The Śnieżnik Massif Local Fund, the Committee in Defense of Democracy Association, as well as Anna Banasiak, a nurse of Poznań, a participant of June 1956 protests, are this year’s Polish winners of the European Citizen’s Prize awarded by the European Parliament. The prize was awarded to 50 persons and organizations from the EU member states.
The European Citizen’s Prize was established by the European Parliament in 2008 to acknowledge the work of Europeans who promote European values. The winners can be individual citizens, groups of people, associations and organizations. Each member of the European Parliament can nominate one candidate to the prize. The prize is awarded for the work in the following areas: promotion of better mutual understanding and integration of citizens and EU member states, facilitating cross-border and transnational cooperation within EU, and day-to-day work reflecting the values stemming from the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The Śnieżnik Massif Fund has been operating at the area of 4 communes (Bystrzyca Kłodzka, Lądek Zdrój, Międzylesie, Stronie Śląskie) since 1997. Its objective is to improve the Śnieżnik Massive local communities’ quality of life through effective raising, management and distribution of funds for charity and community initiatives in the area of education, culture, health, sports, environmental protection, democracy, tolerance and cross-border cooperation. For 12 years now, the Fund has been participating in the “Act Locally” Program, and its President Dorota Komornicka was awarded the title of the Civic Leader of the Year 2014 by Newsweek Polska weekly. The Fund is also a leader of the “PAFF Local Partnerships” Program that carried out the “Connect to Marianna and her Positive Energy” project in the years 2008-2009. The winners from all European Union countries will present their achievements at the gala in Brussels on October 12-13, 2016.
The objective of the “Act Locally” Program, launched in 2000, is to assist and encourage local communities by lending support to civic initiatives that serve solving local problems, foster developmental aspirations of village and small town communities, and contribute to building social capital. Through the network of 67 Act Locally Centers operating at the area of almost 620 communes, initiatives responding to local needs are subsidized as a result of local competitions whose beneficiaries are NGOs and informal groups of residents. To date, almost 8,000 civic initiatives have been implemented.