The 2014 Europe Prize – the highest level of the Prize which is awarded each year by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to the town most active in promoting the European ideal – has been awarded to the town of Słupsk in Poland.
Located in Pomerania, the city of Słupsk is a pioneer in international co-operation, having signed in 1988 a trilateral agreement with Carlisle and Flensburg, leading to an exchange of experience in the field of local self-government. Not only the local authorities are engaged in numerous European activities, but also citizens, especially young people, organisations, foundations, as well as educational and cultural institutions. Słupsk also shares its know-how with partners from the East, in particular: Grodno (Belarus), Archangelsk and St. Petersburg (Russia), and Eupatoria (Ukraine). It is twinned with 10 cities in Europe and Asia.
Four other towns, namely Bourg-en-Bresse in France, Ettlingen and Pforzheim in Germany, and Vara in Sweden, were also shortlisted for the Prize, and the committee commended their applications.
Created by PACE in 1955, the Europe Prize is the highest distinction that can be bestowed on a European town for its actions in the European domain. The prize consists of a trophy, a medal, a diploma and a scholarship to be spent on a study visit within Europe for young people from the winning town.
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The committee also awarded 9 Plaques of Honour, 15 Flags of Honour and 15 European Diplomas – awards which also form part of the Europe Prize. Full details here.