“As Secretary General of the Council of Europe, I am proud to be a patron of the European Youth Award 2014. These awards give us a privileged insight into the future. When the competition for employment is so fierce for our young people, competencies and skills acquired through civil society activity provide vital recognition and help launch some of the most promising young minds on the world stage. We consider innovation to be crucial for the future of Europe’s democracies, so much that we have made it one of our priorities at the Council of Europe.
Young people’s ideas and contributions to the work of the Council of Europe have been key tools in promoting democracy across the continent and beyond ever since our youth sector was established over 40 years ago.
Youth leaders share decision-making with government representatives at the Council of Europe to raise awareness about youth policies, programmes and priorities. This is a unique exercise. We have trained hundreds of thousands of young people through courses and activities designed to equip them with the skills they need to participate fully in society.
As a timely response to the issues faced by the youth of today, the 2014 World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg focused on young people’s participation in today’s democracies. Activities like these and prestigious prizes like the European Youth Award demonstrate that, with the necessary support and opportunities, young people can attain very high achievements and make essential contributions to a Europe based on human rights, the rule of law and democracy.”
“Young women and men stand at the heart of social innovation in a world that is rapidly and deeply changing. They are today’s thinkers, problem-solvers, agents of positive change. They are a wellspring of ideas and innovation.
For the third consecutive year, the European Youth Award shows that young women and men are continually inventing new ways to harness the internet and mobile technology as tools for global citizenship and for lasting peace and sustainable development.
UNESCO is committed to enabling and encouraging every young woman and man to act as change-makers to craft solutions to the pressing challenges all societies face.
I thank every participant in the European Youth Award 2014 for their commitment and hard work, and my congratulations go to you all!”
“Creativity and commitment of the youth are the keys to the future development of Europe. We face various challenges that can only be resolved through united forces and the great potential of young Europeans. However, to utilize the full potential of extraordinary ideas and achievements these talents must be identified proactively and with extensive support.
It is very important to me that every young individual has a fair chance to develop their talents and implement them in their career. Together we must ensure the general framework for education and research, as well as the growth and employment of Europe. The European Youth Award contributes to this in a very important way; it motivates young talents by using digital technology to find innovative solutions to social and environmental challenges.
The 2014 European Youth Award Festival in Graz offers all participants the opportunity to exchange ideas and to network while learning from one another. I wish that you can use this platform in the sense of actively shaping the future. I would very much like to express my gratitude to all participants in the competition, the organizers and all the contributors for their valuable involvement to the European Youth Award 2014.”
“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
“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.”
“In today’s world, ICTs penetrate almost all aspects of our lives. Most of us are already constantly connected to the Internet via mobile devices; everydays business life is simply no longer imaginable without the extensive use of ICTs. The importance of innovative approaches and ideas to make the most out of today’s possibilities is therefore undisputed.
That is why we need creative people who think “out of the box”, who conceive new ideas and create innovative, valuable products. The digital projects awarded by the EYA do not only have an economic value, but also help making positive social changes happen.
As president of the European Forum Alpbach I am very aware of the fact that networking is the key to success for startup projects. The EYA Festival is a platform that gives young creative citizens from all over Europe the chance to find future business partners, get to know other innovative people and receive useful feedback on their own projects to take them to the next level. I wish all attendants of the EYA Festival 2014 a successful and worthwhile event in Graz and all the best for their great initiatives!”