European Citizen’s Prize and the Lily of Europe
Project The Wanted Danube is double European award winner
BRUSSELS/BERLIN/ULM (DANET) – The European Parliament has awarded the Ulm-based friendship project The Wanted Danube with the European Citizen’s Prize 2015, as confirmed by the Prize Office in Brussels. German EU Parliament members Evelyne Gebhardt and Michael Theurer have nominated the project – in which more than 6.000 participants from eight countries along the river Danube had been involved – for the competition. The European Citizen’s Prize ceremony for all winners from Germany will be held in Berlin in September. The all-European winners will be honored in Brussels, October 14 and 15.
At the same time, The Wanted Danube has also been awarded with the Europa-Lilie (Lily of Europe) 2015 in the category Civic Engagement by the Network Europa-Professionell within the Europa-Union, Germany. Europa-Union and their media partner Eur.Activ.de invited citizens who engage in European politics to file nominations. The winners had been elected publicly by online poll. As announced by the Europa-Union, the award celebration will be held in Berlin on a date in autumn, date is yet to be fixed.
Both highly esteemed European awards mean a new peak of success of the The Wanted Danube project, which is mainly sponsored by the foundation Baden-Wuerttemberg Stiftung.
Between July 2013 and July 2014, more than 6.000 participants from eight countries had teamed up in crocheting a friendship bracelet of recycled wool, accompanied by events of information and activities. The friendship bracelet, which grew to a final 1.500 km length, had then served as material for more than 3.600 hand-made Danube River Carpet-Pieces, which formed a giant river landscape in front of the scenic Ulm cathedral. This public art event, which was a highlight of the International Danube River Festival Ulm/New Ulm 2014, was covered by media all over Europe.
The goal of The Wanted Danube was to have people of all generations, social backgrounds and ethnic groups from countries all along the Danube river to team up, acquaint themselves with each other and improve their knowledge about each other. Each local event concerning the project was accompanied by education events designed to raise every participant’s interest in his European “neighbors”. Coordinator Carmen Stadelhofer is happy about the success: ‘Thousands of people have given proof and set a token that they regard themselves as active inhabitants and designers of the House of Europe, which is a part of their present and future lives.’
Danube River Carpets, hand-made and numbered, are still given away in exchange for a donation, along with many more hand-made wool products made from the giant friendship bracelet. The donations are used to fund social and educative projects in Southeastern Europe. Currently, hand-made key pendants from The Wanted Danube are sent from Ulm to The Wanted Danube participants in all other Danube countries involved. Carmen Stadelhofer, project coordinator and Chair of the organization Danube-Networkers for Europe (DANET), explains: ‘The pendants are symbols for teamed activity and enhancement of mutual knowledge as the main keys for a Europe truly common to all its inhabitants.’
More information about and contact to The Wanted Danube online: www.danube-networkers.eu
Gez. Antje Bluem, ILEU e.V.