The first three thesis prizes of the Stefan Zweig Fellowships programme were awarded on Friday as part of the annual closing ceremony at the Collège d'Europe in Bruges, Belgium, on 23 June 2023.
Anže Mediževec, Mathilda Schulenberg, and Flaminia Bonnani were announced as the recipients of the awards for their work, which explored different facets of the challenges facing contemporary Europe, from the protection of human rights to gender mainstreaming and trust in EU institutions.
The programme also awarded two scholarships for the coming 2023-2024 academic year to Alejandro Sánchez Bañares, who is examining the impact of the decline in youth mental health on European unity, and Gaspard Toussaint, whose work is focussed on the future of the free press in Europe.
The Stefan Zweig Fellowships programme aims to support students whose work responds to two themes: "Precarity of European Values and Peace" and "Unity of Europeans vs Nationalism". The recipients were selected by a committee that included Evens Foundation board member Deborah Flon and former chairwoman Monique Canto Sperber.
“As we are in Europe today witnessing a worrying rise in extremes and a radicalisation of discourse, it is more necessary than ever to listen to the signs of hope that call for a mobilisation of ideas and actions in favour of European values," explained Canto Sperber.
Conceived by the co-founder, board members and friends of the Foundation, the Stefan Zweig programme aims to support the next generation of bright minds and pioneering thinkers in Europe. It targets young post-graduates who are working around some of the key challenges facing contemporary Europe, primarily through financial support and academic partnerships.
It is named after Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist, and biographer Stefan Zweig. "Stefan Zweig was one of the few writers who had a clear idea of the dangers that threatened Europe," explained Raymond Georis, philanthropist and friend of the Foundation. Read more about the programme here.