Articles taggés avec ‘Citizenship’

Hungary scoops first Charlemagne Youth Prize

Mercredi 30 avril 2008

Hungary’s Ferenc Rákóczi II Foundation has won the first ever Charlemagne Youth Prize for its “Students without Boundaries” project.

It was one of three prizes awarded on 29 April to projects which were judged to have fostered a shared sense of European identity and cultural exchange. Second place went to the projects in the UK and Greece. Parliament’s President Hans-Gert Pöttering and André Leysen, Chair of the Charlemagne Prize Foundation, presented the prizes.
“The Students without Boundaries” event takes place every year in Hungary and brings together over 130 students from Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine and Serbia. During their time there they discuss education in Europe as well as cultural issues. The prize ceremony took place at the University of Aachen in Germany and all three winners will be invited to the European Parliament in June.

About 400 projects entered the competition which is organised by the Parliament and the Charlemagne Foundation. The winners receive €5,000, €3,000 and €2,000, respectively.

The three best projects were selected in two steps: firstly by national juries and one representative of a youth organization, then by a European jury consisting of three MEPs, the President of the EP and four representatives of the Foundation.

On 1 May, the International Charlemagne Prize will also be awarded in Aachen. This year’s recipient is the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Charlemagne Prize, one of the most prestigious European prizes, is awarded for outstanding contributions to the cause of European unification.

European Parliament

Improve public access to documents of the EU institutions

Mercredi 30 avril 2008

The Commission has today adopted changes to the rules of access to documents from EU institutions.

These changes reaffirm the Commission’s commitment to transparency, up-date the rules to reflect recent case-law and aim to allow the institutions to be more efficient in responding to requests from citizens.

The Commission’s proposal with a new consolidated text puts more emphasis on active dissemination of information and it aligns the Regulation to the provisions on access to environmental information of the Aarhus Convention. It also clarifies the definition of “document”, for example to include the content of electronic databases, when it can be extracted as a printout or an electronic file.

The proposed text is also more explicit on protection of documents related to ongoing investigations. This gives more legal clarity, but it will not lead to fewer documents being made accessible to the citizens.

The Commission also proposes to improve the access to names and functions of persons acting in a professional capacity, to documents from the Member States and to the institutions’ written submissions to Courts. These changes follow recent case law of the European Courts.

The Treaty grants citizens and residents of the European Union a right of access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents. The principles governing this right of access have been determined by Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, which has been applied since 3 December 2001.

When the Commission launched its drive towards more transparency in November 2005 – the European Transparency Initiative – it also decided to review the Regulation.

As a first step, the Commission published a Green Paper and held a wide public consultation in spring 2007.

The improvements now suggested by the Commission are based on the outcome of this consultation, as well as on recommendations made by the European Parliament, and on the case law of the European Courts.

Press Room - European Commission