Today, ahead of the European Committee of the Regions' plenary session, the PES Group awarded prizes to the winners of the 10th edition of its annual photo competition. Under the theme "My Europe, my rights", both amateur and professional photographers, who are European residents aged 18 and older, were invited to capture in a photo their interpretation of this very topical issue. 500 photos were sent in for this year's edition of the competition.
The first prize goes to Antje Bücker from Haltern am See, North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany, who wins a 3-day trip for two persons to Brussels and photographic equipment worth €2000.
"The photo competition leaves us every year a little more impressed by the creative potential of Europeans from all over the EU", pointed out PES Group member Randel Länts, Member of the Viljandi City Council (Estonia) and President of the 2017 competition jury. "This year's entries showed that citizens are concerned about the abuse of power, violence and threats regarding fundamental human rights. At the same time, they also reveal that a lot of solidarity exists among citizens".
He added: "The decision was not easy and there were discussions within the jury on what type of image we wanted to reward and highlight. We finally decided to assert 3 fundamental and universal values that are important for our political family: freedom of expression, the right to live in a peaceful world and the right to love whomever we want".
Commenting on her photo, Antje Bücker said that: "The threat and imprisonment of journalists in totalitarian regimes shows how fragile the right to information is when it is not convenient for those who are in power. We must never allow journalism in Europe to become a life-threatening venture".
The winners of this year's competition are:
1st Prize: Antje Bücker (Haltern am See, Germany)
2nd Prize: David Taquin (Frameries, Belgium)
3rd Prize: Adela Nistora (Brad, Romania)
Public Prize: Borbála Borsos (Veresegyház, Hungary)
The winning photos and photos of the award ceremony are available on the website of the initiative.