2011 EESC Civil Society Prize:
Translating EU values into action
On 7 December, at the plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee, the 2011 Civil Society Prize was awarded to three civil society organisations. The prize was created to reward excellence in civil society initiatives that foster European values. This year's second prize went to European Alternatives for its flagship event “Transeuropa Festival”.
More than 50 projects were evaluated by a selection board chaired by EESC president Staffan Nilsson. Opening the ceremony, Mr Nilsson emphasised how difficult it had been to choose among them, adding that they all “should be proud of their contribution to European society”. Before presenting the three winning organisations, Mr Nilsson stressed that “this award is more than a sum of money; we want our winners to get European public recognition. I am delighted that we have found initiatives which, through dialogue and participation, have made a memorable contribution to European society, acting on the values which keep it alive”.
The Erasmus Student Network received first prize for its SocialErasmus project, which gives students the opportunity to get to know a new culture and new education systems.
Straight after the Erasmus project, on the second step of the podium was our European Alternatives, which was recognised for its capacity to create bottom-up participation and empower European citizens to take control over their common future. Transeuropa Festival, the initiative for which we received the prize, is a two-week cultural festival and political event that took place simultaneously in twelve European cities in May 2011, celebrating political integration, solidarity, social diversity, interculturality and exchange. In May 2012 Transeuropa Festival will come to 14 European cities, thanks to the ever-expanding Transeuropa Network.
European Alternatives would like to thanks all members of Transeuropa network, and all the volunteers, supporters, and enthusiasts who made this possible!
You can watch a video of the initiatives awarded here