Fair Roaming awarded EPA Award as „Campaign of the Year“
On 19 February, the campaign „Europeans for Fair Roaming“ was awarded the European Public Affairs Award 2014 in the category „Best campaign of the year“! The campaign was co-ordinated by me – and due to the very exceptional circumstances (like, me still being a student), I was allowed to hold a short speech. And here it is (the original was probably a bit different as I always speak free):
„For me, it is actually quite funny to stand here tonight! I have no office, I don’t live in Brussels – and I don’t wear a suit! Just a week ago, I was still travelling to Krakow and Wroclaw with friends and from there to Vienna – where I was nominated for the European Parliament elections – and onwards to Salzburg. See, I am from this Generation Europe, from the Generation Erasmus. For us young people, travelling to Copenhagen or Rome is just as normal as driving to Vienna. We grew up without borders…
I just spent two days in Salzburg, where I stood up this morning, to travel 1000 kilometers – paid by myself – to come here for this prize.
Our campaign started in 2010. And back then all we had was the issue. It was just a few people like me and Nico Segers MA – who is also here tonight. We had no big organisation behind us, no office and basically no funding when we started. And I can tell you, campaigning without money is not very easy! I will not bother you with what we achieved as that is in the folders you got, but we put a lot of work and money into that and contacted hundreds of organisations and MEPs!
Now, as everyone is always talking about this European Civil Society, I’d like to tell you about two experiences I made, two things we noticed in our campaign: especially young people trying to be active on the European level need advice – and they need support. A lot of support! For example, we could not attend some key meetings, because we could not afford to go there. I think we could have achieved much more with our campaign. I would have wished for much more support!
But, right now, I am actually just happy to be here. I am glad to see that we made an impact and are considered worthy for this award! I would like to very much thank the Parliament Magazine and the sponsors for making this event possible and for the Jury to select us…
But before I leave the stage again, I would like to ask you for something. I have a wish: If you ever come across someone with a great idea or an issue, especially if it’s a young person – please help them! Think about what they can achieve!“