The EESC has received 150 applications for its Civil Society Prize, which this year celebrates innovative initiatives promoting identities, European values and cultural heritage in Europe
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the voice of organised civil society at EU level, launched the EUR 50 000 prize in June. The applications, which closed on 7 September, attracted candidates from 27 EU Member States, showing that civil society's interest in the prize has increased since 2017, when only 20 countries were represented.
With 24 projects submitted, Italy is boasting the highest number of contestants in 2018. There are also 13 candidates from Germany and Belgium, and 11 from Greece.
The applications will be evaluated by a panel of 10 experts and winners are expected to be notified towards the end of November. The award ceremony will take place on 13 December 2018 during the EESC plenary session in Brussels.
The prize will be awarded to a maximum of five winners, and it will reward innovative initiatives which have made a significant contribution to addressing the challenges of:
- raising awareness of the multiple layers and richness of European identities;
- harnessing the full potential of Europe's cultural wealth;
- facilitating access to European cultural heritage; and
- promoting European values such as respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law.
The EESC Civil Society Prize is open to all civil society organisations officially registered within the European Union and acting at local, national, regional or European level. It is also open to individuals.
Now in its tenth year, it was launched by the EESC to reward and encourage tangible initiatives and achievements by civil society organisations and/or individuals that have made a significant contribution to promoting the common values that underpin European cohesion and integration.