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Golden Stars Award 2007


Brussels, 19 September 2007

Active European citizenship: the Commission awards the 2007 Golden Stars

10 projects have been selected to each receive a Golden Star, a recognition of the active participation and the citizen-centred efforts, demonstrated in such diverse projects as those seeking to accommodate the intercultural dialogue between different peoples or others that offer learning opportunities and awareness-raising on European integration issues. The awards ceremony will take place in Brussels early November.

The awards are delivered within the framework of the "Europe for Citizens" programme, a new programme that responds to the need of enhancing citizen participation in the construction of Europe. The awarded projects seek to represent the best efforts in the field while at the same time their visibility will support and strengthen the thematic approach of the new programme. Ján Figel', the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth said : "I am delighted to see such engagement, involvement and mobilisation from citizens all around Europe, on so many varied issues, spanning from environmental awareness to intercultural dialogue. This dictates the clear need to maintain this permanent platform for the recognition and endorsement of projects promoting civic participation, and a continued effort on our side to reach out to an even wider public".

The Jury for the selection of the Golden Stars was chaired by Mr Hannu Takkula, member of the European Parliament and Vice Chairman of its Committee on Culture and Education and included representatives of the European Consultative Bodies, namely Ms Brenda King from the European Economic and Social Committee and Mr Antonio Paiva from the Committee of the Regions, and 3 more experts from the field of town twinning and from civil society organisations. "Our jury had the most interesting task to study a sample of quality projects attracting all possible audience across frontiers and identify among them the ones that could be used as inspiration for making Europe more tangible for its citizens" remarked Mr. Takkula. To conclude: "I was personally impressed by the accomplishments of the projects, notably the commitment to concrete common goals, the zeal of their participants and the final outcomes, and to my mind such efforts could inevitably encourage others to emulate their success and culminate to the promotion of a community of values among the people concerned". In addition to the 10 winning projects, the Jury decided on a special recognition to be presented to two more projects, as an encouragement to their efforts. The award ceremony will take place on 8th November 2007 in Brussels during the course of the annual Europe for Citizens Forum, hosted by the European Commission's Directorate-General Education and Culture.

This year, the "Europe for Citizens" programme will support town twinning, remembrance and civil society projects, as well as European organisations in the field of active citizenship, with an annual budget of € 21,5m. For more information on the programme, on the winning projects as well as for the complete programme of the upcoming Forum in Brussels, see Journalists who would like to attend the event are invited to register – by e-mail only – to Sophie Andersson ( Contact: Frédéric Vincent: +32 2 298 71 66; Sophie Andersson: +32 2 295 02 08

Annex: Summary of Golden Star Winners 2007

Civil Society Projects

• Learning In Immigration Societies: For Human Rights Oriented Democracy In Europe - Netzwerk Migration in Europa, DE The history of exile, expulsion and forced labour and the co-existence in multicultural and multiethnic societies, was the aim of 4 weekly seminars - resulting in a publication – in which participants from different nationalities were encouraged to learn from the history of all participating countries, through experts' presentations, discussions and direct testimonies. Contact details: Dr. Anne von Oswald, Berlin Tel.: +49 030 84 109 267 E-mail: web:

• How to become an active European citizen - Centre for Community Organizing Middle Moravia, CZ A training module and a manual for elementary and secondary schools on how to become an active European citizen, prepared by an NGO (the project leader) and professionals (teachers), targeting students and teachers from the Czech Republic and complemented by a competition for students-designed projects, along with a national dissemination conference. Contact details: Mrs Eva Macurová Tel.: + 420 377 325 998 E-mail: web:

• Communicating EU Values Across Greece - Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), EL A well coordinated campaign targeted mainly to the three main immigrant populations in Greece - Albanians, Bulgarians and Russians – and to NGOS, immigrant organisations and audiences with a significant multiplier effect, on the substance of the EU Constitution, EU values and the future of the EU after the Constitution. Public meetings, a workshop and a final conference/debate on the EU image held in major Greek cities and in Athens, attracting major Greek media, as well as an "easy-reader” booklet contributed to this effort. Contact details: Dr. Ruby Gropas Tel.: +30 210 7257110 web:

• BALTIC ADVENTURE-Youth travelling on the roads on enlargement - The Europahuset, SE The acquaintance with the EU thematic and also with the activities of the each country's respective Europe Houses was the objective of a project involving youth and pupils in Sweden and the 3 Baltic countries. The work consisted of three phases: knowledge-building, followed by a fact finding mission including participants' training as multipliers and an information campaign during which participants put their knowledge into practice and created ties and networks. Contact details: Ms. Lena Modin Tel.: +46 26 27 67 00 E-mail: web:

