Today, May 17, Vinnytsia Mayor was presented with an international award - the Plaque of Honour of the Council of Europe. This is the third prize awarded by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to Vinnytsia. The award was presented by Yuliia Ovchynnykova, Member of the Permanent Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, People's Deputy of Ukraine.
The Council of Europe awarded the Plaque of Honour to Vinnytsia in 2020. Traditionally, this high European award is presented during city events with the participation of community residents. However, due to the pandemic and quarantine restrictions, the award ceremony has only just taken place now. This award was preceded by the European Diploma (2013) and the Flag of Honour (2015), which are the first and second degrees of the award.
During the presentation of the award, Yuliia Ovchynnykova noted that the Council of Europe is a powerful organization that was created after the Second World War in 1949, unites 47 states, and the European Prize is the highest award for cities and municipalities.
"I would like to congratulate you on a very high award. I would like to note that in 2020 it was 65 years since the Prize was established in 1955. It is a great honor for us to be present here today and to present you with a high award, which is a symbol, first of all, of the fact that the city is following the European course, implementing European standards and upholding European values. There are 13 partner cities from European countries with which the city of Vinnytsia actively cooperates. We hope that this international vector and this cooperation will continue in favor of the development of the city and in favor of the development of European cooperation. I am proud that I am involved in the city of Vinnytsia and that every year the city of Vinnytsia is recognized as the most comfortable city in Ukraine. I sincerely believe that the next step will be the Europe Prize, whereas today's Distinction is in fact the third step. I would like to congratulate you and wish you development, prosperity, a European course and all the best. We are proud to be here today and to celebrate one of the best cities in Ukraine," said Yuliia Ovchynnykova, a member of the Permanent Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Mayor Serhii Morhunov said during the award ceremony that he was pleased to receive the honorary European award for our city. In fact, this Distinction is the last step to the most important award of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe - the Europe Prize.
"You have no idea how important it is for us to receive the Plaque of Honour of the Council of Europe today. We will all work as a community to get the highest award. I know that our Ukrainian delegation is the most active in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and it is indeed an important platform for defending Ukraine’s interests and Ukraine’s entry into the European family. This award is our third stage, but it is important how much the community perceives these European aspirations. The city of Vinnytsia should be a modern, comfortable, European city of smiling and positive people. Unfortunately, the pandemic is making its adjustments, because we received previous awards in public during the celebrations of Europe Day and the City Day. I think we will receive the most important award on Independence Square. There is something to work on, but the most important thing is that we are united in this," Serhii Morhunov added.
Together with the city of Vinnytsia, on May 19, 2020, the European Prize Subcommittee awarded the Plaque of Honour to 7 more municipalities from France, Germany, Italy, Serbia, and Turkey.
Created by the Parliamentary Assembly of
the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg in 1955, the Europe Prize is
the highest distinction that can be bestowed on European cities and
municipalities for active promotion of European values.
city or municipality that seeks to get the Europe Prize must
consistently participate in competitions for the following awards - from
the lowest level to the highest one: the European Diploma, the Flag of
Honour, the Plaque of Honour, and the Europe Prize. The prize consists
of a trophy, a medal, a diploma, and a scholarship to be spent on a
study visit to European institutions for young people from the winning
European prizes can be awarded to cities and municipalities
that espouse European values, participate in partnership projects,
exchanges in education, culture and sports, organize European events as
well as are members of municipal or local government organizations and
support solidarity initiatives.