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Press Release 2010

Charlemagne Youth Prize 2010 goes to Germany

"European CNC Network - Train for Europe", a German project that brought together 24 vocational schools to build a small-gauge locomotive and wagons, won first prize at the Charlemagne Youth Prize 2010 award event on 11 May in Aachen. Second and third prizes went to "You are here", a book project (Ireland) and "BEST Engineering Competition BEC" (Bulgaria) respectively. The Charlemagne Youth Prize is for projects that foster a shared sense of European identity and integration.

At a ceremony hosted by RWTH Aachen University, the first prize was presented by EP President Jerzy Buzek and Charlemagne Prize Foundation Chairman Michael Jansen, the second by MEP and former EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering, and the third by City of Aachen Mayor Marcel Philipp.

Germany - "Train for Europe"

First prize went to the "Train for Europe" project (Germany), a Comenius school partnership, created in November 2006 and co-ordinated by the Bad Kreuznach Vocational School, brought together over 1,500 trainees from 24 vocational schools to build a locomotive and wagons on the Airbus principle. The train has a gauge of 90 mm, a total length of around 8 metres, and runs on a 12 m circular track.

This project "testifies to exactly the essence of the European idea: acting together, overcoming the limits of boundaries, the discovery of diversity and its potential", said EP President Jerzy Buzek .

Ireland - "You are here"

Second prize went to "You are here" project (Ireland), a book project in which 14 young people produced a "panthology" (pan+ anthology) on people born in or after 1980 who live and work on artistic, intellectual or activist projects in a country they did not grow up in. Starting with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the book looks at whether these young people really are writing from a freedom and plurality born in 1989 back into a new, wider and panEuropean tradition.

This project "is testimony to young people's fascination with the fall of the Berlin Wall and is an attempt to localize and determine the identity of the young generation in this new, young and undivided Europe" said MEP and former EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering.

Bulgaria - "BEST Engineering Competition BEC"

Third prize went to the "BEST Engineering Competition BEC" project (Bulgaria), organised by the Board of European Students of Technology BEST Sofia, which brought together 21 Europeans from 11 countries in 5 teams to design a robot that uses environmental sources of energy in collecting and dividing scrap and waste.

"In universities and student organisations, we find outstanding examples of what Europe is able to do if it bundles its knowledge and pulls together. The Bulgarian project, which impressed the jury very much, is just such an example", said Aachen Mayor Marcel Philipp.

Prizes and selection procedure

The three winning projects will be awarded funding of €5,000, €3,000, and €2,000 respectively. Their representatives will also be invited to visit the European Parliament in the coming months.

National juries, each consisting of at least two MEPs and one representative of a youth organisation, selected a national winner from each of the 27 EU Member States in March 2010. In April, the European jury, consisting of three MEPs, EP President Jerzy Buzek, and four representatives of the Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize, selected the three winners from the 27 projects. Representatives of all 27 projects were invited to the award ceremony in Aachen.

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