Altiero Spinelli Prize for Outreach: Spreading Knowledge about Europe - EAC/20/2017
Deadline: Aug 16, 2017  

 Education and Training
 Higher Education
 Arts Education
 Academic Writing


The Prize will reward outstanding contributions that communicate the EU -its founding values, history, action and key benefits- to wider society, enhance citizens' understanding of the EU, broaden the ownership of the European project and build trust in the EU.

There will be:

  • six first prizes of 50.000 EUR
  • six second prizes of 30.000 EUR 
  • ten third prizes of 17.000 EUR.

Who can apply

The prize is open to individuals or groups of individuals (natural persons). The individual applicant (or the group leader, in case of groups of individuals applying) must have at least a Master's Degree and must, at the time of the application, be affiliated with a legal entity such as, for example, an academic institution, organisation, civil society organisation, company or other type of legal entity established and based in an EU Member State. Eligible participants include scientists, artists, scholars/researchers, writers, journalists and all kinds of other actors who can contribute to articulating what Europe stands for today and tomorrow and why European citizens should "fall in love with Europe" despite its imperfections.


Registration of intention to apply is compulsory by 16 August 2017.

The deadline for applications is 02 October 2017.

Applications will be assessed in October 2017 and the Award Ceremony will be held in early 2018.


Step 1: In order to take part, potential applicants should read the Contest Rules and register via the online form

 by 16/08/2017.

Step 2: Only Individuals who registered by the deadline above will be invited to submit a full application by 02/10/2017. Applicants will have to submit (online only):




1. Rationale

The European integration project has for six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights, solidarity and free movement in Europe, and has been a world example in balancing prosperity and social welfare.

However, the European project is currently being challenged for what it does and also for what it is. It is criticized and weakened, from within as well as from outside. Much of the public discourse about Europe is currently framed by simplistic populist appeals to emotion and often by false information rather than evidence. Public trust in the ideal of a European Union is low.

Action on many fronts is necessary to redress this "disenchantment" with the EU and to enhance the citizens' understanding and ownership of the European project. Public trust and participation need to be revived. We need to bring the EU, its benefits and its achievements closer to the citizen. We need to reconnect the European Union with its citizens, notably the youth, and to build trust in the EU's capacity to hold the promise to a better future in the making for all.

This requires more than passively disseminating technical information about the EU's institutional set up. Rather, we need to speak up without hesitation about the enormous accomplishments of and benefits from the European integration process. Moreover, we need to do so in a language that the citizen can understand and relate to. There has never been a more urgent time for the EU institutions to reinforce positive messages about the EU's contributions, still without losing sight of failures, contradictions or dilemmas experienced in the European integration process. More than ever before, we need to inform the public objectively about the EU, but also to inspire the citizens and help them develop positive and constructively critical European identities and a sense of belonging to Europe.

The 30th anniversary, in 2016, of the death of Altiero Spinelli1 (one of the founding fathers of the European Union) and the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome are an opportunity for action.

The Commission plans to award a number of "Altiero Spinelli Prize for Outreach: Spreading Knowledge about Europe" (hereafter called "the Prizes") following an EU-wide contest2.


The "Altiero Spinelli Prize for Outreach: Spreading Knowledge about Europe" will reward outstanding contributions that effectively and objectively communicate the EU - its founding values, its history, its action, its key benefits and empowerments- to the citizens, enhance the citizens' understanding of the EU, broaden the ownership of the European project and build trust in the EU's capacity to hold the promise of a better future for all.

2. Objectives - Expected results

The Prizes will encourage, reward and provide European level recognition and visibility to high quality contributions to:

  1. 1)  Promoting knowledge of the EU and critical reflection on the past, present and future of the EU to non-specialist audiences and to the general public.

  2. 2)  Enhancing understanding by citizens of the values, objectives, key benefits and empowerments of the European integration process, of the enormous accomplishments of the EU, of the cost of non-Europe; also of failures, contradictions and dilemmas faced in the process of European integration so far.

  3. 3)  Proposing, testing and assessing innovative approaches and materials that European and national policy makers, practitioners, civil society organisations and institutions in various fields can use to better inform, educate, inspire and empower citizens to develop positive and positively critical European identities and sense of belonging.

  4. 4)  Exposing anti-EU populist myths on various aspects of the European integration process, including extremist rhetoric based on nationalism, intolerance and misinformation about the legitimacy, competencies and actual work of the EU. Demystifying and setting the record straight by conveying an honest and factual truth.

Prizes will be awarded to the most attractive, non-conventional, user-friendly, evidence- based, and myth-busting works that achieve the objectives set above and that are suitable for outreach to a variety of audiences.

