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Europe honours Cardiff

 

Europe honours Cardiff

 

Cardiff has been awarded the Plaque of Honour by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The plaque was presented to the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Cllr Bob Derbyshire and Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, by Baroness Doreen Massey, representing the Council of Europe, at a special ceremony at Central Library Hub attended by local groups with international connections.

The Plaque of Honour is the second highest distinction after the Europe Prize and is awarded to around 10 municipalities each year. Cardiff is the only UK city to receive any part of the Europe Prize this year.

 

The Europe Prize was created in 1955 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to reward towns and municipalities that have been especially active in promoting the European ideal.

 

There are four tiers to the initiative and the awarding of the various prize levels is progressive. Town and cities must first achieve the European Diploma, the Flag of Honour, then the Plaque of Honour in order to compete at the highest level for the Europe Prize.

 

Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: "This is a real honour for the city. Cardiff prides itself on its international outlook, and we embrace our links with cities and regions around the world.

 

"We recognise there are opportunities to learn from and share with our European partners to enrich the lives of people living in our respective cities.

 

"We have strong links with European organisations, partners and networks and are keen to continue these positive relationships to ensure that Cardiff continues to reach out across the globe."

 

Across Europe, Cardiff has twinning arrangements with Nantes in France, Lugansk in Ukraine, Stuttgart in Germany and Hordaland in Norway.

 

The city's oldest twinning link with Stuttgart dates back to 1955 and its 60thanniversary in 2015 was marked with a programme of events in both cities.

 

Exchange visits regularly take place between Cardiff and Stuttgart and the Cardiff-Stuttgart Association regularly meets in the city and often holds Skype meetings with Stuttgart-based friends.

 

Other initiatives celebrating the European ideal include Cardiff and Nantes Councils co-operating on horticultural projects based around the RHS Spring Show and Rugby World Cup which included exchanges of gardening apprentices, a Cardiff-Hordaland schools link and various educational and cultural exchange visits for young people and adults.

 

The prize was also in recognition of an outward looking European programme that has operated from the Central Library Hub for the last few years within the Europe Direct Information Centre. This has been delivered through events welcoming international students to the City, Business Seminars supporting Small Medium Enterprise businesses, European Day of Languages events and digital activities amongst others. The Library has developed an extensive network of European partners that have collaborated on a diverse and enriching offer to Cardiff's citizens and those visiting the City from overseas for study, leisure and work.

 

The Library has also worked extensively with Cardiff Schools on European Christmas Tree Decoration exchanges with Schools across Europe and has engaged in an outreach programme within colleges, festivals and events within the City to ensure European information and opportunities are made available to Cardiff Citizens.