Press Release

Mobility and minorities in the focus of the two Young European of the Year 2017 awardees

22. 04. 2017

Joint Press Release from the Schwarzkopf Foundation and European Youth Forum

The award is given out on a yearly basis to young people who have shown extraordinary engagement for European topics and European integration. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the award, this year includes two winners: Belgian Nozizwe Dube and Haris Kušmić from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Granted since 1997, the Young European of the Year award honours inspirational and extraordinary engagement of young people, either through volunteering or long- term institutional work. The laureates will receive a sum of 5.000 euros which they can spend on a traineeship at a European institution or for a project of their own.

Nozizwe Dube (20) is actively shaping Flemish politics through her presidency of the Flemish Youth Council, making the voice of young people in Flanders more present in political decision-making and by emphasising the importance of youth work. She was born in Zimbabwe and moved to Belgium 7 years ago. She has also been especially engaged in making minorities more visible and in speaking about several European topics such as the right to vote at the age of 16 and the consequences of the Brexit vote for young people in Europe. She was involved within the European Youth Forum for the Flemish Youth Council and firmly believes in a strong Europe and the role that all young Europeans, regardless of their background, play in shaping the future of the EU.

Haris Kušmić (24) is the founder and president of the national chapter of the European Youth Parliament in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through his organisation, more than 2,000 young people from Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in exchange activities in the country and abroad. He has engaged in exceptional voluntary work to support the vision of European integration in a post-conflict country, giving a voice to a new brilliant generation.

This year’s jury for the Young European was chaired by Dina Behnke from the Representation of the European Commission in Berlin. Other jury members included André Schmitz-Schwarzkopf, Chairman of the Schwarzkopf Foundation, and Maria Tandeck, the Young European of the Year 2010. The nomination round for the Young European of the Year 2018 will open in the beginning of October 2017. The awards will be ceremoniously presented in Berlin, Germany on Monday April 24, 2017.

The awardees were announced at the #YouthUp Gala of the European Youth Forum on Thursday April 20, 2017 – a gathering of youth activists and member organisations of the European Youth Forum. They were joined by representatives from the European Youth Capitals, a network of cities across the continent who have committed to investing in youth.

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