On Tuesday 20 September, the awarding ceremony of the Young Europe Award for the best high school student research papers on European issues was held. The award is organized by the Catalunya Europa Foundation and the Representation of the European Commission in Barcelona, ??with the aim of promoting young people's knowledge, research and interest in the reality of the European Union.
The event was held at the headquarters of the European Commission in Barcelona with the presence of students, teachers and family members of the centers that have participated in this first edition of the award. This year, 58 research projects from 52 secondary schools throughout Catalonia were presented.
The winner of the 2022 Young Europe Award was the student Alejandra Méndez Torelló, from the Escola Betània Patmos in Barcelona, ??while the runner-up was the student Maria Salazar Cebrià, from the Escola Pia Balmes in Barcelona. Both received the award diploma from the director of the Catalunya Europa Foundation, Pau Mas, and the director of the Representation of the European Commission in Barcelona, ??Manuel Szapiro. In addition, the author of the awarded paper will receive 700 euros and the opportunity to travel to Brussels to meet the European institutions together with the author of the entry.
Success of the first edition of the Young Europe Award
At the start of the event, director of the Representation of the European Commission in Barcelona, ??Manuel Szapiro, emphasized that "the first edition was a great success due to the quality of all the works presented. All of them highlight the courage, creativity and commitment of young people to peace and sustainability. Precisely, this year we commemorate the European Year of Youth and the level of work invites optimism in the future of young people and of Europe". For his part, the director of the Catalunya Europa Foundation, Pau Mas, stated that "the European project is a success story that needs to be preserved and strengthened, and for this reason, it is essential to link it to the work of young people in schools".
The ceremony also had the intervention of the Deputy Director General of Innovation and Training of the Department of Education of the Generalitat, Jesús Moral, who pointed out the Young Europe Award as a good example of initiatives that help stimulate the talent of young people and to advance educational transformation. The conclusion was given by Xavier Prats-Monné, special advisor to Teach For All and former director general of education and culture of the European Commission, who encouraged young people to deepen their research and knowledge about the European reality. "These works give us hope because they make us see that thanks to knowledge and research we can build a better world", said Prats-Monné, who also emphasized the critical sense and the quality of the analysis of the two awarded works.
The blue economy and the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the event, the two students also addressed a few words to the audience to explain the subject of their works, the effort and dedication, and why they wanted to carry them out.
The winner, Alejandra Méndez Torelló, produced a work on the evolution of the blue economy in Europe, its impact on the city of Barcelona, ??and the importance of the seas and oceans in the development of an economy and a world more sustainable A work entitled The evolution of the Blue Economy concept within the European Union: Turning the blue into the green, which the Jury of the prize met last June 15, considered the best "for the quality of the research, the depth of analysis, methodicality and personal effort".
For her part, Maria Salazar Cebrià received the reward for the work Prepared for a pandemic? We investigate the COVID-19 which analyzes the response of the European institutions to the common emergency caused by the Covid-19. In this case, the Jury assessed the interest and complexity of the topic.
Finally, at the same event, the bases for the second edition of the Young Europe award for the best works of the 2022-2023 academic year were presented. The deadline for submitting nominations will end on April 16, 2023. The rules are now available on the website of the Catalunya Europa Foundation and the European Commission in Barcelona.