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Frontpage News 2016 Great recognition for the Grants

Public Participation Awards Gala
All award winners at this year’s Public Participation Awards Gala in Romania. Photo credit: Resource Center for Public Participation

Great recognition for the Grants

In the past couple of months, a number of projects and individuals supported by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants have received recognition both nationally and internationally.

Receiving appreciation for the work undertaken and results achieved is important for the projects and the people working with them, and is great motivation for future work. In recent months, many prestigious awards were given to projects and people supported through the Grants. Here we take a closer look at some of these distinctions.

Best practice in the integration field

The Bulgarian project ‘The UnBulgarians – Photo exhibition of the faces behind immigration statistics’ is featured on the European Commission website on integration as an example of best practice in the field of integration of refugees and migrants. The project is the second under the EEA Grants NGO Programme in Bulgaria to receive this honour. The photos vividly illustrate the personal stories of refugees and migrants living in Bulgaria.

Read more about the project and take a look at stunning photos

Promoting European values

The European Parliament has awarded 50 people or organisations from 26 EU countries with this year’s Citizen’s Prize for their contribution to European cooperation and the promotion of common values. Among the winners of the prestigious prize this year is the Greek organisation ‘Positive Voice’. The organisation implemented two projects for the EEA Grants NGO Programme in Greece: the first advocating for the rights of LGBT people living with HIV/AIDS, and the second helping Roma communities affected by HIV/AIDS.

The national award ceremonies will be followed by a central ceremony to be held in October 2016 in the European Parliament in Brussels.

The Citizen’s Prize has been awarded by the Parliament to projects and initiatives that facilitate cross-border cooperation and promote mutual understanding within the European Union since 2008. With its symbolic value the prize is intended to acknowledge the work of those who through their day-to-day activities promote European values.

Increasing public participation in Romania

Pre-school education for Roma children and protection of Europe’s remaining old-growth forests were two of the projects that were honoured at this year’s Public Participation Awards Gala in Romania organised by the Resource Center for Public Participation.

This year, 45 organisations and individuals were nominated for the Public Participation Award that acknowledges people who succeed in influencing public decision-making and represents an important change for their communities.

In total, 8 of the 13 prizes were awarded to projects and individuals that have received support from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants. Five of the projects are supported through the Romanian NGO Programme. Three individuals, all linked to projects funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, were also honoured for their contributions.

Read more about the Public Participation Awards Gala on the event’s Facebook page

Defending human rights and democracy

At the end of June, the founder of the Greek NGO METAdrasi (Action for Migration and Development), Lora Pappa, was awarded the prestigious Council of Europe North-South Prize 2015. This distinction is given to people who stand out internationally for their role in defending human rights and democracy.

Lora Pappa - METAdrasi Lora Poppa received the award from the President of the Republic of Portugal, Mr. Marcelo Rebelo, at a ceremony held in the Portuguese Parliament. Photo credit: METAdrasi

METAdrasi run two project supporting refugee children under the EEA Grants NGO Programme in Greece, and is actively engaged in several actions to address the needs of vulnerable groups, such as unaccompanied children.

Read more about the ‘Guardianship for unaccompanied minors’ project that METAdrasi is running

Watch the acceptance speech by METAdrasi’s founder and president Lora Pappa