and some other diplomatic institutions - offering primary and secondary education in each of the EU's languages, with teachers seconded from all member states.
The Evere site was vacated in 2017, when Nato’s 4,000-strong staff moved to new headquarters across the street. The new school is part of a bigger redevelopment project, which will include housing for about 3,000 people, a new headquarters for Belgium’s defence department and a business district.
Brussels has four European schools - in Laeken, Uccle, Ixelles and Woluwe-Saint-Lambert - each with a headcount of between 2,700 and 3,000 pupils.
Koen Geens, the Belgian minister in charge of public properties, said creating a fifth European School would reinforce Brussels' position as "a leading diplomatic city".
"The city's international character is responsible for 121,000 jobs and €5 billion of added value for the Brussels economy. We must continue to pursue this status as much as possible - and offering international education plays an essential role in that."