Patrons and Special Voices

Every year outstanding personalities recognize the work of EYA Winners and congratulate them on their efforts and  engagement! Read their messages to the Winning teams!


2017  |  2016  |  2015  | 2014  |  2013  |  2012

“Young people were the favorite allies of the UN Millennium Campaign: passionate, energetic and thinking outside the box. Using internet and mobiles to achieve the Millennium Development Goals was certainly beyond the frame of mind of government leaders who agreed to these Goals… Tomorrow’s world is defined by action today. So some 20 years from now, when your generation will provide the Secretary General of the UN, she does not need to report once again that the Millennium Goals have not been met as yet. Your action prevented these Goals to end up as litter on yet another boulevard of broken dreams…”

Eveline Herfkens

Founder, UN Millennium Campaign

“I wish to congratulate each of the young social entrepreneurs who have taken part in the European Youth Award 2013. Each of you is a winner – a winner for inclusion and innovation, a winner for building stronger knowledge societies. We need precisely these kinds of initiatives, to harness the power of new information and communication technologies for more sustainable and just development. UNESCO’s position is clear – we must move forward together, by giving everyone an unhindered voice through new technologies and media, by respecting cultural and linguistic diversity, by promoting the rights, dignity and capacities of every woman and man.”

Irina Bokova

Director-General, UNESCO, UN Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization

“Congratulations to this year’s winners and participants of the European Youth Award. What connects all of you is your talent for independent thinking and the capacity to embrace projects that require creativity. The impact of the web and digital technology on our lives and businesses is of ever growing significance. There is no better age-group than the young generation to develop solutions in a playful manner in this working field. The EYA is an important initiative to bring them together: young, inspiring developers and tasks that directly confront them with future developments. I am convinced that the inspiration and the solutions which are created here will help take another step towards achieving the MDGs.”

Reinhold Mitterlehner

Federal Minister of Economy, Family and Youth, Austria

“Congratulations to all the winners of the European Youth Award contest 2014. All these projects which involve digital technologies are very impressive. I am pleased that this “Digital Creativity for Social Good award” has introduced new categories this year which are tied to Europe 2020 and tackle digital inclusion, digital literacy and smart living. The winning projects are using digital technologies in a targeted and innovative way which will help shape our future. I would like to thank the International Center for New Media for organizing contests such as the European Youth Award and wish the winners all the best for their future activities.”

Neelie Kroes

Vice-President of the European Commission

“Europe is our future and it is full of challenges. This year’s European Youth Award (EYA) winners show that young people in Europe truly care about the future and understand the goals defined by the Council of Europe and Europe 2020 as suitable visions of where we ought to go. It is a pleasure to see their innovative and creative work contributing to societal progress and addressing the real issues affecting citizens all over Europe.
These young leaders of tomorrow know how to use modern communication technologies to take action and achieve impact. They demonstrate their potential to create innovative solutions with the Internet and Mobile technology.
The EYA Festival is an established platform for international knowledge-exchange and a widely recognized networking-event for future cooperation. As the vice-chancellor of Austria, I am proud that so many young people will gather in Graz for the third time to exchange their bright visions and exceptional ideas for a promising future.”

Ulrike Lunacek

former Vice Chancellor of Austria

“The European Youth Award honours outstanding projects of young people using internet and mobile technology to put UN MDGs in action and thus demonstrate how the cooperation of digital technologies and young women´s and men´s ambitions can change society. Therefore, it brings together young developers and digital entrepreneurs from all over Europe, fostering UNESCO’s ambition to stimulate content development and access to inclusive knowledge societies. As the President of the Austrian Commission for UNESCO, I am pleased, that once again the European Youth Award Festival takes place in Graz and like to congratulate the winners and all participants for their innovative and creative contributions.”

Eva Nowotny

President, Austrian Commission for UNESCO