European Commission Omits Christmas in EU School Diary

Country: European Institutions (EU, ECHR,

Date of incident: December 17, 2010

The European Commission produced more than three million copies of an EU diary for secondary schools containing no reference to Christian festivals, but including those of Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim religions.

"The Europa Diary is a school Diary, for students in secondary school, aimed as a tool for homework and other school related notes. Its weekly pages include a footnote with a fact of which young people in Europe are not necessarily aware. Some of these footnotes mention holidays of other religions," informs the European Commission website.  "While the euro calendar marks Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and Chinese festivities as well as Europe Day and other key EU anniversaries, there are no Christian festivals marked, despite the fact Christianity is Europe's majority religion," reports the UK Telegraph on December 17.  The Telegraph reports further that three million copies of the Europa Diaries were printed at the cost of £4.4million (more than 5 million Euro) to the taxpayer and have been distributed to more than 21,000 schools in the EU-27. More than 330,000 of these diaries were distributed to pupils in the UK alone. After multiple protests on behalf of Christians, the European Commission stated on its website: "Immediate remedial action is being taken to rectify the omission of certain Christian religious holidays from the Europa Diary 2010/2011. This was a regrettable error which will be addressed by a Corrigendum sent to all teachers who ordered this edition of the Diary in all EU Member States concerned. There was never an intention to discriminate against the Christian religion in this publication", and promised that "the future edition (2011/2012), which is under way, will include the main public and religious holidays celebrated in each of the EU countries." View also: European Ombudsman closes case after apology of commission. Sources and further information: