“Europe can you hear us?” is the name of the competition announced on the occasion of marking Europe Day within the EU4ME project financed by the European Union. The competition organisers received 900 art pieces through which students from various art forms showed what their peers in Europe should know about Montenegro and how they see Montenegro in Europe.

For the winners of the competition, the awarding ceremony was held in the EU Info Centre. The authors of the three-best art pieces among the students were Veljko Crvenica, Nikolina Krasic, and Andrea Vukcevic from the elementary schools: Milorad Musa Burzan, Pavle Rovinski and Vuk Karadžić, in Podgorica. In the category of high school students, the best art pieces for the competition were by Evgenia Kesse from the secondary school “Ivan Goran Kovacic” from Herceg Novi, as well as Polina Lazarenko and Borko Popovic from the Petar Lubarda Art School.

The expert jury, consisting of the academic painter Teodora Nikcevic, and the writer Milisav Popovic, as well as representatives of the project team, selected three best art works (six in total – three in the category of primary school students, and three in the category of secondary school students), whose authors were awarded with laptops, tablets, and smartwatches. The awards were presented by the Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Drljevic, the EU Ambassador to Montenegro Aivo Orav, and the Permanent Representative of UNDP in Montenegro Daniela Gasparikova.

Primary and secondary school students understand the essence of the EU accession process, which is not only a mere fulfilment of demanding obligations, but also the linking of cultures and values, learning about others, and accepting diversity, said the Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Drljevic. He added that the students showed that Montenegro has always been a European country and that tomorrow it will be a worthy member of the European Union community.

“Knowledge is the power and your stake for the future, which is why you need to diligently upgrade your own knowledge. In the sea of ​​information seeking your attention, leave room for both the EU and the way of our country towards it. It is important for the EU to be a part of your formal and informal education, but you should always seek new insights, in order to build your own vision of the importance of a European democratic society,” said the main negotiator.

The European Union Ambassador to Montenegro, Aivo Orav, stated that every EU policy has an impact on the younger population, which is why it is important to provide the opportunity for children to express their opinions and participate in decisions that affect them.

“Your works show that you already share the values ​​of the EU, human dignity, the freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and human rights. From songs to pictures, every word and every move of your brush assures us that Montenegro is generating generations that will open the way to a better future, and a brighter Europe,” said Ambassador Orav.

According to UNDP Resident Representative in Montenegro, Daniela Gasparikova, the future of Europe – including Montenegro – depends entirely on the youth.

“The behaviour, attitudes, and behaviour of young people will not only shape our future but they also shape our present. It is important that young people have a say in the situation in their countries, as well as the way they say it,” Gasparikova said.