The Prizes will be awarded for outstanding works that are informed by, exploit, and effectively communicate to wider society and to ordinary citizens the findings, knowledge and insights emerging from research3 on the processes of European Integration. For example, through publications, media productions, audio-visual works, newspapers, films, documentaries, exhibitions/events, TV series, radio-programmes, work of fiction, MOOCs,


fact-checking initiatives or other cultural "products" or means or emblematic initiatives or combinations/families of such works.

The Prizes will be conferred at an award ceremony.

Synergies of the winners with existing EU programmes and actions (e.g. Jean Monnet Activities, EU public communication campaigns, etc.) are expected. For example, if academics, the prize winners will be encouraged to join the Jean Monnet Community of academics4 in the future. If not academics, prize winners may cooperate with the Jean Monnet Community of academics in the future. Also, the winners will be expected to take part in public events organised by the European Commission to support the European Union's communication campaign.

3. Award criteria

The Prizes are cash prizes to be awarded as "recognition prizes" for outstanding, relevant and up-to-date work that is finalized at the cut-off date and has been completed in the last two years prior to application


as "incentive prizes" for work which may still be in progress but at a sufficiently advanced preparation stage at the cut-off date that the potential is already convincingly demonstrated and with a completion date in clear view.

The Prizes will be awarded to the proposals that, in the opinion of the jury, best address the objectives set out above and will be assessed against the following criteria:

1) Quality and relevance (maximum 50 points)

  •   How the work you are proposing is relevant to/addresses the four objectives laid out in the previous section.

  •   The level of ambition of the work proposed and the realism of the management plan proposed.

  •   The degree to which the proposed work is interesting, accessible and attractive to a wider constituency, user-friendly, informative, evidence-based, myth-busting, sober, clear, in tune with the times, fit-for-purpose and suitable for outreach to a variety of audiences and to various age groups and life situations.

  •   The extent to which the work proposed is engaging by providing something interesting and useful to its audiences, as well as the potential of the proposed work to strike emotional chords (through, for example, not just facts but real stories about real people).

  •   The degree to which the proposed work is designed from the perspective of its end-users and adapting to local circumstances (if it is not a piece of work for universal use).

  •   The quality of the dissemination/outreach plan or distribution strategy that has been followed/will be followed in order to ensure the maximum exposure and impact.

  •   How adaptable the proposed work is to multiple delivery platforms and formats (for example, digital, web, TV, radio, cinema, the press, etc.).

  •   The tone of the work that is proposed. This is expected to be balanced and forward-looking.

    2) Added value, existing impact and/or potential for future impact (max 50 points)

  •   The added value of the work proposed and the impact the work had/is having/is expected to have, including indicators of achievement.

  •   The specific groups of citizens, age groups and number of citizens the proposed action has reached/is expected to reach and influence, directly or indirectly.

  •   How the target groups were/will be reached and involved and how the action benefited/will benefit the target groups at local, regional, national or European level. How well did the work meet/will meet/will continue to meet the objectives of the Prize?

  •   How suitable the proposed work is for universal use or how well it is adapted to national and regional realities in order for audiences to relate to the content and feel it is tailor-made for them.

4. Evaluation procedure

The Rules of Contest are established and published by the Commission, which will manage the contest and award the prizes based on the assessment carried out by a jury of external independent evaluators appointed by the Commission.

The candidates will have to provide proof of eligibility and a written description of their work using the specified e-application forms, as well as either the whole work itself or a part of it or/and images/footage/photos of it as appropriate depending on its nature.

Eligible applications will be evaluated by the independent jury, tentatively in October 2017. The jury will evaluate each application against the award criteria mentioned in the previous section.

To be considered eligible for the Prize, an entry must get a minimum total mark of 70/100 (cumulative for both criteria together). The evaluated proposals that pass the 70/100 threshold will be ranked. Passing the 70/100 threshold is a pre-condition but not a guarantee for award.


Upon completion of their work, the members of the jury will sign a record of all the entries examined, containing an assessment of their quality and will identify those the jury recommends for prizes.

All contestants should normally be informed about the outcome of the evaluation by the end of 2017.

5. Eligibility criteria

The contest is open to individuals or groups of individuals (natural persons). The individuals (or the group leader, in case of a group of individuals applying) must have at least a Master's Degree and, at the time of application, be affiliated with an academic /research institution, organisation, civil society organisation, company or other type of legal entity) established and based in an EU Member State.

Eligible participants include scholars/researchers, scientists, writers, journalists, artists and all kinds of other actors who can contribute to articulating what Europe stands for today and tomorrow and why European citizens should "fall in love with Europe" despite its imperfections.

