Award Ceremony: Polish students find their way to Europe
The European Commission is pleased to announce the winners of the “My Road to Europe starts at home” school competition, organised by the Directorate-General for Budget. The four winning teams and their coordinating teachers came to Brussels on 07.05.2012 to receive their awards from Director General Hervé Jouanjean and Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski. The winners also took part in a visit programme organised by the European Commission, which included a number of activities at the Directorate-General for Budget, Permanent Mission of Poland to the EU and the European Parliament.
The competition was launched during the Polish presidency of the European Union as part of the EU's Back to School programme. From November 2011 to January 2012, about 300 secondary school students and their teachers worked on a mini-project that focused on the EU Budget and how it influences the day-to-day life of Europeans. Teams of students jointly wrote an essay on one of three budget-related topics and summarised the essay's conclusions in a presentation. The competition entries were submitted in English, French or German.
The competition jury composed of EU Budget language and communication experts selected the best entry within each language section and awarded a special prize for the most creative and original presentation. The jury was very impressed with the quality of all contributions to the competition. Participants provided creative answers to the essay questions and inspiring solutions for the visual compositions. The jury appreciated the time and effort the participants had invested in their mini-project submissions as well as the outstanding communication messages of both essays and presentations.
Przemysław Oniszczuk, one of the coordinating teachers, told us: "Preparing for the contest and the winning trip to Brussels was a unique experience. Not only could we realise how complex the EU budget is but also we met people involved in preparing and executing it. We were impressed with their professionalism, knowledge, command of foreign languages and how their work contributes to making the lives of Europeans better."
Outstanding reasoning and consideration of the EU budget added value of the European policies in energy and education with an original demonstration focusing on concrete projects in the local community.
A personal story based on outside research, including interviews and visits through careful planning and thinking; a great impact using limited technical tools to make a dynamic and lively presentation with a strong message that EU money bring overall improvement of live, not just infrastructure.
"This was truly an amazing experience, said Janusz Lewandowski, Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget. "We got so many participants, and all entries were of such high standards! In this period of doubt and concerns across Europe, to see so many young people coming up with so many fresh ideas presented in such a simple way is heart-warming to say the least. I want to congratulate them all."
All competition participants received small presents, a "thank you" letter and a certificate of participation signed by Mr Janusz Lewandowski, Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget.