mercoledì 23 aprile 2014

Perugia makes short list for European Youth Capital 2017

Also bidding to be European Culture Capital 2019

(ANSA) - Rome, April 23 - Umbria's medieval capital Perugia on Wednesday made the short list of five contenders to become European Youth Capital (EYC) 2017. The city, famed for its shrines to St Francis of Assisi, university for foreigners, art and architecture, and food and wine, is up against Belgian capital Brussels, Cascais in Portugal, Galway in Ireland, Newcastle in the United Kingdom and Varna in Bulgaria. The Umbrian capital has also reached the final stage of the competition to become European Culture Capital 2019, to be announced by the end of the year.

The five EYC contestants - selected by an independent high-level jury - will now progress to the next round of competition to compete for the coveted title. During the second round, the cities will have an opportunity to present an extensive draft programme of youth-related cultural, social and political events and activities. As with previous competitions, the European Youth Capital 2017 will encourage the implementation of the Council of Europe's Charter on Local and Regional Participation of Young People through the promotion of new ideas and innovative projects. EYC initiatives lay the foundations for young people's active participation in society and present good practice examples to other European municipalities.

The five short-listed cities beat strong competition from Alcobendas (Spain), Kaunas (Lithuania), Vicenza (Italy) and York (United Kingdom) to advance to the second round. The top candidate cities will receive recommendations from the high-level independent jury and a youth focus group on how to make their applications even more responsive to young people. The winning city will be announced in November 2014 during an awarding ceremony in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (EYC 2015). In addition, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is now an endorsing partner of the European Youth Capital.

Peter Matjasic, President of the European Youth Forum, said: "This prestigious title is a fantastic way to showcase good practice examples of youth policy making and youth participation at local level and think of new, innovative ideas and projects designed by and for young people to truly engage them in the life of their city. "The EYC is also a unique way to strengthen the bonds between the candidate cities and Europe, while the winning city can serve as a springboard for more cross-border cooperation and manifestation of the European spirit the young generation of today embodies. "Good luck to all those shortlisted!"

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