4 October 2022
Last week, at the annual conference of the Association of European Border Regions hosted by DKMT Euroregion and the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina in Novi Sad, Republic of Serbia, we prized four cross-border cooperation projects for their achievements in the field of youth policies. The Sail of Papenburg, endowed by the Ems-Dollart Region, was awarded to local actors who successfully implemented actions addressing young people. “This year’s winners are characterised by a generic feature: Bringing together young people from both sides of the border has been a long-lasting tradition for all three winners as an important strategic building block in their “euroregional” development“, said Bernhard Bramlage, President of the Jury of the Sail of Papenburg Award, expressing satisfaction with the applications received.
Bernhard Bramlage, President of the Jury of the Sail of Papenburg Award, representing the Ems-Dollart-Region, and Aleksandar Sofic, Provincial Secretary for Regional Development, Interregional Cooperation and Local Self-Government of the the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, AEBR’s President Karl-Heinz Lambertz and Eszter Csokasi, Director of the Euroregion DKMT, bestowed the Sail of Papenburg Award to the EGTC European Region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino, EUREGIO, EUREGIO EGRENSIS and to the partners of the „Living Danube Limes“ project.
The Jury awarded the First Prize Sail of Papenburg 2022 to the EGTC European Region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino (Austria/Italy) for its initiative “Euregio is young”.
This euroregion has had a strong focus on cross-border work in the field of youth since 2012, with a three-day youth festival for youngsters 16-19 years old, and a youth music competition. After that, the EGTC decided to arrange a one-week summer camp every year with young people from all three member areas focusing every year on a different topic. And more cross-border projects followed, such as a youth jury for a film festival, a music camp, a large sports festival, a Euregio Macht Schule and a research prize for the youth. Lastly, a students’ youth forum and a Euregio Academy were the focus of the activities where young people deal with cross-border cooperation (Euregio and Europe, future of the Euregio, minority issues). The euroregion is the initiator of the projects and various NGOs are project promoters. These youth projects are financed with the EGTC and the regions’ own funds and are envisaged as long-term. The young people from both sides of the border become active themselves, both in practical projects on the ground and in the political processes to improve cooperation in the cross-border region.
The Second Prize was entrusted to EUREGIO for its youth exchanges organised since 1970.
Each year, between 800 and 1,000 young people participated: German young people would live in a Dutch family for three days, and then Dutch youngsters would spend three days in a German family to get to know the lifestyle, culture and language. This resulted in numerous cross-border town twinnings. Today, EUREGIO mobilises young people from both sides of the border in the long term with the aim of giving them their own practical and political weight in the future development of the EUREGIO (the young face of EUREGIO). The “Youth” instruments are: an ideas competition, a laboratory on common social issues, a Green Border House (environmental issues for citizens and business), mobility, transport, and security. Everyone can participate in the network. A permanent cross-border youth council has developed a youth strategy and a future vision for EUREGIO. They may also attend meetings in an advisory capacity. The long-term youth project is financed by own regional funds.
The jury granted the Third Prize of the Sail of Papenburg 2022 to Euregio Egrensis for its “Youth Summer Camp”.
In 1992, shortly after the fall of the Iron Curtain, a Euregio Summer Camp was organized for young people aged 12-14 from both sides of the German-Czech border. This project was initially financed by Interreg, and more recently by the German-Czech Future Fund and own funds from Euregio Egrensis’ working groups. The camp has been organized every year and lasts one week (previously over 1,000 teenagers) with a changing main theme. Culture, sports, and joint activities make young people familiar with the neighbouring country, especially the language of the neighbour (both very difficult languages for each other), as part of the Egrensis “Language Offensive” (Sprachoffensive), which is co-financed by the EU. Often, lasting personal friendships, school partnerships, and lasting interest in neighbours and neighbours’ studies arise. The awareness of living in a common region is established in the long term.
Special Prize: Project partners of „Living Danube Limes“
This year, the jury conferred also a special prize to the partners of the Interreg Project „Living Danube Limes“, which aims to valorise cultural heritage and foster sustainable tourism by living the common heritage on the Danube lime as basis for a cultural route.
Stefan Graziadei from the EGTC European Region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino, Joris Bengevoord representing EUREGIO, Ralf Oberdorfer for EUREGIO EGRENSIS AG Sachsen/Thüringen and Raffaela Woller on behalf of the Universität für Weiterbildung Krems (Donau-Universität Krems) and Milena Krkljes from the Faculty of Technical Sciences of the University of Novi Sad received the awards amids the applause of the audience.Back to overview