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15-02-2021

Irish Girl Guides and Family Carers Ireland awarded European Citizen's prize

The European Citizen's Prize was launched by the European Parliament in 2008 to recognise exceptional achievements by Europeans. Thirty individuals and organisations from around Europe have been awarded the prize in the 2020 edition, including two from Ireland.

Family Carers Ireland, nominated by the Fine Gael delegation in the European Parliament, is a national charity dedicated to supporting an estimated 350,000 family carers across the country.  The key objectives of the organisation are to benefit the community by supporting and promoting the health, well-being and quality of life of family carers and those for whom they care; to facilitate the affiliation of groups and group members representing family carers throughout Ireland; and to support and take counsel from such groups.

Irish Girl Guides (IGG) Europe Badge in Association with European Movement Ireland (EMI), - the IGG, in partnership with EMI, introduced three Europe Badges (by age) to give over 10,000 members of IGG an opportunity to gain an understanding of the EU and how it affects the lives of Irish citizens. At the time of application, over 2,500 girls and young women aged from 5 to 30 had completed  the badge curriculum.

Sean Kelly MEP, Leader of the Fine Gael delegation in the European Parliament, - "Carers are exceptional people – our, often, hidden heroes. They give their energy, time and love to others every day in order to ensure comfort and quality of life for their family at home. Family Carers Ireland do tremendous work in supporting and promoting the health, wellbeing and quality of life of family carers and those for whom they care.  We believe family carers are incredibly deserving winners of the European Citizen’s Prize 2020 and, while it is not enough, the award is a way to honour, highlight and pay tribute to our carers at an EU level."

Jenny Gannon, National Programme and Training Commissioner, Irish Girl Guides (IGG), - "We are thrilled to win a European Citizen’s prize for 2020. We were delighted to get the opportunity to work with European Movement Ireland when putting the criteria and resources together for the Europe Badge, so a big thank you to them. We in IGG strive to develop programmes that are responsive to our girls’ needs and the needs of our society.  The Europe Badge is a welcome addition as members of all ages get the opportunity to learn more about the European community they belong to, while encouraging them to be empowered and take action in the European movement. "

Jillian van Turnhout, Irish Girl Guides volunteer, former chair of the IGG board and former vice chair of European Movement Ireland, - "I am ecstatic the work of Irish Girl Guides’ volunteer leaders and girls to earn the Europe Badge has been recognised through the awarding of the European Citizen's Prize. From its launch, the leaders and girls have demonstrated their quest to learn more about the European Union, and they have clearly shown they wish to influence and shape the European project."

Noelle O’Connell, CEO of European Movement Ireland and Vice President of European Movement International, - "Over 2,000  Irish Girl Guides’ members from age five-plus have gained Europe Badges and learnt about our shared European home and Ireland’s EU journey.  It is a great tribute and testimony to their hard work and accomplishments that it is being recognised by the European Parliament through the awarding of the European Citizens’ Prize.  EM Ireland was delighted to partner with the Irish Girl Guides in helping over 2,000 girls and young women influence Ireland’s European project."     

Deirdre Finlay, member of the Irish national jury for the 2020 European Citizen's Prize, - "The 2020 entrants for the European Citizen’s Prize from Ireland were of a very high standard, representing the realities of EU citizens in current times. I am delighted to see the Irish Girl Guides Association and Family Carers Ireland announced as winners and wish them continued success in their work. "

Notes: Each year, the European Parliament awards 'The European Citizen's Prize'. This prize is an award for exceptional achievements in the following areas: projects promoting better mutual understanding and closer integration between citizens of the Member States or facilitating cross-border or transnational cooperation within the European Union; projects involving long-term, cross-border or transnational cultural cooperation contributing to the strengthening of a European spirit; projects linked to the current European Year; projects giving concrete expression to the values enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Citizens, groups of citizens, associations or organisations can apply for the European Citizen’s Prize for projects they have carried out, or can nominate one other citizen, group, association or organisation for the European Citizen’s Prize. Each year, a National Jury prepares a shortlist of up to five nominations.  The Irish National Jury for 2020 consisted of: Ciaran Cuffe MEP (Dublin), Billy Kelleher MEP (South), Chris MacManus MEP (Midlands-North-West), Deirdre Finlay (The Wheel/Leargas) and Jean-Marie Cullen (National Youth Council of Ireland).  National shortlists are considered by the European Citizen's Prize Chancellery, which made the final decision on the Awards at its meeting on 9 February. 

The 2020 Award was delayed by the pandemic.  The 2021 Prize will be launched at the start of March and the deadline for applications will be 15 April 2021 (23:59, Brussels time).

Irish Girl Guides
Family Carers Ireland