Niš, 15 December 2022

Super skills for the future on the pages of the 2023 EU PRO Plus programme Calendar

Marta Stojanović, a student of the Grammar School "Svetozar Marković" from Surdulica, won the first prize in the EU PRO Plus programme Calendar Competition for 2023, while the second and third prize have been awarded to Aiša Krkušić and Nejla Bogućanin from the School of Textile and Leather Design from Novi Pazar. According to the votes of the audience and the expert jury, their artworks responded best to the competition topic "What is Your Super Skill?", while the Art School from Niš was declared the best school based on engagement and dedication during the preparation of the school competition.

For more than a decade, the European Union (EU) in partnership with the Ministry of European Integration and UNOPS has been organising this art competition to encourage talented and creative students to become informed and artistically express their views on socially relevant topics. Young artists from 72 secondary schools from Šumadija, Western, Southern and Eastern Serbia, in their response to the competition theme "What is your superskill?", presented their talents and superskills, but also how through their development and use in the future profession, they would contribute to their communities.

"The European Commission declared 2023 the European Year of Skills, and that's why, through this traditional art competition, we encouraged young people to think how to develop and apply their talents and skills in their future professions. We are always glad when we have the opportunity to work and spend time with young people because in that way we can learn about your views, ideas and how we can support you. And we saw that you are extremely talented in various fields, from art and architecture, science and research, sports, music and design to information technologies and environmental protection", said Head of Information, Communication and Press of the EU Delegation to Serbia Paul-Henri Presset. While congratulating the winners, Presset said that the EU continuously supports young people in Serbia, and that calendars with artistic works will be on the desks of many people from the Delegation of the European Union and institutions of the Republic of Serbia in the next twelve months.

A record number of 257 works from 72 schools from the territory covered by the EU PRO Plus programme were submitted for the Art competition, which was open from October 17 to 20 November 2022.

"Marta, Aiša and Nejla have demonstrated not only their artistic gift and creativity, but also noble intentions to make this society a better place to live by planning to engage in education, science and environmental protection. They are the first three of the many talented young people who applied for this competition, showing that you follow the developments in our country and plan to choose your future professions in order to make this society  that lives European values and is part of the European Union, better place," said Ivana Đurić, from the Ministry of European Integration, while congratulating the students, as well as the professors who encouraged the students to apply and to develop their talents.

“This is the best part of the year for our programme since we are counting successes and results and we have the opportunity to implement activities with you young people. You give us ideas and encouragement to do better in our work and focus projects on young people and their needs", said Olivera Kostić, manager of the EU PRO Plus programme.

Apart from the first three awarded artworks, the EU PRO calendar for the following year also features the artworks of Strahinja Simonović from Niš, Tina Grljanović from Jagodina, Nina Popović from Kragujevac, Mirsada Arifović from Novi Pazar, Marina Ćiprijanović from Vranje, Sara Glukčević from Kraljevo, Nataša Filipović from Paraćin, Bojana Popović from Čačak and Stanisava Svičević from Prijepolje. The authors of these 12 works have been awarded with the laptop and tablet computers and mobile phones, while the Niš Art School was awarded a laptop and a projector. The results of the art competition can be found on the programme website EU PRO Plus 2023 Calendar Competition Results