"My Road to Europe starts at home" is a competition, which addresses team of secondary school students in Poland. The competition purpose is to encourage young citizens to get familiar with the EU Budget, to search for relevant information, write a joint essay, make a presentation of the essay conclusions and submit an entry to the competition website.
While preparing entries to the competition, the participating student teams are expected to acquire and consolidate skills of searching, classifying, and categorising, summarising information and presentation design. They are also expected to experience peer-to-peer discussions on the EU Budget, team work and decision making on the essay's structure, style and presentation.
Before taking part in the competitions, participants are advised to check the online resources on the EU Budget, which are provided on the competition website. The resources contain information about the budget, how it works, and how it influences the day-to-day life of Europeans.
The use of the online resources may help increase the understanding of the EU Budget related questions and may contribute to improving the quality of the competition entries.
The youth competition is launched in the second semester of 2011, when Poland has taken over the European Union presidency. The competition takes place under the patronage of the EU Commissioner for BudgetMr. Janusz Lewandowski and of the EU Officials who take part in the "Back to School" event in Poland, scheduled in the week of 3 -10 November 2011.
The competition is open to students who attend secondary and vocational schools in Poland. Participants should be grouped in teams (from two to maximum four members) and be led by a teacher.
The competition theme is "the EU Budget".
The competition entry should be in two parts:
Participants are invited to choose one of the following questions and answer it through an essay:
The essay must not be longer than 1000 words, including the header (title).
Participants are encouraged to organise and introduce their essay conclusions through a presentation which can be in one of the following formats:
Whichever format, the presentation must include the conclusions of the joint essay.
When ready, both essay and presentation can be entered to the competition by accessing this online form.
Each entry must be accompanied by specific information about the participants, school and coordinating teacher.
Both parts of the competition entry must be in one of the following languages: English, French or German. This would be an opportunity for the participants to experience essay writing and presentation in a second language. The competition is also an opportunity for language teachers to propose a European-related activity into their curriculum, whose outcomes can get European visibility.
Some suggestions for the essay writing:
All schools and organisations that are in charge of curricular and extra-curricular school activities, and which are based in Poland, can encourage students to submit entries to the competition. Only the entries supported by a school or an organisation in charge of extra-curricular school activities will be considered. The entries must be supervised by a teacher.
There is no limit to the number of entries that may be sent by a school or organisation.
The deadline for submissions is 31 January 2012 midnight. Any entries that are submitted after this date will not be considered.
Evaluation will be carried out by a group of judges, following the closing date, in two phases, in February and March 2012.
In the first evaluation phase, the judges will select the best 10 entries for each of the three languages. This shortlist will therefore include 30 finalist teams who will be announced on the competition website.
In the second evaluation phase, the judges will select three winning teams, the best entry to each language section of the competition: English, French and German. The judges will also award a special prize for the most original presentation.
Both the essay and presentation must convey a clear and well-structured message. The entries will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
The 30 finalist teams will receive prizes by regular mail. The four winning teams together with their coordinating teachers will be invited to attend a ceremony awards in Brussels, around 9 May 2012.
All participants will receive EU gadgets, a certificate of participation and a thank you letter signed by Mr Janusz Lewandowski, Commissioner for Budget.
The European Commission reserves the right to adapt the rules and awards at any time. Any notifications on possible changes will be published on the competition website and will apply from the publication date.
All participants must comply with European copyright laws. Entries may not contain statements, facts, information or quotations that may denigrate or harm any person or group of people.
Entries may not contain statements, facts, information or quotations that may encourage persecution of people on the grounds of race, opinion, nationality, sex, profession or other persuasion, nor may entries encourage crime or the breaking of laws.
The European Commission may decide to disqualify an entry if it has not been submitted in time, partly or as a whole; or if the entry breaks any of the rules under "Legal and ethical issues".
The European Commission reserves the right to improve, edit, expand, modify and reproduce the entries from the date of submission.
The competition is being managed by Directorate General for Budget (DG BUDGET) of the European Commission. Questions about the competition can be sent through our contact page.
This guide is intended to provide basic information and some technical details that should be considered by the teachers who involve their students in My Road to Europe starts at home youth competition.
Entries to the competition must be submitted online by using the appropriate submission forms. Each entry must be accompanied by specific information about the school, teacher(s) and contributing students.
An entry (contribution) to the competition should be composed of two parts: 1) an essay and 2) a presentation.
The text of the essay can be either prepared prior to the submission or typed online in the required field of the online submission form. If the text is prepared beforehand, it should be saved on a computer. To add the text to the submission form, teachers are advised to open the text file and proceed accordingly to copy and paste the content into the required field(s).
The presentation format can be one of the followings: a Power Point file, a short video (of maximum three minutes), an audio file (preferably mp3) or a webpage. The presentation must accompany the essay.
The file size should not exceed 10 megabytes (MB).
If the presentation is larger than the accepted size limit we recommend teachers and their students to reduce the size accordingly by using the appropriate software. They can also ask for help and guidance the ICT teachers in their schools.
The participants must make sure that the size and format of the file accompanying the essay text comply with the requirements mentioned above. The European Commission cannot accept responsibility for lost, damaged or incorrectly resized files.