Equal rights for European School pupils, Cattenom’s closure and later school start times are among the demands made in 13 new public petitions.
Petition 877, submitted by Jesus Manuel Calleja Quintana, points out considerable gaps in the way pupils of fee-paying parents at the European schools are treated.
The system sorts pupils into three categories: those whose parents work for the European Institutions and therefore attend free of charge, those for whom the employers of their parents pay the fees and those whose parents pay an annual fee.
According to Mr Quintana the fee for 2017 was €5,707.09. He says that parents of pupils in category three pay both the fee and taxes in Luxembourg (the schools are state-subsidised), suggesting a double taxation. Furthermore, their children cannot eat in the cantine on shorter days, have no right to after school care and are not guaranteed a place if they decide to study elsewhere for a year, which is not the case for pupils in other categories, the petitioner says.
“For all of these reasons, through this petition I would like you to consider opening discussions with the schools with a view to creating greater equality between all pupils at the European School in Luxembourg,” he wrote.
Petition 905 calls to step up efforts to close the Cattenom nuclear power plant in France, a stone’s throw from the Luxembourg border. The petition proposes the creation of a list of political, legal, diplomatic, technical and financial measures to be deployed along a predefined timetable to push for its closure. “We have a duty to future and past generations to act now and to increase our efforts so that the Cattenom nuclear power plant is closed and dismantled before it destroys us,” the petitioner wrote.
Petition 903 calls for a reversal of steps taken in 2014 to remove street lighting along sections of Luxembourg motorway leading to France and Belgium. The measure was introduced to save around €27,000 in energy costs but the petitioner suggests it would save lives to reinstall them. “Thanks to new technology (eg LED lights), for a relatively modest sum it would be possible to reintroduce lighting on these roads,” the petitioner wrote. Specifically, the petitioner wants lighting along the A6, A4, A3 and A1.
Petitition 911, meanwhile, calls for schools to start an hour later to reduce congestion on the roads and limit the risk of students and pupils arriving late.
Anyone may sign a petition provided they are aged 15 or over and are a registered resident of Luxembourg. Petitions are be discussed in parliament if they attain 4,500 signatures or more.