Applicants from all EU-relevant fields of study and sectors of work are eligible, most notably the social sciences, the arts and humanities and the fields of media and communication. Cooperation across disciplines/sectors is encouraged.

Applicants who have already received an EU prize or other European funding cannot receive a second prize for the same activities.

6. Deadlines and admissibility of proposals

The application process will be in two steps:

Step 1: Registration.

Participants must declare their intention to participate in the Contest using the online registration form by 23:59 (CET) 16 August 2017. Registration is compulsory using the online registration form available at: spinelli-registration-form. Any e-mails and abstracts received at the registration stage will NOT be taken into account at the proposal evaluation stage.

Step 2: Submission of applications.

Submission of applications will open on Thursday 17 August and close on Monday 02 October 2017, 12:00 (CET).
Applications must be submitted online using the relevant submission forms to be provided (on 17/08) by email invitation to registered applicants. Paper/postal submissions will not be accepted.

Applications must be submitted in English.

While the application must be in English, the work proposed/described in the application can be in any other official EU language.

No changes to the application can be made after the deadline. However, if there is a need to clarify certain (administrative) aspects, the applicant may be contacted for this purpose.

Applications must be readable and printable. Incomplete applications may be considered inadmissible if essential elements are missing.

Applicants are strongly advised to submit their applications well in advance of the deadline and to keep proof of the submission of their application.

In cases of unfinished work, the deadline for the finalisation of the proposed work is the date of the award ceremony. The award ceremony is foreseen to take place in the first trimester of 2018. The exact date will be announced to the winners as early as possible.

The Contest itself, the winners and the winning entries will be advertised through various channels, including the Jean Monnet community of academics.

7. Amounts for the prize

There will be six first prizes of 50,000 EUR, six second prizes of 30,000 EUR and ten third prizes of 17,000 EUR.

The amount of the prize will not be linked to any costs incurred by the winners.

8. Payment Arrangements

The prize money will be paid in one instalment after the award ceremony by bank transfer, provided all the requested documents have been submitted.

9. Documents

Contestants may be asked at a later stage for further documents (for legal entity validation, bank account validation, ethics review, declaration of honour on exclusion grounds, etc.).

10. Publicity — Promoting the prize — Visibility of EU funding

10.1 Publicity by the Prize winner(s)

The winner(s) must promote the award, by providing targeted information to multiple audiences (including the media and the public) in a strategic and effective manner.

Unless the Commission requests or agrees otherwise or unless it is impossible, any communication activity related to the action (including in electronic form, via social media, etc.) must:

a) display the EU emblem5 and
b) includethefollowingtext:
“has been awarded the Altiero Spinelli Prize for Outreach: Spreading Knowledge about Europe from the European Union”.
When displayed together with another logo, the EU emblem must have appropriate prominence.

For the purposes of its obligations, the winner(s) may use the EU emblem without first obtaining approval from the Commission.

This does not, however, give it the right to exclusive use.

Moreover, the winner(s) may not appropriate the EU emblem or any similar trademark or logo, either by registration or by any other means.

10.2 Publicity by the Commission

The Commission may use, for its communication and publicising activities, information relating to the action, documents notably summaries for publication and deliverables as well as any other material, such as pictures or audio-visual material that it receives from the winner(s) (including in electronic form).

The Commission will publish the name of the winner(s), their origin, the amount of the prize and its nature and purpose— unless the winner has requested to waive this publication (because of disclosure risks threatening its security and safety or harm its commercial interest).

Photos and videos taken by the Commission either in preparation of the award ceremony or during the award ceremony are the sole property of the Commission.

11. Exclusion criteria

Contestants will be excluded if they (or key persons that have power of representation, decision-making or control over them)6:

  •   are bankrupt or being wound up, are having its affairs administered by the courts, have entered into an arrangement with creditors, have suspended business activities, are the subject of such proceedings or a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations;

  •   have been convicted of an offence concerning professional conduct by a judgment of a competent authority of a Member State which has the force of res judicata

  •   have been guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the EU bodies can justify (including by decisions of the European Investment Bank and international organisations)

  •   are not in compliance with all their obligations relating to social security contributions and taxes (in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in

which it is established, with those of the country of the authorising officer responsible and those of the country where the activity is to be implemented)

  •   have been the subject of a judgement which has the force of res judicata for fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering or any other illegal activity that is detrimental to the EU's financial interests

  •   are subject to an administrative penalty for misrepresenting the information required for participating in a procurement procedure or another grant award procedure or failing to supply this information, or declared to be in serious breach of its obligations under contracts or agreements covered by the EU budget.

