EBRD, Financial Times and UniCredit Group launch “Born in ‘89” essay competition

By EBRD  Press Office

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The EBRD, the Financial Times and the UniCredit Group are launching an essay competition “Born in ‘89” to commemorate the historic events of autumn 1989.

The fall of the Iron Curtain liberated the people and countries of Central and Eastern Europe and ended the division of the continent.

This new generation of young people born in 1989 grew up in a time of rapid change and massive upheaval. The old order of communist rule and state-owned economy had ceased to exist, but a new order had yet to be established and secured. Now, just as they are coming of age, they are living through the worst financial and economic crisis in decades.

With the competition the organisers aim to discover how the young generation in the EBRD region has witnessed and coped with the changes over the last 20 years. We want them to express their hopes, expectations and also their concerns for the future and would like people born in this dramatic year to express their reflections and impressions in an essay of no more than 1,500 words.

Submissions can be made either via email to bornin89@ebrd.com, via the website www.ebrd.com/bornin89 or via mail to: EBRD Communications Department, Reference: “Born in ‘89”, One Exchange Square, London, EC2A 2JN. Deadline for submissions is 31 December 31 2009.

Chaired by the acclaimed novelist Andrey Kurkov, an international jury will select the winners. The first prize will be a one week-internship at the Financial Times and the UniCredit Group will award further cash prizes. An award ceremony will take place in spring 2010 at the EBRD in London when also a collection of the best essays will be published.

Antonella Massari, Head of Group Identity and Communication at UniCredit Group, said: “UniCredit is delighted to be a partner of this initiative. The CEE region is one of our home markets and contributes massively to the identity of the Group. The fall of the Iron Curtain changed for the better the lives of many people in Europe, but as the recent financial crisis showed, new challenges constantly emerge. As a key player in the region, UniCredit feels very committed to the further prosperity of the region, its individuals and communities.

Lawrence Sherwin, EBRD Deputy Director of Communications, added: “By listening to the young, we can improve our understanding of the Bank’s region of operations. We look forward to the essays with curiosity and excitement – indeed, what better way to assess twenty years of social and political change than through the voices of the new generation? Organising the competition with two prestigious, important players in the region – the Financial Times and the UniCredit Group – has also been a source of great pride.”

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