The 2023 Europe Prize has been awarded to Bolesławiec in Poland. This award is given annually by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to the town most actively promoting the European ideal.
Bolesławiec is a city of 90 000 inhabitants in western Poland, at the crossroads of the Czech Republic and German borders. The city is a melting pot of cultures and has become a refuge for many Ukrainians fleeing the war. In 2022, the city's foreign partners joined forces in a support action and signed the declaration of Solidarity with Ukraine.
The city is highly involved in numerous EU-funded projects with a diverse range of European partners. The city's programmes focus on various topics and target audiences, particularly young people, cultural heritage, and exchanges within the network of European Ceramics cities.
Every year, the city hosts the Ceramics Festival, which attracts thousands of Europeans, and the International Ceramics and Sculpture Workshop. Bolesławiec is also a member of two cultural routes of the Council of Europe: the destination Napoleon Route and the European Route of Ceramics.
During its 800 years of turbulent history, it has been alternately Polish, Prussian, German, and then Polish again. After the communist period, the city overcame economic collapse to become a modern, multicultural city open to international cooperation.
The city has ten twin towns in Europe, including Prnjavor (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Česká Lípa (Czech Republic), Mariagerfjord (Denmark), Nogent-sur-Marne (France), Pirna (Germany), Siegburg (Germany), Vallecorsa (Italy), Acuto (Italy), Molde (Norway), and Zbarazh (Ukraine). Additionally, Bolesławiec cooperates internationally with a network of over 150 cities and institutions.
Four other towns - Rambouillet in France, Bamberg in Germany, Palanga in Lithuania, and Odesa in Ukraine - were shortlisted for the Prize, and the Committee commended their applications.
Established in 1955 by PACE, the Europe Prize is the highest distinction awarded to a European town for its actions in the European domain. The Prize includes 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.
Additionally, the Committee awarded six Plaques of Honour, five Flags of Honour, and twelve European Diplomas - awards that also form part of the Europe Prize. Full details here.
Further details can be found on the PACE website.
Completed questionnaire to be submitted by 15 January 2023.
Please note that there is only one method to submit one's application: the on-line form. Unfortunately, applications submitted by other means cannot be accepted.
Any municipality in any of the Council of Europe 46 member States.
Several years, but municipalities should provide the Secretariat with an update on their European activities.
For each distinction the online form must be used. Please submit a report of the previous year's European activities, with press articles, to the Secretariat.
The Europe Prize Sub-Committee (composed of members of the Parliamentary Assembly) examines applications for all 4 distinctions at the end of April and submits its choice to the Parliamentary Assembly's Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development for approval. Winning municipalities are informed by post and/or e-mail. Confirmation and suggestions for organizing the ceremony follow by post.
Press releases from previous years
Distinctions from previous years
European diploma presentation ceremony photo galleries (French only)
Created by the Parliamentary Assembly in 1955, the Europe Prize is the highest distinction that can be bestowed on a European town for its actions in the European domain. It 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 municipality.
In 2021 a new Europe Prize trophy replaced the original trophy dating from the creation of the Prize in 1955. Designed by a team of young graphic artists from the Strate School of Design in France and manufactured by Atelier S. Gérard in Paris, it was selected as the winning design after a 2019 competition among young people from across the Council of Europe’s member States. As with the previous trophy, it will travel from city to city throughout Europe, displayed for a year in each winning town.
The Prize rewards municipalities for their active promotion of the European ideal (twinnings, European events, exchange visits, etc.), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe offers every year four awards: the European Diploma, the Flag of Honour, the Plaque of Honour and the Europe Prize.
The awarding of the various prize levels is progressive. Following the entry level European Diploma, applicant municipalities should subsequently apply for the Flag of Honour then the Plaque of Honour in order to compete at the highest level: the Europe Prize.
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