European Economic and Social Committee PRESS RELEASE No 83/2006 7 September 2006 The EESC prize for organised civil society The European Economic and Social Committee has chosen the prize-winners for 2006 The EESC prize for organised civil society will be officially awarded on 13 September 2006, as part of the Committee's plenary session which will be held at the European Commission's Charlemagne building. The panel of judges, which met on 29 August 2006 under the chairmanship of Anne-Marie Sigmund, EESC president, unanimously chose three prizewinners for 2006. The theme chosen for 2006 was "The European identity as a cultural element essential for European integration". The first prize of EUR 10 000 was awarded to the European Physical Society (EPS). Two joint second prizes of EUR 5 000 each were awarded to the European Civic Forum and to "The Future of Europe", a Hungarian association. The EESC prize for organised civil society, which was set up at the initiative of the president of the EESC, aims to reward and promote intellectual work or practical action on a theme which is chosen annually. The 2006 prize is for work or initiatives by civil society organisations that can help raise European citizens’ awareness of the shared roots, values and goals of all peoples united under the banner of European integration. The panel unanimously concluded that, through their work, all three candidates have significantly helped to enhance and reinforce the European identity as a cultural element essential for European integration. Information on the prize-winners European Physical Society (EPS) Created in 1968 and bringing together over 100 000 members, the European Physical Society was the first professional scientific association to be set up at European level. In an era overshadowed by the arms race, the EPS exerted an influence that went beyond the scientific domain, and for almost 40 years it has been contributing to the creation of a peaceful and Europe-wide civil society, which transcends the political blocs which divided Europe for several decades. European Civic Forum The European Civic Forum, which was created in December 2005 at the initiative of a group of French associations known collectively as CIDEM ("Civisme et démocratie"), is active in the areas of education and citizenship, in promoting a sense of citizenship and in involving young people. It currently brings together approximately 100 national, regional and local associations and NGOs active in the 25 EU Member States in the areas of education and citizenship. Its overall aim is to bring a citizenship dimension to European integration. EN European Economic and Social Committee The "Future of Europe" association The key objective of the Hungarian association "The Future of Europe", which was set up in 1990, is to help young European citizens become a more tolerant and prejudice-free generation that is respectful of people and their differences. With this aim in mind, the association holds a biennial international meeting for young people and children in the Hungarian town of Kecskemét, which provides an opportunity for the town's inhabitants to welcome children from all over Europe. For further details, please contact Mr Patrick Fève: Tel.: +32 2 546.96.16 Fax: +32 2 546.94.69 Email: Patrick.Fève@eesc.europa.eu For further details, please contact: Karel Govaert or Christian Weger at the EESC Press Office, 99 rue Belliard, B-1040 Brussels Tel.: +32 2 546 9396/9586; mobile: +32 475 75 32 02 email: email@example.com Internet: http://www.eesc.europa.eu/ Press releases: http://www.eesc.europa.eu/activities/press/cp/index_en.asp The European Economic and Social Committee represents the various economic and social components of organised civil society. It is an institutional consultative body established by the 1957 Treaty of Rome. Its consultative role enables its members, and hence the organisations they represent, to participate in the Community decision-making process. The Committee has 317 members. Its members are appointed by the Council.