New Europeans has been honoured with the Schwarzkopf Europe Award 2019, following an online poll across Europe amongst young people aged 35 or under.
The “Schwarzkopf Europe Award” is awarded to institutions or public figures who have distinguished themselves in an outstanding way by a committed and dedicated service to either European understanding or the growing together of Europe.
Previous winners have included Margerethe Vesthager, European Commissioner for Competition, Svetlana Gannushkina, the human rights activist, Connie Hedegaard, former EU Commissioner for Climate Action as well as Jean-Claude Juncker, the current EU Commission President and Alexander Stubb, the former Prime Minister of Finland.
It is only the second time in the history of the award that the prize has been awarded to an organisation rather than to an individual. IHA Germany e.V, Flüchtlige Willkommen and SOS Méditerranée won the prize for their work with refugees in 2016.
Accepting the award on behalf of New Europeans, Roger Casale, Founder and CEO said:
"New Europeans is humbled and hugely excited to receive the Schwarzkopf Europe Award 2019.
We would like to thank the Schwarzkopf Foundation, all the young people who voted in the competition and especially those who see in New Europeans an organisation that speaks to them about the future of Europe.
In both Britain and America, we have seen how extremism can crush young people’s hopes for a better future.
Europe is not immune to these developments.
Next year’s European Parliamentary elections could be Europe’s Trump and Brexit moment – a moment of anger and hate rather than hope and aspiration.
We all want to do the best we can to ensure this does not happen.
As recipients of the Europe Award 2019, New Europeans will reach out to past award winners, and work with the Schwarzkopf Foundation and civil society actors to mobilise the power and imagination of young people.
We want to protect the rights of 5m EU citizens whose lives are still in Brexit limbo through our campaign for unilateral guarantees and an EUGreenCard (GreenCard4 Europe).
And we want to work with young people’s organisations to transform the debate about the future of Europe in the run up to the European elections.
Brexit reminds young Europeans that they face a world in which their material prospects may be less secure than those of their parents, that their rights may be compromised, that people who tell lies can prosper at the expense of those who strive to speak the truth.
These tendencies must, can and will be reversed by young people themselves.
New Europeans is committed to working with young Europeans and all who believe in a Europe of Citizens to help make this happen.
We believe this is the best way to honour the Schwarzkopf Europe Award, to rise to the opportunity the award gives us to translate our mission into action and to share responsibility for the next stage of development of the European project which still lies in all of our hands."
The Schwarzkopf Foundation supports many projects with young people including the European Youth Parliament and is based in Berlin.
The award ceremony will take place in Berlin in January or February 2019.
The Schwarzkopf Foundation citation reads as follows:
"The 2019 Schwarzkopf Europe Award is going to the civil rights organisation New Europeans.
This year’s selection followed a new format: First, Young European of the Year recipients of our foundation nominated three candidates for the 2019 prize. Then, an online voting process was opened to young people in Europe age 35 or younger to choose the final recipient.
New Europeans received the most votes. New Europeans focuses their work on a shared European identity. The organisation is“committed to building a Europe of equality, diversity, freedom and solidarity, anchored in human rights" and does so through a number of different projects and campaigns.
Recently, New Europeans headed the #EUGreencard #GreenCard4Europe proposal, which would guarantee the rights of UK citizens in the EU and EU citizens in the UK in a post-Brexit Europe."