On 15 December, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will award its 2022 Civil Society Prize to six organisations, from Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Spain.
Exceptionally, the EESC is rewarding two sets of winners this year, as the prize will be given in two categories: empowering young people and European civil society for Ukraine.
The winning projects were chosen from more than 100 creative and dedicated projects from 21 EU Member States, showcasing the huge enthusiasm and motivation of civil society to create better opportunities for Europe's youth and to ease the suffering of Ukrainian civilians affected by the war.
The final ranking of the six winners will be announced at the award ceremony, which will take place during the EESC plenary session in the Charlemagne Building in Brussels at 10 a.m. on 15 December. The entire event can be followed online.
The six organisations will share a prize totalling EUR 60 000. The winners of the first prize in the two categories will each receive EUR 14 000. The awards will be presented by EESC President Christa Schweng and EESC Vice-President for Communication Cillian Lohan.
The six winners are (in alphabetical order):
Category 1 – Empowering Young People
- Associazione Agevolando (Italy) for its initiative Care Leavers Network Italia,
an informal nation-wide network of young people aged 16 to 26 who have spent time in the care system. Its main goals are to encourage opportunities for exchange and learning.
- Fundación Secretariado Gitano (Spain) for the project Learning by Doing,
which addresses the issue of unemployment among young Roma people aged 16 to 30. Through a public-private partnership, it combines theoretical and practical training with the aim of breaking down stereotypes and prejudices.
- Movimento Transformers (Portugal) for its programme Superpower School,
in which mentors give weekly classes to learners, mainly children and young people at risk of social exclusion, and empower them to become agents of change and give back what they have learned to positively transform their community.
Category 2 – European civil society for Ukraine
- Asociația SUS INIMA (Romania) for moving away from its usual work and developing many initiatives to help Ukrainians (ranging from school activities and finding a job to getting therapy and psychological support) and enabling them to integrate smoothly into Romanian society.
- Villavecchia Foundation (Spain) for the You are in a Safe Place emergency fund, which brought seriously ill Ukrainian children to safety to resume their treatment and offered the young Ukrainian patients and their families the best possible quality of life by making sure they get comprehensive care at all levels.
- Polish Scouting and Guiding Association - ZHP (Poland), which mobilised to help Ukrainians as soon as the war began and has maintained a presence at border crossings, guiding people to safety, providing information and psychological support, collecting and transporting donations, organising "border patrols" experienced in first aid and including children in scouting activities.
Further details about the 2022 Civil Society Prize are available here
Press releases about the winning projects here.
EESC plenary session – 15 December 2022, 10 a.m. • Charlemagne building (EU Commission) Brussels and online