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Finalists for the RegioStars 2015 awards announced

Published on July 27, 2015 by in blog

The European Commission has announced the 17 finalists for the RegioStars 2015 awards which honour Europe’s most inspirational and innovative regional projects supported by EU Cohesion Policy Funds.

An independent jury selected the finalists from 143 entries on the basis of four key criteria: innovation, impact, sustainability and partnership. These projects should serve as best practices examples for other regions and cities, illustrating the kind of investments that the Commission wants to see more of in the future.

The finalists come from regions and cities in 15 Member States: ‪‎Austria, ‪‎Bulgaria, ‪‎Czech Republic, ‪‎Denmark, ‪‎France, ‪‎Greece, ‪‎Hungary, ‪‎Italy, ‪‎Ireland, ‪‎Poland, ‪‎Portugal, ‪‎Romania, ‪‎Spain, ‪‎Sweden and the ‪‎United Kingdom.

The four winners in each category – Smart Growth, Sustainable Growth, Inclusive Growth and CityStars – will be announced during the 2015 Open Days event in Brussels from 12 to 15 October 2015. 


UK finalists are:

Category 1 – SMART GROWTH: Unleashing SME growth potential for a digital economy

-Digital Tourism (Wales, UK)

Category 2 – SUSTAINABLE GROWTH: Mobilizing investments in energy efficiency for the benefit of citizens and society

-London Green Fund (UK)

Category 3 – INCLUSIVE GROWTH: Integrating in society those at risk of social exclusion

-Fit for Work (Wales, UK)

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Third year strumming for Our Big Gig in the Library with Europe Direct Leeds

Published on July 22, 2015 by in blog

What do a bandurria and a laúd have in common? They are both stringed instruments similar to a lute and they both originate in Spain.

Tim Moon was on hand to demonstrate these and dozens of other musical instruments from around Europe at this year’s Our Big Gig in the Library.

This is the third year running when the Central Library has blown away the cobwebs and rocked it to the rafters as part of the annual national music festival.

Our Big Gig is a community music celebration which takes place across England in July each year. The events aim to bring communities together to celebrate their local musical talents and get more people involved in music making.

The Leeds Youth Percussion Ensemble, led by their teacher and conductor Nic Shipp, drew an appreciative audience to the ArtSpace while the Art Library basked on the gentler sound of the North Leeds String Orchestra led by conductor Amy Levene.

Both groups are part of Leeds ArtForms which offers music learning opportunities in schools and in the community through its network of music centres.

If you are thinking of taking up a new musical challenge (or revisiting an old one) the Music & Preforming Arts Library has information about these, and other opportunities to get involved.

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Drop’pin and go far

Published on July 20, 2015 by in blog, slider

European Commission’s Drop’pin website aims to help young people eager to improve their skills

There are many unemployed young people in Europe who are eager to get a foot on the employment ladder but don’t know how to take the first step. Perhaps they don’t have enough confidence or they don’t have all the skills they need. Led by the European Commission, Drop’pin is a new platform to help bring young people looking to better their knowledge, skills and abilities closer to organisations offering opportunities to improve them. Drop’pin is not a job-matching site but it lists apprenticeships, traineeships, training programmes, e-learning courses, language training, mentoring and coaching schemes, as well as various social services (such as assistance with housing), across a range of sectors. It enables organisations such as large corporations, SMEs and NGOs to promote youth-oriented opportunities to a ready and willing pool of young people. It also facilitates networking and collaboration across Europe with the aim of forming partnerships to create programmes to improve young people’s employability and develop the hard-to-find skills that businesses need.



Do you want to increase your chances of finding a job by upgrading your skills?
Don’t know where to begin?
Drop’pin is the place for you. This new online platform is where you can discover opportunities
to improve your employability, and bridge the gap between education and a
future career. Whatever kind of opportunity you’re looking for to improve your chances of
finding a job in Europe, Drop’pin has something for you.
With apprenticeships, traineeships, training programmes, e-learning courses, language
training, mentoring and coaching schemes in a range of sectors, as well as support for
moving to another country, Drop’pin is the place to find youth opportunities in Europe.
By signing up to Drop’pin, you will increase your chances of finding a job in the future that
links to your interests and skills, whatever sector you hope to work in.
Sign up for Drop’pin today and
make yourself more employable!
Are you looking to take your first
steps into the world of work?
Discover hundreds of opportunities, free of charge, for boosting your employability
Find out more about and follow a range of organisations across Europe who are
looking to invest in young people like you
Learn about the support available to upgrade your skills in other European
Get advice and information on your personal and professional development
Connect with other young Europeans and share your experiences

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2015 Kirkstall Festival

Published on July 17, 2015 by in blog

The 2015 Kirkstall Festival took place on Saturday 11th July in the picturesque grounds of the 12th Century Kirkstall Abbey.

