50th anniversary of the Europe Prize – stocktaking and prospects
- Parliamentary Assembly
- acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 25 November 2005 (see Doc. 10739, report of the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs, rapporteur: Mr Lengagne). Text adopted by the Standing Committee
1. In 2005, the Europe Prize celebrated its 50th anniversary. Several events, organised by the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs and attended by representatives from the prize-winning towns, marked this occasion: a solemn sitting took place in Strasbourg in the Assembly Chamber on 22 June 2005 on the occasion of the Assembly’s part-session, and a commemorative ceremony was held in Santiago de Compostela, winner of the Europe Prize in 1985, on 1 and 2 July 2005. In addition, an art book presenting all the prize-winning towns since 1955 was published by the Parliamentary Assembly to mark the occasion.
The Europe Prize was established by Assembly Recommendation 53 (1953)
, ratified by the Committee of Ministers on 20 June 1955, and is awarded every year by the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs to a European local authority which has made outstanding efforts to promote the ideal of European unity. In addition to the Europe Prize itself, three other distinctions are awarded each year: the European Diploma, the Flag of Honour and the Plaque of Honour. Of increasing importance, they precede the award of the Europe Prize.
3. The large number of awards made in the fifty years’ existence of the Europe Prize (61 Europe Prizes, 175 Plaques of Honour, 1 033 Flags of Honour and 585 European Diplomas), bears witness to the success of this initiative and its interest for European local authorities.
Although there are still more applications from the centre of Europe, where enthusiasm for twinning schemes is greater than in the periphery, each year the Committee receives more and more applications from the countries of central and eastern Europe.
5. The Assembly recognises the work done by its Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs, responsible for the selection and awarding of the Europe Prize and other distinctions, as well as the activities of the “Association of Towns Awarded the Europe Prize”.
It also pays special tribute to the members and former members of the Sub-Committee on the Europe Prize, who have attended award ceremonies in so many European municipalities over the years.
7. In addition, in view of the representative nature, role and competences of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, the Assembly wishes to associate it more closely with the promotion of the Europe Prize and with the work of the Sub-Committee on the Europe Prize.
Consequently, the Assembly decides to:
8.1 make the Europe Prize better known by publishing the booklet on the Europe Prize in a number of additional languages;
8.2 amend the Europe Prize rules in order to restrict the granting of the different awards to European municipalities;
8.3 consider, when examining its opinion on the expenditure of the Assembly for the 2007 financial year, increasing the amount of the scholarship, which is part of the Europe Prize and was set at €7 600 in 1997, to €10 000;
8.4 invite the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, and more particularly its Chamber of Local Authorities, to promote the Europe Prize among its members and among national associations of local authorities;
8.5 invite the President of the Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress to take part in the meetings of the Sub-Committee on the Europe Prize and in the Europe Prize award ceremonies in the winning towns.