  •   are subject to a conflict of interests in connection with the prize

  •   have been granted or have granted, have sought, have attempted to obtain, or have accepted an advantage, financial or in kind, to or from any party whatsoever, where this constitutes an illegal practice or involves corruption, either directly or indirectly and is an incentive or reward relating to the award of the prize.

12. Processing of personal data
12.1 Processing of personal data by the Commission

Any personal data will be processed by the Commission under Regulation No 45/2014 and according to the ‘notifications of the processing operations’ to the Data Protection Officer (DPO) of the Commission (publicly accessible in the DPO register).

Such data will be processed by the "data controller" of the Commission for the purposes of the award, implementation and follow-up of the prize or protecting the financial interests of the EU (including checks, audits and investigations; see below).

The persons whose personal data are processed have the right to access and correct their own personal data. For this purpose, they must send any queries about the processing of their personal data to the data controller, via the contact point indicated in the ‘service specific privacy statement(s) (SSPS)’ that are published on the Commission websites.

They also have the right to have recourse at any time to the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS). The winner(s) consent that the Commission publishes (in whatever form and medium) the following information:

  1. a)  name

  2. b)  Member State of origin (address or NUTS 2 region)

  3. c)  their activities in relation to the award of the prize (via the summary for

    publication they provided)

  4. d)  prize amount.

12.2. Processing of personal data by the contestants

The contestants must process personal data in compliance with applicable EU and national law on data protection (including authorisations or notification requirements).

The contestants may grant their personnel access only to data that is strictly necessary for the award, implementation or follow-up of the prize.


The contestants must inform the personnel whose personal data are collected and processed by the Commission. For this purpose, they must provide them with the service specific privacy statement(s) (SSPS) (see above), before transmitting their data to the Commission.

13. Ethics

The activities must be carried out in compliance with: a) ethical principles and
b) applicable international, EU and national law.

No prize will be awarded for activities carried out outside the EU, if they are prohibited in all Member States.

14. Conflict of interest

The contestants must take all measures to prevent any situation where the impartial and objective award of the prize is compromised for reasons involving economic interest, political or national affinity, family or emotional ties or any other shared interest ("conflict of interests").

They must inform the Commission without delay of any situation constituting or likely to lead to a conflict of interests and immediately take all the necessary steps to rectify this situation.

The Commission may verify that the measures taken are appropriate and may require additional measures to be taken by a specified deadline.

15. Liability for damages

The Commission cannot be held liable for any damage caused to the contestants or to third parties as a consequence of the award or implementation of the prize, including for gross negligence.

The Commission cannot be held liable for any damage caused by any of the contestants, as a consequence of activities linked to the prize.

16. Administrative and financial penalties

If a contestant has committed irregularities or fraud or has made false declarations, the Commission may also impose:

  1. a)  an administrative penalty excluding the contestants from all contracts, grants and contests financed from the EU budget for a maximum of five years (or 10 years in case of repetition) and/or

  2. b)  a financial penalty between 2% and 10% of the value of the prize (or between 4% and 20% in case of repetition).


17. Checks, Audits and Investigations

The Commission, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the Court of Auditors may carry out checks, audits and investigations in relation to the prize.

18. Withdrawal of the prize – Recovery of undue amounts

The Commission may withdraw the prize and recover all payments made, if it finds out that:

a) false information or fraud or corruption was used to obtain the prize or b) the winner was not eligible or should have been excluded.

19. Applicable law and competent jurisdiction

The contest is governed by the applicable Union law complemented, where necessary, by the law of Belgium. The General Court or, on appeal, the Court of Justice of the European Union, shall have sole jurisdiction to hear any dispute between the Union and any participant concerning the interpretation, application or validity of the rules of this contest, if such dispute cannot be settled amicably. For participants that are International organisations such disputes with the Commission relating to the Contest must - if they cannot be settled amicably- be referred to arbitration.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration Optional Rules for Arbitration Involving International Organisations and States in force at the date of entry into force of the Contest will apply.

20. Evidence upon request

The Commission may request information and applicable evidence as indicated under section V "Evidence upon request" in the Declaration on Honour.

21. Cancelation/Early termination of the contest

The Commission may cancel or terminate the contest before its closing date or decide not to award a prize — without any obligation to indemnify contestants — if:

  •   the objective of the contest has been achieved by a non-participating entity

  •   no applications are received

  •   the jury does not find a winner (no applicant reaches the objectives) or

  •   the winner is not eligible or must be excluded.

22. Contact:

In case of questions, please contact us via email to:



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