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#Roma integration awards: Promoting a more inclusive society

EU Reporter Correspondent

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Today (28 March), during an official ceremony, the European Commission announced the winners of the Second EU Roma Integration Award for the Western Balkans and Turkey. The aim of this award, launched in 2014, is to shed a spotlight on the political importance of Roma integration in the EU enlargement process, to enhance the role of the civil society and to show the EU's determination and commitment to enhance social inclusion of Roma people. 

Roma are part of our European societies and share a rich culture and history inextricably linked to Europe. However, their potential is still too often stifled. Therefore, the EU supports Roma inclusion, integration and empowerment to help them – in particular young people – to play a more active role in their local communities and thereby benefit the whole society.

"Through today's award, the EU honours people committed to be promotors of a more inclusive society. The selected winners are not only great actors of today, they are also the shapers of tomorrow," said European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Commissioner Johannes Hahn.

Background

Roma are one of Europe’s largest ethnic minorities, with 10 to 12 million living in Europe. About 1 million of them live in the Western Balkans and 2.8 million in Turkey. The Roma share a rich culture and history, which is inextricably linked to Europe. But Roma have also faced a long history of exclusion. Too many of them are still victims of racism, discrimination, social exclusion and live in deep poverty. Improving the inclusion of Roma people continues therefore to be a key priority for the EU.

About the Second EU Roma Integration Award

The 13 winning projects were selected for their contributions to the inclusion, integration and empowerment of Roma children and young adults, who represent the future of their communities and are best-placed to drive integration forward locally.

The selected projects supported, for instance, an original theatre production, the establishment of a youth football club, music and dance workshops, the awarding of scholarships and internships, and much more, leading to increased participation in society and the building of advocacy and self-esteem.

The commitment shown by these organisations has already brought tangible impact on Roma integration and should inspire future efforts to continue the good work. By honouring these projects in line with EU principles, and by increasing their visibility and sustainability, the EU helps to improve

the lives of Roma communities across the Western Balkans and Turkey and empowers them to become full members of their wider societies.

In addition to receiving financial prizes, the nominees were also invited for a three day study trip to Brussels to attend the award ceremony and to participate in a series of meetings and events tackling Roma integration.

More information 

List of winners.

Awards

Honouring courage in journalism: Apply for the 2021 Lorenzo Natali Media Prize until 19 April

EU Reporter Correspondent

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Applications opened on 1 March for one of the world's leading journalism awards - the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize. Backed by the European Commission, the prize honours journalists from around the world for their courageous reporting and for their stories about people and the planet that highlight some of today's biggest challenges and inspiring solutions that address them. To mark the launch of the 2021 edition, International Partnerships Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen said: “The European Union stands for freedom of expression, in Europe and around the world. Through the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize, we recognise journalists who have dared, often at great personal risk, to report the facts and tell the stories shedding light on issues like injustice, inequality, and environmental degradation. Stories that showcase the inspiring ways in which people are responding. If you are a journalist who has told just this story in the past year, I encourage you to apply.”

The closing date for entries is 19 April 2021. The winners will be awarded with €10,000. For more details, please consult the press release and the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize website.

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

EU Reporter Correspondent

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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

EU Reporter Correspondent

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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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