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Rewarding Excellence in Civil Society Initiatives

Rewarding Excellence in Civil Society Initiatives: The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) launches the 2015 Civil Society Prize for combating poverty

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This year the prize will reward initiatives that aim to improve economic and social inclusion among people living in poverty, or that tackle the increasing risk of poverty in Europe. Civil society organisations and/or individuals who have carried out initiatives which aim to combat poverty are invited to enter this contest.

The aim of the prize is to reward and encourage initiatives by civil society organisations and/or individuals which have made a significant contribution towards promoting European identity and integration. The initiatives should be innovative and must make a valuable contribution to the well-being of the communities which benefit from them. The specific objective is to reward initiatives in areas such as social support, housing, education and health; in-work poverty; energy poverty; child poverty; homelessness; financial exclusion and over-indebtedness; cooperation with public authorities. Further details and the application form are available online here.

However, contestants cannot apply directly to the EESC. They have to be nominated by one or more EESC members, national economic and social councils or European civil society organisations and networks.  WCVA’s Vice President, Tom Jones OBE, is one of three Welsh representatives on the EESC: “With a history of the decline of traditional industry and economic re-structuring, the people of Wales have a deep understanding of the impact of poverty on our most excluded communities.  As a result, there are individuals and organisations who have a unique story to tell about their successes in working with people and communities to alleviate poverty and create a stronger, fairer society.  I am therefore very happy to support Welsh nominations for this prestigious prize”. The nomination form can be found here.

Individuals or organisations wishing to seek Tom’s support for their application should contact Judith Stone, European Brokerage & Partnerships Coordinator at WCVA on 029 2043 1744; jstone@wcva.org.uk

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The total prize money is €50,000 and it can be shared between up to five winners. The deadline for applications is 31 July 2015. The award ceremony will take place on 10 December 2015 in Brussels. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is a consultative body of the European Union that contributes to strengthening the democratic legitimacy and effectiveness of the EU by enabling civil society organisations from the Member States to express their views at European level.

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