- May 16, 2012
Council of Europe rewards the Soleczniki region.
The Council of Europe has recently rewarded the Solecznice region. On the 26th of April this year, the Parliamentary gathering of the Council of Europe has put through a vote to reward the Soleczniki region with a prestigious prize – The Council of Europe Flag.
This flag is awarded to town councils or other types of local authorities in order to praise them for their efforts in relation to promoting the European Union and for conducting a wide range of partnership based cooperation between different bodies and the rewarded one.
Mr. Zdzisław Palewicz, the local mayor says: “I am very happy indeed due to the fact that our attainments in terms of international relations and promoting European integrity, have been so highly appreciated by the Council of Europe. In 2008 we received a European Certificate and this year we have received the Honorary Flag of the Council of Europe. We will now compete to receive the Honorary Badge and the highest of all four prizes, too, the European Prize”.
According to the mayor, the Council’s decision was highly influenced by the fact that his region actively collaborates with partner regions in Poland, Germany, France and Belarus and the fact that his region is known to be multicultural. “I think that this international cooperation is influenced by three key factors: the multicultural and multilingual nature of our region and the hospitable nature of the inhabitants” – Mr. Palewicz points out.
The Council of Europe has been created in 1949. Its principal purpose is to promote and protect human rights and to encourage collaboration of the member states in cultural matters. IN 1955, the Council of Europe set up a prize called the European Prize in order to further promote the idea of European integrity. Until today, this prize is subject to great interest and is without doubt one of the most prestigious distinction. Each year one of two towns in Europe are awarded the highest prize of up to 10,000 euros to act as grants for students plus a bronze statue inherited from the previous winner of the prize.
According to the regulations, a member of the Parliamentary gathering of the Council will hand the Honorary Flag of the Council of Europe to the winner, the Soleczniki region. The ceremony for this will be held on the 15th of September.
In his conversation with PL DELFI, the Soleczniki region’s mayor stated that the prize he has been awarded with has more of a moral meaning than a material one. Nevertheless it will surely contribute to the promotion of the Soleczniki region within Europe. “I think that this prize is a great distinction for the local authority. In the entire Europe, about 23 local authorities received this award and we were the first ones in Lithuania.
According to Palewicz, the reward is an evidence for the fact that the inhabitants of his regions are actually Europeans. “This award proves that we are an open, European and civil community. Still, some people think of us as closed and reluctant to integration with Europe” – Mr. Zdzisław Palewicz stated.
Tłumaczenie Kamil Szwarc w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Kamil Szwarc within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.