Europe Direct Leeds had a stall at the festival along with Leeds Libraries and the children’s mobile library. We provided a wide range of Europe Direct leaflets and booklets – the most popular of which were the Passports and information on travelling abroad.

We ran a successful quiz on Citizenship Rights in Europe.  We also had a flag challenge to name the most European flags in 1 minute. We spoke to around 350 people, many of whom were unaware of their rights in Europe or the fact that so much information was freely available.

We also worked with the library to attract younger people with the mobile library and outdoor games on the grass. The day was busy and very successful in promoting the service.

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Summer Reading Challenge 2015

Published on July 10, 2015 by in blog

2015 Summer Reading Challenge kicks off on Saturday the 11th July until the 12th September. The launch event takes place at Pudsey Library at 10 am with events happening throughout the summer at all Leeds libraries and mobiles

The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays.  You can sign up at your local library, then read six library books of your choice, collecting stickers and other rewards along the way – all FREE.


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Kirkstall Festival 2015 11th July

Published on July 10, 2015 by in blog

Come and meet the EUROPE DIRECT Leeds team at Kirkstall festival  Saturday 11th July we will have lots of information about your rights as European citizens , fun activities and a quiz which is free to enter with prizes to be won.

 The library van will be there so you can find out about the whole range of services offered by the whole of Leeds library and information service as well as the EUROPE DIRECT team.
The whole festival promises to be bigger and better than ever this year and we look forward to meeting you all


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Horsforth Gala on Saturday 27th June 2015

Published on July 2, 2015 by in blog

Horsforth Gala is an annual community event proved to be a great success again this year. This family fun day attracted hundreds of people. The local community had a fantastic choice of activities to get involved  a family fairground, bouncy castles, children’s activities and many others.

Leeds Europe Direct and Library Service participated with one of Children’s Mobile, which was a very popular attraction. Families liked browsing books on the colourful bus; young children particularly enjoyed playing the Connect 4 game and taking part in a special story time “Rumble in the Jungle”.


The Europe Direct Leeds provided information about citizenship, consumer rights, travel, languages, health, employment and education. There was the quiz about how much you know about your rights, as a European citizen.  There was the prize draw for a £25 book voucher. There also were fun colouring children’s activities and the quiz ‘Which flag belongs to which country’ and a word search on European capitals. The ‘Passport to the European Union’, ‘Let’s explore Europe’ and ‘Tales of our forests’ were particularly attractive to young people.

It was great to meet so many people. Many thanks to Helen Berry for planning and organizing the Library’s involvement to the Gala and to the rest of team on the day .




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Theme of the Month – July #eyd2015 Children and Youth

Published on July 1, 2015 by in blog

Children and Youth

When world leaders signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child 25 years ago, they promised to guarantee every child the right to life, to be educated and healthy, to be treated fairly and to be heard. But has the world kept its promises? As Nelson Mandela said, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Can today’s children look forward to a brighter future? And what about the children of tomorrow?



Website on the Rights of the Child

Designed for children and teenagers, using games, animations, videos, and short articles. Young people can learn more about their rights and about EU efforts to protect these rights. They can also find contact points in the EU countries to which they can turn if they feel their rights are violated.


Kids’ Corner


Education, training & youth

Investment in education and training
is crucial for boosting young people’s
personal development and job


The new Erasmus+, programme is designed to tackle youth unemployment by improving young people’s skills and employability.

EU Bookshop:




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UK REFERENDUM-useful links

Published on June 29, 2015 by in blog


Now that the  Conservative Government has committed the UK to a referendum on continued membership of the EU, here are some useful links:

Track progress of the European Union Referendum Bill 2015-16, announced in the Queen’s Speech and published on 28 May.

Between 2012 and the end of 2014, the coalition government published a Review of the balance of competences between the EU and the UK. The 14 lengthy reports appeared with little publicity and no official summary has been published. This full briefing by the Senior European Experts attempts to fill the gap.

A legal analysis of the ways in which treaties have been adapted in the past has been written for the European Parliament by Professor Steve Peers: Trends in differentiation of EU law and lessons for the future.

Britain’s fraught relationship with Europe is analysed in a study prepared by Ireland’s leading think tank, the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA): Britain and Europe: the endgame – an Irish perspective.

The BBC’s guide to the UK’s planned in-out EU referendum gives brief answers to key questions.

A wide range of material can be found via European Sources Online.

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