Hungarian County of Veszprem is declared winner among 31 candidates
Strasbourg (F), 24 November 2005
The Assembly of European Regions (AER) has celebrated the third edition of the Youth-Friendly Region prize, on the occasion of its General Assembly. 31 regions from across Europe, among which 10 AER non-member regions, took part in this competition.
Johanna Mikl-Leitner, Vice-President of the AER in charge of Youth, stated on this occasion: ‘Regional youth policy must on the one hand allow young people to develop their sense of responsibility and on the other hand grant them a cultural identity which is rooted in their region. A sincere and humane attachment to the place where we are born grants the strength we need today to resist various trends, lifestyles and global threats.’
Numerous initiatives and examples of best practice are show-cased during this competition. ‘It is impressive how regions implement committed and innovative youth policies within the remit of their competencies. This made it even harder to reach a fair decision,’ underlined Johanna Mikl-Leitner, yet the jury’s decision was unanimous.
The Most Youth-Friendly Region is Veszprem (Hungary).
The jury was won over by the numerous youth-related initiatives, including a large range of international exchange programmes, the existence of children and youth organisations, the consideration for minorities and disabled persons, respect for regional traditions, drugs prevention initiatives, as well as activities focusing on socially excluded youth or on particularly bright young people.
A Prize of recognition was awarded to the Nôrbbotten Region (NOR), which distinguished itself by a number of exceptional and innovative projects. The Youth programme developed by this Region deserves special mention. It brings together a professional researcher, a scientific centre for the children of the North of Sweden, the Tekmkens Hus, which gives pupils the opportunity to carry out technical and scientific experiments with their teachers and the Snilleblixtarna, a ‘Flash of Genius’ project which fosters creativity and entrepreneurial skills, improving pupils’ self-confidence.
Next edition of this biannual event to take place in Spring 2007.
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