Thursday, 11 March 2010

Charlemagne Prize

Very honoured to have found out today that You Are Here was choosen by a couple of MEPs and the head of the Youth Council Ireland to be shortlisted in Aachen in May. The Charlemagne Prize, both for youths and elders is a very cool thing and I am down with it!

Irish winner who will compete for European Youth Prize announced

Charlemagne_Youth_Prize_2010'You are here', a book project including contributions from 14 young people across Europe, was today announced as the Irish winner which will go forward to compete for the Charlemagne European Youth Prize in Aachen in Germany on 11 May.  The project, which was submitted by John Holten from Ardee, Co. Louth, brought together young people born after 1980, 'who enjoy freedom of movement in Europe and work in a country they did not grow up in.'  These young people have also grown up without the shadow of the Berlin Wall.  Mr Holten said that the project had succeeded in creating 'greater European awareness among [the] group, including people who would normally not get a chance to meet each other or publish their work together.'

 Irish MEPs Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael) and Nessa Childers (Labour Party) were members of the Irish jury, along with Jean-Marie Cullen of the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI).   Ms Childers said that she was 'delighted to be involved in a competition which encourages young people to take an active interest in EU issues.'  Commenting on the point of departure chosen by the winning project, Mr Mitchell stated that 'to understand Berlin is to understand the European Union project.'  Ms Cullen said that 'the NYCI welcomes this initiative which rewards young people's creativity.'

The 'You are here' project, represented by Mr Holten will now join the winning project from each of the other 26 EU Member States at the award ceremony for the Charlemagne European Youth Prize in Aachen in Germany on 11 May 2010.  At the ceremony, overall winners will be chosen, and they will receive funding of between €2,000 and €5,000. 

The Charlemagne European Youth Prize is organised on an annual basis by the European Parliament and the International Charlemagne Prize based in Aachen.  Francis Jacobs, Head of the European Parliament Office in Ireland, commented on the range of projects submitted in Ireland this year.  He said that the 'variety of the projects was impressive' and spoke of the fact that 'they bring together young people across Europe, in order to exchange experiences and learn from each other.'

In 2009, a Polish youth project 'YOUrope Needs You' was the overall winner of the Charlemagne Youth Prize. Through a series of secondary school workshops run by university students, this project conveyed interesting facts about Europe to teenagers. The second and third prize went to projects from France and Germany respectively.

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