UK Winner of Charlemagne Youth Prize : Inspired Impressions
Bite the Ballot, a UK campaigning organisation for getting the youth vote out at elections, have won the UK Charlemagne Youth Prize with their project Inspired Impressions.
This project will be representing the UK in the Eurovision-style competition between all 28 member states of the European Union.
The Charlemagne youth Prize is awarded annually to a project which "fosters understanding, promotes the development of a shared sense of European identity and offers practical examples of Europeans living together as one community". Each member state of the EU submits one project to represent their country. There is one overall winner and two runners up.
What does it mean to be European in 2014?
We sought to encourage young European voters to contemplate their European identity by asking them to portray “what it means to be European in 2014?” as original artwork - a picture or photograph, said Ryan Stanton of Bite the Ballot.
We received a diverse selection of entries from all over the European Union. Some entries addressed complex issues that are currently facing many European citizens, while others hailed the cultural diversity and celebrated the sense of solidarity and peace which exists within Europe.
A completed project, requiring individuals to reflect on their identity in Europe and to share the results, said the UK judges, Jean Lambert MEP, Marina Yannakoudakis MEP and British Youth Council representative Chris Neal.
The cross border participation through voting was a positive concept and the connection to the European Parliament is an interesting step towards dialogue. A well thought out and executed idea which obviously created interest, they said.
Democracy in practice
In a practical application of voting, artwork was displayed online and voted on by the young people in the community who used social voting via Facebook and Twitter to choose their favourite entry.
The project is really inspiring because it helps more young people understand the link between issues and voting. Good luck! From the London-based team at the UK Office of the European Parliament.
Bite the Ballot are deserving winners of this prize in the UK. And we wish them all the best of luck in representing the UK in the Europe-wide arm of the project where competition will be very tough.