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Lisbon, Northern Ireland and Valencia win 'European Entrepreneurial Region 2015'

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erasmus-plus-flagsPortugal's capital city, Lisbon, the UK's Northern Ireland and the Spanish region of Valencia have been selected as the winners of the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) for 2015. Their strategies to promote entrepreneurship and spread innovation among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were selected by a jury that included representatives of EU institutions as well as business associations. The awards ceremony will take place in Brussels on 25 June.

The President of the EU's Committee of the Regions (CoR) Ramon Luis Valcárcel will present the EER 2015 award to António Costa (PT/PSE), Mayor of Lisbon, Alberto Fabra Part (ES/EPP), President of the Valencia Region and to NI representatives, Arnold Hatch, President of the Northern Ireland Local Government Association, and Trevor Cummings, Ards Borough's Councillor, during the CoRs' 107th plenary.

The award ceremony and a chance to meet the 2015 EER winners

When: 25 June 15h45 (CET).

Where: European Parliament, Anna Politkovskaya Press Room PHS0A50 – Ground Floor - Rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Bruxelles

Awards

Four #MEDIA films will compete for #GoldenLion at #VeniceFilmFestival

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The 76th Venice Film Festival started on 28 August, featuring 12 films supported by the MEDIA programme – the EU's programme for supporting the European film and audiovisual industries. Four of the MEDIA-supported films have additionally been shortlisted to compete for the Golden Lion: The Truth by Hirokazu Kore-eda (France, Japan), About Endlessness by Roy Andersson (Sweden, Germany, Norway), Martin Eden by Pietro Marcello (Italy, France) and The Painted Bird by Václav Marhoul (Czech Republic, Ukraine, Slovakia). The Orizzonti competition that is dedicated to latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema will feature MEDIA-supported Blanco en blanco by Theo Court (Spain, Chile, France, Germany) and Madre by Rodrigo Sorogoyen (Spain, France).

The film Effetti Domino by Alessandro Rosseto (Italy) will be screened in the Sconfini section that is dedicated to art-house and genre movies, experimental and artists' films. Five more films supported by MEDIA will participate in the independent sections Giornate degli Autori as well as in the Venice International Film Critics Week held in parallel to the festival. At the sidelines of the festival, the European Commission will also organize on Saturday (31 August) the European Film Forum. Further details on the MEDIA-supported films at the Venice Film Festival are available here, the MEDIA programme here and on the European Film Forum here. More information on the Commission's support for the audiovisual and creative sectors in 2020 is available here.

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10 cities competing for the 2020 #EuropeanCapitalOfSmartTourism title

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Ten European cities have been shortlisted for the 2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism competition (presented in alphabetical order): Bratislava (Slovakia), Breda (The Netherlands), Bremerhaven (Germany), Gothenburg (Sweden), Karlsruhe (Germany), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Málaga (Spain), Nice (France), Ravenna (Italy) and Torino (Italy). The finalist cities were selected from a total of 35 applications from across 17 EU Member States.

The European Capital of Smart Tourism was proposed as a preparatory action by the European Parliament and is implemented by the European Commission. It aims to promote smart tourism in the EU, foster innovative, sustainable and inclusive tourism development, as well as spread and facilitate the exchange of best practices. This EU initiative recognises outstanding achievements by European cities as tourism destinations in four categories: Accessibility, Sustainability, Digitalisation as well as Cultural Heritage and Creativity.

Last year, Helsinki and Lyon won the inaugural competition and the two cities jointly hold the titles of European Capitals of Smart Tourism in 2019.

This is the second edition of the competition to award two cities as the European Capitals of Smart Tourism in 2020. The two winning cities will benefit from communication and branding support for a year. This will include; a promotional video, a purpose-built sculpture for their city centres, as well as bespoke promotional actions.

Moreover, four awards will also be handed out in recognition of achievements in the individual categories of the competition (Accessibility, Sustainability, Digitalisation and Cultural Heritage and Creativity).

All winning cities will be announced and awarded at an Awards Ceremony, which is taking place as part of the European Tourism Forum in Helsinki on 9-10 October 2019.

Background

In the first stage of the competition, an independent panel of experts evaluated the applications. All finalist cities demonstrated excellence across the four competition categories combined.

In the second stage, representatives of the 10 finalist cities will travel to Helsinki to present their candidatures and the programme of activities planned for 2020 in front of the European Jury. The European Jury will meet on 8 October 2019 and select two cities to become European Capitals of Smart Tourism in 2020.

The selection of the most innovative projects, ideas and initiatives, submitted by cities to the last year’s competition can be found in the Compendium of Best Practices, the go-to guide to smart tourism in the EU. For all the latest news on the European Capital of Smart Tourism, sign up to the newsletter, or follow on Facebook or Twitter.

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Civil rights organization #NewEuropeans to receive #SchwarzkopfEuropeAward in Berlin

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The civil rights organization New Europeans has won the prestigious Schwarzkopf Europe Award following an online poll of 18-to-35-year-olds across the European Union.

New Europeans will receive the award at a ceremony in Berlin today (3 June) – the award will be presented by former European Parliament President Martin Schulz, himself a former recipient of the award.

It is only the second time in the history of the award that it has been won by an organization. Last year the award was won by Margrethe Vestager, the competition commissioner.

The short-list for the award included the Italian journalist Roberto Saviano and the Romanian prosecutor Laura Codruta Kövesi.

New Europeans was selected because of its campaign for an EU Green Card to ring fence the rights and status of EU citizens in the UK and Britons in Europe post Brexit.

Speaking about the award, New Europeans founder Roger Casale said: “We are thrilled to receive this award which comes at a time when more and more people are speaking about the need for citizens to take ownership of the future of Europe.

"Our Green Card proposal caught the imagination but what is really important for us is that the role of civil society has been recognized.

"We are one of many organizations in Europe working from day to day to protect civil rights and to make sure that the European project lives up to its ideals."

Founded in London in 2013 by former Labour MP Roger Casale, New Europeans is now active in several EU member states from its base in Brussels.

The organization champions the rights of EU citizens and works for a Europe of the citizens: “We want a Europe of the citizens - of equality, diversity and social justice, anchored in human rights," Casale added.

New Europeans has led the campaign for unilateral guarantees for EU citizens in the UK and Britons in Europe and is currently working with the European Commission and the European Parliament to investigate the disenfranchisement of mobile EU citizens from the 2019 European parliamentary elections.

Wide-ranging messages of support have been received from organisations across the EU.

Alliance4Europe Managing Director Sonja Stuchtey said: “It is our shared European home that we build as civil society groups – especially when the voices of politics seem to miss the needs and desires.

"Thank you, New Europeans, for voicing the needs of European citizens that believe in the shared dream of a Europe united in diversity.”

István Hegedūs, Chair, Hungarian Europe Society, said: “Your ongoing campaigns are highly encouraging for many of us in Hungary who currently feel the increasing pressure caused by an illiberal and anti-European government."

Rocio Santos, co-founder and board member of Europeistas said: "We are especially proud of having met New Europeans in this common path, and to share some initiatives such as the #EUDayInitiative for making Europe Day a holiday in the whole EU as a symbol of our union."

Europa United Editor-in-Chief Ken Sweeney said: "As we move into a crucial period in the history of Europe, it now more than ever, that organisations like New Europeans exist in order to hold the stakeholders of Europe, both public and private accountable."

The award ceremony will be attended by an invited audience of students, think tanks, civil society representatives as well as politicians and diplomats.

The event will be co-hosted by André Schmitz-Schwarzkopf, chairman of the Board of  the Schwarzkopf Foundation and Richard Kühnel.

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