The European Commission and the European Parliament presented the 22 winners of the 2017 "Altiero Spinelli Prize for Outreach: spreading knowledge about Europe" with their award certificates at a ceremony which took place in the House of European History in Brussels on 20 June.
From the 279 applications received 22 winners were selected. The types of the projects were:
- News platforms and blogs discussing issues linked to the EU affairs
- Educational programmes for children and a school for European citizenship
- Massive open online courses to "understand" Europe
- Video game, board game and biking tour
- Book about rights of patients
- Science fiction novel (allegory on EU) and a novel based on real stories of migrants
- Photo exhibition
- Study to engage citizens with Europe’s cultural heritage
- Studies on EU related topics and conferences
- Pro-European Appeal and march for Europe.
A surprise guest at the award ceremony was Jacqueline Lastenouse, founding mother of the Jean Monnet Programme who came to support the project ‘Founding Mothers of Europe’ book and travelling conference.
During the ceremony Ms Mairead McGuiness, Vice President of the European Parliament, spoke about one of the projects – the Blue Star Programme, an educational programme for primary schools and students from Ireland with a simple idea – to foster better understanding and knowledge of Europe and how it affects the lives of Irish citizens among Irish primary pupils.
Professor Amelia Hadfield, Jean Monnet Chair and Director of the Centre for European Studies, Canterbury Christ Church University, moderated the discussions and acted as "Master of ceremony". As a UK citizen she closed the ceremony with a moving message of hope and belief in the European project.
The prizes were conferred by: Mr Luigi Morgano (Member of the European Parliament and Initiator of the Pilot Project), Ms Silvia Costa (Member of the European Parliament and Former Chair of the CULT Committee), Ms Themis Christophidou (Director-General of DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture), Ms Eider Rubial (Member of the European Parliament), Ms Constanze Itzel (Director of the House of European History) and Mr Virgilio Dastoli (President of the Italian Council of the European Movement and former Altiero Spinelli's assistant).
Altiero Spinelli, a real visionary, conceived a united Europe in Ventotene in 1941 where he was in exile. Despite the international scenery of the Second World War, he set out his vision for a united and free Europe in the Ventotene Manifesto.