Europe on Track wins 2013 European Charlemagne Youth Prize
Europe on Track, a Spanish youth media project, was awarded first prize at the 2013 Charlemagne Youth Prize ceremony on 7 May in Aachen University. The second prize went to the photo contest Discover Europe from Poland and the third to the Youth exchange project "The Story of my Life" from Estonia. The Charlemagne Youth Prize is awarded annually to projects that foster a shared sense of European identity and integration among young people.
Spain - Europe on Track
The first prize was awarded by EP President Martin Schulz, the second by former EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering and the third by Mayor of Aachen Marcel Philip.
EP President Martin Schulz said: "The Spanish project seeks constructive solutions to current problems - the loss of confidence in the EU and the alarmingly high youth unemployment in many Member States.
Europe on Track connects young people throughout Europe both offline and online, giving them the opportunity to express their views and making an original contribution to European integration, especially to the growth of a feeling among young people that 'we are Europe'."
Europe on Track was conceived by members of the European Students' Forum AEGEE-Europe as an answer to the loss of faith in the European idea in the current financial and economic crisis. It aims to capture young people’s vision for Europe in 2020, though photography, videos, interviews and blogs, and to compile a short documentary presenting their opinions.
Europe on Track gives young people a platform to share their ideas and present the faces behind youth policy research and statistical data. In the first, 2012, edition, six ambassadors travelled almost 10,000 km by train in one month, asking more than 400 young people the following questions: Where is Europe heading? How can we sustain our present and preserve our future? What do young people expect from the Europe of tomorrow?
Poland - Discover Europe
In his speech on the runner-up, Discover Europe from Poland, German MEP and former EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering said: "With 'Discover Europe' you have managed to focus youthful creativity and imagination on our united Europe. You recognise the European Union as our home and show that, in the midst of diversity, it is our values that unite us. "
Discover Europe 2013 is the 10th edition of a photo contest which aims to select the best pictures submitted by students from European countries. The main idea of the contest is to show, through photography, the beauty of Europe, its culture, traditions, customs and citizens.
Estonia - The Story of My Life
"The Story of My Life" (Estonia), which won third prize, was initiated to celebrate and support the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. It brought young people from Estonia, Finland, Austria, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Slovenia and Germany together with active elderly people from two grass-root movements in Estonia.
Awarding the third prize, the Mayor of Aachen, Marcel Philipp, said that the participants "have developed a deeper understanding of cultural differences and also of what people have in common in Europe, and have learned to overcome prejudices - towards other generations and towards other peoples and cultures".
The three winning projects will receive funding of €5,000, €3,000 and €2,000 respectively. Their representatives will also be invited to visit the European Parliament in the coming months.
Representatives of the 27 projects which took part were invited to the award ceremony on 7 May in Aachen and were awarded a diploma and a medal.
The award ceremony was organised jointly by the European Parliament and the International Charlemagne Prize Foundation. It was hosted by Aachen University.
Welcome speeches were given by EP President Martin Schulz, International Charlemagne Prize Foundation Chairman Michael Jansen and Rector of Aachen University Ernst Schmachtenberg.