• Overcoming irritations and prejudices between people of different cultures, religions and convictions in the EU enlargement process - United religions Initiative Europe (U.R.I.), BE This project sought to overcome tensions, irritations and prejudices between European citizens of different convictions and religions and foster understanding and respect. Through an interfaith-conference offering different formats for interaction and learning between old and new participants, the objectives were attained and a strong will for continued cooperation and other activities in the field was confirmed. Contact details: Karimah Katja Stauch Tel.: +32 2 216 99 01 E-mail:

Town Twinning Projects

• Conservation of energy and natural resources - NETHER KELLET, UK (Partner: Bussieres/Loire-FR) Themes such as that of energy and natural resources conservation, waste disposal etc, was at the centre of this twinning project involving guided visits, information debate by local MEP and a good mixture of practical activities and cultural events and targeting citizens and local representatives of the two towns involved. Contact details: Ms Judith M. Bentham Tel.: +44 1524 734 624 E-mail:

• Enfants du pays, parents de l'Europe: Une męme citoyenneté dans la diversité des origines - Le Coudray St Germer, FR (Partner: Trstena-SK) In a project that sought to actively educate young people on intercultural dialogue, offer them a panorama of the EU and European citizenship and sensibilise them, Young Europeans Guided trips and visits to organisations of EU interest were organised. The multiplier effect proved quite strong, as schools, families and local representatives were involved. Contact details: Mme Jeannine Dumont Tel.: +33 3 44 80 21 34, +33 616 80 27 62 E-mail:

• Citizens Together – Without Borders - Tekovské Lužany, SK (Partners: Bataszek -HU, Ditrau-RO, Quaregnon-BE, Newton Abbot-UK, Besigheim-DE, Ay Champagne-FR, Conde Sur L'escaut-FR, Kampen-NL) Exchange of experience in the context of an enlarged EU between the twinned towns. The agenda built on: racism, xenophobia, of particular importance due to the Roma population present in these towns, as well as the role and the position of women in the contemporary society. Debates, transfer of best practices and know-how and practical information with the participation of civil society organisations and representatives of local authorities. Contact details: Mr Marián Kotora Tel.: +421 905 164423

• Europe Week – Hennef, DE (Partners: Banbury-UK, Le Pecq-FR and Nowy Dwor Gdanski-PL) A good example of making European integration visible in connection to 9th May, this project had Europe as the visible top theme on the local agenda during the whole week and involving 70 events with 1500 direct participants. Enthusiastic participation and involvement and mobilisation of local organisations from all 4 towns. Contact details: Ms Erika Rollenske Tel:+49 22 42 74 67 E-mail:

• The days of Europe 2006 – Solidarity in Europe, hundreds of ideas, thousands of friendships – Wagrowiec, PL (Partners: Adendorf -DE, Schönwalde-DE, Gyula-HU, Le Plessis Trevise-FR and Russia and Denmark) This project placed an accent on solidarity especially towards disabled persons and the elimination of biases and stereotypes. This was achieved during a "Days of Europe" celebration, involving residents of Wagrowiec, the participants of the partner towns, disabled people and people working with them. Sport-happening, cultural activities, conference and debates filled the agenda of the celebration. Contact details: Mr. Stanislaw Wilczynski Tel: +48 67 268 0332 E-mail:
Special Recognition: Trade Union for Active European Citizenship

• Making Sense of Europe – General Workers' Union, MT What is the role of Trade Unions and how can they influence the debates at the EU level? By making links on a national and transnational basis with other civil society actors, the project sought to answer through a series of seminars on EU structures in MT and the UK, the creation of a toolkit for use in post-project activities and through awareness raising and broad dissemination. Contact details: Mr Farrell Des Tel.: +356 212 444 51 E-mail:, web:
Special Recognition: Twinned Towns for Thematic Cooperation

• Renewable energy from agriculture and acknowledgement with EU climate policy in energy sector - Municipality of Dobrich, BG Conference on sustainable development and alternative energy strategies with high level experts and international speakers from the participating countries, attracting farmers from the host region and involving national and relevant stakeholders. A good example of engaging in thematic cooperation through a twin-twinning.

Contact details: Ms Galina Miteva Tel: +359 58 60 12 08

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Deutsche Muslim-Liga Bonn e.V. - 1428 / 2007