The 2020 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 Amilly in France.
Amilly is a French town of 12 000 inhabitants located in the Loiret department in the central-Val de Loire region of France.
It is twinned with Nordwalde in Germany, Vilanova del Camí in Spain and Calcinaia in Italy with which many school exchanges take place between colleges and schools, sports meetings, as well as cultural and administrative exchanges. European awareness is raised among young residents of Amilly through extensive language learning and the broadening of cultural horizons by means of visits and vocational placements arranged both through schools and out of school.
Amilly encourages meetings between Europeans. Firstly, this involves public events where people learn about other cultures. The Europe Festival, one of the leading European festivals in the region, has been held every year since 2005 and has become the largest event in the town.
Having declared itself a town of the arts, which it uses as a marker of its identity, the municipality runs a cultural policy that involves co-operation at European level.
Amilly is a city of solidarity which holds every year, a festive event for families to mark World Children’s Day. The aim of the event is to raise funds for donation to UNICEF.
Five other towns, namely Bamberg in Germany, Bolesławiec in Poland, Birštonas in Lithuania, Münster in Germany and Sopot in Poland 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 to European institutions for young people from the winning town.
The committee also awarded 8 Plaques of Honour, 6 Flags of Honour and 12 European Diplomas – awards which also form part of the Europe Prize. Full details here.