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European Citizen’s Prize: celebrating people’s commitment to Europe

People and organisations from across Europe came to Parliament in Brussels on 12 October for the European Citizens’ Prize award ceremony that sought to highlight their contributions to Europe. Parliament Vice-President Sylvie Guillaume, who chairs the jury, said: “Europe is going through particularly hard times and it sometimes seems to be disintegrating before our eyes. Yet European citizens show us that Europe is alive and they put European values into practice every day.”

A total of 50 individuals and associations from 26 countries were selected as the 2016 laureates in June. After having received medals in ceremonies in their own countries, they now gathered in Brussels for a central award ceremony.

Guillaume, a French member of the S&D group, said: “Whether activists defending human rights and freedoms or a simple baker showing exemplary generosity by welcoming refugees – these people and organisations promote the European project. Let’s celebrate their commitment and encourage their efforts!”

The winners include CoderDojo in Ireland and Citizens UK and the Internet Watch Foundationin the UK.

CoderDojo is a global network of free programming clubs for young people, set up in Cork, Ireland to give children between the ages of 7 and 17 the opportunity to learn how to code and develop websites, apps, programmes and games in an informal and creative environment. In addition to learning to code participants meet like-minded people and are exposed to the possibilities of technology.
Citizens UK organises communities to act together for power, social justice and the common good. The group develops the leadership capacity of its members so they can hold politicians and other decision-makers to account on the issues that matter to them.

Internet Watch Foundation works internationally to make the internet a safer place. With a remit to minimise the availability of potentially criminal internet content, their vision is the elimination of child sexual abuse images online.

For the full list of winners, click here.

The European Citizen’s Prize

Since 2008 the Parliament awards the European Citizen’s Prize every year to projects and initiatives that facilitate cross-border cooperation or promote mutual understanding within the EU. The prize, which has symbolic value, is also intended to acknowledge the work of those who through their day-to-day activities promote European values.

Every MEP has the right to nominate one person or organisation for the prize. MEPs from each country then short-list their national candidates and the jury chaired by Guillaume makes the final selection.

Compliments of the European Parliament