The European Union (EU) in partnership with the Ministry of European Integration and UNOPS for a decade now through this art competition encourages and rewards talented and creative students who want to actively contribute to the development of their local communities. This year's theme "Your ideas, your future" encouraged young artists from 22 high schools in southeastern and southwestern Serbia to think about what would make their city a better place for young people to live, as well as what they could do by themselves to improve their and the life of their community.
“The EU has declared the year 2022 the European Year of Youth in order to focus on reestablishing a positive outlook for young people who were most negatively affected by the impact of Covid 19. This means that increased efforts will be made to include youth priorities in relevant policy areas at the decision making processes. But this is a two-way street and requires your engagement and your voice needs to be heard”, said Martin Klaucke, Head of Operation II in the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia during the online event organised to promote winners. “You have through your work shown great awareness of the needs and opportunities that would better your life in your hometowns, while your ideas contributed to creating a better, greener, more inclusive future in Europe”, concluded Klaucke.
The artworks have shown that young people are aware of the importance of preserving the environment, the use of renewable energy sources, but also the need to open new factories and new jobs in their towns. Through their works, the students also showed that they lack entertainment and educational content in their communities, while recognising that the natural and cultural heritage should be preserved and promoted as a tourist destination.
"Your artworks have shown us inspiring and innovative and most importantly for us the civil servants, practically achievable ideas on how to improve life in local communities for both young people and all citizens in Serbia. During this and next year, the Ministry of European Integration will try to present and ensure that the voice of young people from Serbia is heard through the Conference on the Future of Europe, a platform launched by the European Union" said Ivana Đurić, Head of the Communications Department in the Ministry of European Integration, while congratulating the students and professors who encouraged students to apply and develop their talents.
"It is always good when through the Programme activities that engage the young people, such as this art competition, we get your ideas and insight into solutions to problems that you have recognised in your environment. It is even better when we see that these ideas are achievable, and that in some cases we are gradually introducing them into the projects we are already implementing," said Olivera Kostić, EU PRO Plus program manager, and invited young people to follow the Programme on the website and social networks because "EU PRO Plus will be partly focused on you, young people, so that your ideas grow, express in reality and then in your future."
"The competition theme really inspired me and I am glad that we young people had the opportunity to express our views and problems. My work should inspire the people in my city to pay more attention to nature, ecology and physical activity, while by planting trees we contribute to the preservation of our environment", said Aleksandra Ivić, a student of the Art School Niš, who is the winner of this year's competition.
The pages of the EU PRO Plus Calendar for upcoming year will also feature the artworks of Anđela Bučić from Niš, Ivona Tasić from Leskovac, Aiša Krkušić from Novi Pazar, Aleksa Petrović from Dimitrovgrad, Đorđe Rvović from Nova Varoš, Martina Ivanov from Dimitrovgrad, Hana Crnišanin from Novi Pazar, Natalija Živadinović from Aleksinac and Mina Lučić from Kruševac.
The authors of these 12 works have been awarded laptops, tablets and mobile phones, while the Kraljevo High School won a laptop and a projector. The results of the art competition can be found on the EU PRO Plus programme website: Results of the Art Competition "Your Ideas, Your Future!".