Green Cities Fit for Life

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Ireland and the 40 years of change

15th of April 2013, Ireland

In the recognition of the forty years since Ireland joined the European Union (then the European Economic Community) in 1973, the European Movement (EM) Ireland has launched the Ireland 40 Years of Change Bursary Award supported by KBC Bank Ireland. EM Ireland is a non-for-profit organisation that works to develop the connection between Ireland and Europe. The award is aimed at undergraduate Irish students, who are invited to complete an essay under the theme “Ireland and the Forty Years of Change”. The winning essay will critically examine how Ireland and the EU have developed over the past forty years and how this relationship may develop over the next forty.

An independent panel of judges will be responsible for selecting a winner. The experts reviewing the entries include Dr. Mary Canning, member of the Royal Irish Academy and member of the Higher Education Authority Board and European Movement Ireland; as well as David Byrne, former EU Commissioner and Chancellor emeritus, Dublin City University.  Furthermore, the revision will be chaired by John Reynolds, the KBC Bank Ireland Chief Executive. The announcement of the winning entry will be made at a gala dinner in Dublin at the end of May 2013 and the winner will receive a bursary award of €1,500.  To take part in the competition send your entry before the 15th of April.

The EM Ireland Executive Director, Noelle O’ Connell, highlighted the reasons behind the timing of Bursary Award :  “With 2013 marking the 40th anniversary of Irish accession to the EEC, and with Ireland currently holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU for the 7th time, now is the perfect time for students to explore the past relationships between Ireland and the EU, to reflect on its current challenges and to contemplate future developments.”20.03.13 eu2013

20.03.13 year of citizens  Ireland is currently hosting the Presidency of the Council of the European Union putting Ireland at the centre of decision-making in Europe. Dialogue and engagement between all levels of government and EU civil society is also important in terms of community development. For this reason, the European Commission has declared 2013 as the European Year of Citizens focusing on the rights of European citizens.

The European Green Capital Award has always placed a strong focus on engagement of citizens. Active citizenship are integral to the Award, and are part of what the Jury look at when assessing the short listed cities. The Jury examines what each city has done to communicate to its citizens on various environmental issues and looks at the city’s capacity to act as a role model to inspire other cities, promote best practices and spread the European Green Capital model further – bearing in mind city size and location – including the city’s European Green Capital communication strategy if they are to win.

For more information on the European Green Capital Award click here