Born in 2021, the Europe Challenge is an annual programme that offers funding and support to libraries and communities to explore how we can meet, live together, and work in the Europe of today. Europe today faces great challenges: war, polarisation, disinformation, climate, energy and cultural crises. If we are to respond to these challenges, the people of Europe must lead the way in solidarity
However, to find solidarity, there must be safe spaces where people can come together and build understanding. Libraries are, increasingly, trusted democratic spaces which provide access to knowledge and information and are recognisable to all.
Libraries who have received support from the Europe Challenge have tackled issues around STEM participation for women to mental health following on from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to building a circular economy and more. While these projects all deal with various pressing societal issues, they place their community at the heart of the projects and challenge and empower them to find local solutions to change Europe.
At its core, the Europe Challenge reminds us of the importance of community hubs like libraries to exchange and construct solutions together. Safe, trusted, community spaces are crucial in challenging periods like the one Europe is facing to ensure continuous access to information and resources to those most vulnerable and to support community ties.
Find out more about the Europe Challenge and libraries taking part in the 2022 Europe Challenge as well as past participants.
Copyright: European Cultural Foundation