The Charlemagne Youth Prize exists for ten years already and this week all winners - past and present - were invited to the European Parliament to celebrate.
The winners visited Parliament on 21-23 November. During the three-day visit the young Europeans enjoyed the opportunity to explore the Parliament's visitors centre Parlamentarium and the House of European History. They also met President Antonio Tajani, while the 2017 winners presented their projects to the culture committee.
The winners from this year saw the award as a major recognition of their voluntary work, stimulating them to continue and broaden their activities.
“You can feel that something what you do voluntarily is helping other people and is appreciated,” said Gabriela Jelonek, from Poland, who got the first prize for her radio show about Erasmus called Erasmus evening. After being awarded the Charlemagne Prize she was even offered jobs in radio stations in Poland and abroad.
“It was the first time we got a broader recognition. It gave us a focus and the confidence to continue,” said Ties Gijzel, from the Netherlands, representing the website Are We Europe where young people from all over Europe contribute stories on a monthly basis.
Also Monika Elend, from Danish project Re-discover Europe, welcomed the prize: "It inspired us to do more.” Together with other young people, she organised an event in the city of Aalborg about the future of Europe and multicultural diversity.
Your chance to win
Registrations have opened for the 2018 edition. If you are aged 16-30 and involved in a project with a European dimension, you can apply until 29 January. Group applications are strongly recommended.
The prize for the best project is €7,500, the second €5,000 and the third €2,500.