Spring Day closing event in Bulgaria

The end of the European Spring Day for Europe campaign in Bulgaria was marked by a ceremony where pupils aged 13-20 were awarded for their participation in a youth essay competition organized by the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria.

The essay competition was launched in March and open for all Bulgarian pupils. They were encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas on the theme of 2010 – European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. The essays of 300 words were required to contain the key words "friendship", "tolerance", "community", "readiness" and "commitment".
Ms Zinaida Zlatanova, Head of the EC Representation, gave the authors of the winning essays the following prizes – laptops for the winners of the two age groups (13-16 and 17-20 years), and external hard disks for the second (320GB) and third place (250GB).

"I will not hide my pleasure and satisfaction regarding the high number of essays received – more than 150 from all over the country," Ms Zlatanova stated. "I consider this a big success for all of us, as one of the main goals of the Spring Day for Europe 2010 campaign is precisely to strengthen solidarity in the schools and to emphasize the role of every single person in building a society where all people have equal opportunities," she added.

The winners were also greeted by Ms Petya Evtimova, Deputy Minister for Education, Youth and Science, and by Ms Valentina Simeonova, Deputy Minister for Labour and Social Policy. Popular Bulgarian singer Vladimir Ampov-Grafa also participated in the event in his capacity of national ambassador of the 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. He shared his views on the topic with the pupils following the award ceremony.

The professional jury which selected the winners stressed their difficulty to pick only six winners among so many brilliant essays. Therefore, without any reserve they supported the idea to include 10 non-winning essays in a publication, which is expected to be produced in the autumn by the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria.