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Congratulations to Lublin, Source: European Youth Forum's Facebook page

Lublin impresses jury to become the 2023 European Youth Capital

Lublin impresses jury to become the 2023 European Youth Capital

A nod to the resilience shown by local authorities and NGOs

Lublin, a city in eastern Poland, will be the 2023 European Youth Capital. The news was announced on Saturday, 27 February, by the European Youth Forum – organizers of the prestigious annual contest that seeks to highlight cities’ efforts to include youth participation in decision making and boost their role in municipal public life.

This year, for now-known reasons, it was not possible to hold an awards ceremony, so the competition took place in a largely virtual format. Lublin beat other finalists Baia Mare (Romania) and Kazan (Tatarstan in Russia) to become the first Polish city to hold the title of European Youth Capital.

This is the first time a Polish city wins the distinction

Lublin’s win is important as it sends an important message of support from Europe to youth and organizations promoting values, such as inclusion, support, tolerance, unity and diversity. Such people and associations may live in difficult environments and be subject to suspicion, rejection and marginalization by powerful actors yet they also manage to survive and continue advocating for the important issues they believe in.

Receiving the crown of European Youth Capital is not only a privilege but also a responsibility to serve as an example to other young people from Europe and beyond.

We have every reason to celebrate. Our application resulted from a joint effort by many representatives of Lublin's NGOs, Youth City Council, students, informal youth groups, and City Hall employees. Thanks to the efforts and commitment of many, we shall implement a varied programme, full of activities that will make young people’s dreams, passions and aspirations come true,” said Krzysztof Żuk, the Mayor of Lublin, on the occasion.

The independent jury, composed of representatives from various highly-renowned European institutions, associations and media were impressed by the determination of the Lublin organizers who, as is well known, have to operate in difficult circumstances due to the political climate in their country. One of the notable actions which put them ahead of the pack was the fight they undertook against the imposition of the so-called LGBT-free zones.

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