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2016 EESC Civil Society Prize - Migrants

Rewarding excellence in civil society initiatives Brussels, Belgium

4 organisations and one individual will be awarded the 2016 EESC Civil Society Prize on Migration

The EESC is pleased to announce the 5 winners of the 8th edition of the Civil Society Prize, which rewards initiatives aimed at improving migrants' lives and fostering their integration in the European society.

A jury composed of the EESC President, the EESC Vice-President for Communication, the President of the Employers' Group, the President of the Workers' Group, the President of the Various Interests Group, and the EESC Secretary-General chose the five winners, based on a shortlist of fifteen, put together by an evaluation committee – composed of three EESC members and an external evaluator.

This year, the EESC received 284 applications from 27 countries – the highest number ever.  

The winners, who will share a prize of 50,000 EUR, are four grassroots organisations and one individual, working to improve migrant's lives (in alphabetical order):

  • Artemisszió Foundation (Hungary), for its flagship project, "Building Bridges”, aimed to offer migrants and refugees a safe place where they can build personal relations with the host society;
  • Dionysis Arvanitakis (Greece), the Greek baker from Kos, for being one of the first to assist the refugees who were arriving on his island by the hundreds, baking and distributing over 100 kg of bread every day;
  • ILIAKTIDA (Greece), which main concern and goal has been to get refugees out of camps and into local communities;
  • SOS MEDITERRANEE (Germany), for having rescued more than 5 400 refugees from drowning in the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of its mission in February 2016;
  • SOS Racismo Gipuzkoa – Gipuzkoako SOS Arrazakeria (Spain), for its project “Next door family” (Bizilagunak), which literally brought thousands of local residents and migrants to the table to eat and understand each other.

The final ranking of the winners will be announced at the prize awards ceremony on 15 December 2016. You can follow the ceremony via web streaming on this website.

For any further information, please send an email to: civilsocietyprize