The EESC launches the 2022 edition of its Civil Society Prize, which focuses on two themes: youth and Ukraine

Creating a better future for young people and helping the victims of the war in Ukraine are the two themes of this year’s EESC Civil Society Prize

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is now accepting applications for the 2022 edition of its Civil Society Prize, which recognizes innovative and creative initiatives and projects in two categories: empowering youth and helping Ukrainian civilians affected by the dramatic War affected tear their country apart.

A grand total of €60,000 will be awarded to a maximum of six winners, three in each category. The award ceremony will take place during the EESC plenary session on 14 and 15 December 2022 in Brussels.

That Application deadline is 31 July 2022 at 10:00 (Brussels time)).

Projects must either have already been implemented or be ongoing. Exceptions are those that are planned but have not yet started implementation by July 31, 2022.

The award is open to all civil society organizations, individuals and private companies that carry out charitable initiatives. Organizations and companies must be officially registered in the EU, while applicants participating as individuals must be EU citizens or third-country nationals residing in the territory of the Union.

All initiatives and projects must be carried out in the EU, with the exception of category 2 projects (‘European civil society with Ukraine’), which can also be carried out in Ukraine.

The full list of eligibility requirements and the Online application form are available on our site.

The aim of the Civil Society Prize, a flagship initiative of the EESC, is to raise awareness of the outstanding contribution that civil society can make to creating a European identity and citizenship and to promoting common values ​​on which European integration is based.

The prize, now in its 13th edition, focuses each year on a different topic of particular interest to the EU.

Category 1: Young people are our future, but also our present

Category 1 is thematic empower youth.

In the context of the European Year of Youth, the EESC would like to underline the crucial importance of the constructive participation of young people and youth organizations in decision-making processes, which is the guarantee of the stability and resilience of European democracies.

By giving an award to this category, the EESC wants to underline that young people can help shape the future of Europe and that there is an urgent need to make them active citizens and drivers of economic and social progress. This is all the more important today, as young people are disproportionately affected by the economic and social consequences of COVID-19.

The EESC will therefore select the winners from projects that aim to create a better future for and with young people in Europe. These projects should respond to the specific needs of young Europeans and contribute to their empowerment and participation in economic and social life.

Eligible initiatives must cover at least one of the following areas: employment and access to the labor market, including entrepreneurship; Education and training; health and well-being, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic; Participation in political processes, including issues such as climate change and new technologies; empowering disadvantaged groups; and strengthening the capacity of actors who convey young people’s perspectives.

Category 2: Together for Ukraine

Category 2 is thematic European civil society with Ukraine. This award recognizes effective, innovative and creative initiatives aimed at helping civilian victims of war.

One of the EESC’s current priorities is the protection of Ukrainian citizens. The EESC insists that all refugees receive adequate protection in a timely manner. Organized civil society has already shown that it has a vital role to play in this regard. In many countries, she has mobilized overnight and is cooperating with the authorities to help both the Ukrainians who have stayed there and those who have fled to other countries.

The EESC expresses its deep sorrow for all victims of the aggression, the destruction of Ukrainian cities and infrastructure, as well as for the incalculable suffering and damage inflicted on people and the environment, and with this award wishes to pay tribute to all those who were on the ground are active, providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainians on a daily basis and helping refugees both with their arrival and with their integration into European society.

Eligible projects can cover a wide range of issues, be it providing humanitarian assistance, shelter or emergency relief; to provide social, psychological or administrative support; to help Ukrainian refugees to integrate into the host countries, for example by offering language courses or by helping them to find work; to help vulnerable groups or to fight misinformation about the war in Ukraine.

A more detailed but non-exhaustive list of possible topics that fall into the two project categories is available at the website of the EESC on this subject.

Previous editions of the Civil Society Prize

In 2021, the award recognized climate projects that promote a just transition. In 2020, the EESC exceptionally replaced its Civil Society Prize with a Civil Society Solidarity Prize dedicated to the fight against COVID-19. Other topics covered in previous editions have included gender equality and women’s empowerment, European identities and cultural heritage in Europe, and migration.

We invite you to encourage civil society organizations in your country to apply for the 2022 edition of the award, thereby contributing to the recognition of useful projects.

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