Become RCC’s ‘Voice of the Region’ and win 200 euro

The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretariat is inviting citizens of South East Europe to take part in RCC’s “Voice of the Region” competition. It is an effort to spread the word of the people of the South East Europe on issues they face in everyday life.  

RCC is looking for citizens with writing, digital video recording or digital photography skills to take part in the competition for the best “Voice of the Region”.

The competition starts on 15 April 2015 and if the one-month pilot proves to be a success, it will continue and will be organised monthly until the end of the year. Each month, the competition theme will change and will be announced on RCC’s website (www.rcc.int) and social media channels:

Themes for the required works will be selected on a monthly basis and taken from the RCC development strategy for South East Europe - SEE 2020. The breakdown of themes for the entire duration of the Competition can be found in the Competition Rules section.

All entries from all three categories (essays, photos, videos) will be evaluated within a one month/theme and the best one (one essay or photo or video) will win the award of 200 euro.

A wider selection of essays, photos and videos might be displayed on the RCC’s website and social media (Facebook, Twitter and You Tube/where applicable).

The works should be sent electronically to: competition@rcc.intor with the link for the entry download. The size of the e-mail must not exceed 10 MB. Please indicate the following data in the subject line: name and surname, date, element you are competing with (essay, photo or video).

The deadline for receiving the submissions is noon (CET) 15 May, noon (CET), and every following month respectively on the 15th, until 15 December 2015.

Competition rules

The citizens of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey and Kosovo*, regardless of age and profession, are eligible to take part in the competition.

RCC Secretariat employees and RCC National Coordinators and their immediate family members are not eligible. Immediate family includes spouses, parents and children.

The competition is organised on a monthly basis, starting from 15 April 2015 until 15 December 2015, provided the first month pilot project proves to be a success. Each month represents a separate competition featuring a different theme and requiring different entries.

The works submitted will not be returned. They will become the intellectual property of the RCC Secretariat. The RCC Secretariat may use the works for display in RCC premises, RCC website, social media or reprint in publications with no additional cost to the RCC. The essays, photos and videos will not be used by the RCC for commercial purposes. Appropriate citations and credit will be given to the authors.

By entering the competition, participants warrant that his or her submitted materials are original, do not infringe on any third party’s rights, and that the participant has obtained any necessary permission from any third party if a third party or third party’s property appears in the photograph. In the event the ownership of any work (text, photograph, video) submitted to the RCC is contested in any manner, the RCC Secretariat retains the discretion to disqualify that work and discontinue its use.

By entering, participants release and hold harmless the RCC Secretariat and its officials from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, claim, action, demand or damage of any kind rising from or in connection with the competition, or any prize won, any use of the materials by the RCC, any misuse of any prize awarded, participation in any RCC-related activity, or participation in the competition.

Essays, photos and/or videos must be appropriate for posting on a public institution’s website. Obscene, provocative or otherwise questionable content will not be considered.

Themes

The competition is organised on a monthly basis starting from 15 April 2015.

The themes for each month contents are as follows:

  • 15 April – 15 May: Unemployment – the biggest challenge facing the region?
  • 15 May – 15 June: Economic development – is it possible to grow faster, smarter, better?
  • 15 June – 15 July: Tourism – how to present the beauty of our common home?
  • 15 July – 15 August: Education – ticket to a better life?
  • 15 August – 15 September: Trade – key of success is in cross-border cooperation?
  • 15 September – 15 October: Corruption – cancer of each society?
  • 15 October – 15 November: Transport – connect better to grow, and live and earn better?
  • 15 November – 15 December: Health – compatible systems in the region mean better quality of life?

All entries must reflect the competition theme for the given month in an original, authentic way. Participants can apply with only one entry in each category per month. 

Essay specifications

Each competitor may submit only one essay (or video or photograph) for each monthly round. The essay length is 400 words (maximum) and must be in English, since it is the official language of the RCC. The length does not include the title, bibliography or footnotes.

Each essay must include a title. The essay must reflect the competitor’s own writing and original thinking.

Any quotations or copyrighted material used in the essay must be identified properly. Failure to identify non-original material will result in disqualification.

Excerpts from larger literary works or already published works are not eligible.

Photo specifications

Each competitor can submit only one photo (or video or essay) per month/theme. Photos must be digital. Both amateur and professional photographers are welcome to participate.

All photographs (or a photo story) must be of the highest quality possible and not less than 2100x1400 pixels. They must be in JPEG or TIFF format. Minor variations in pixel dimensions will be tolerated.

All entries must include information on the author (name, age, country, contact details). Do not write on the photo itself.

All photographs should reflect in some way the subject matter. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimisation (removal of dust, cropping, adjustments to colour and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified.

Video specifications

Each competitor may submit only one video (or essay or photograph) per month/theme. Videos must be digital. Both amateur and professional video producers are welcome to participate.

All video entries must be supported by the following video formats: .MPEG4, .MP4, .AVI or .FLV and of the highest quality possible. The files submitted in HD quality of 1080p must not exceed 180 seconds in duration and 50 MB in size. 

The videos should reflect the subject matter. Videos that have been digitally altered and edited beyond standard optimisation will be disqualified.

All entries must include information on the author (name, age, country, contact details). Do not write on the video itself.

Language, if used in videos, must be English, as it is the official language of the RCC.

Selection

Essays, photos and videos will be reviewed on the basis of creativity, originality, quality, and effectiveness in conveying the competition theme. Only one essay, or photo, or video, will be selected as can be the winner each month.

An RCC panel of qualified professionals will evaluate the works and all competition decisions will be final and binding. Entries that fail to comply with the competition rules will be disqualified.

Winners

The selection panel will make a final decision on the winners, choosing a winner for each month throughout the competition duration. The winners will be notified within fifteen (15) days after the competition deadline by e-mail and/or phone using the information submitted. Winning essays, photographs and videos, along with the author’s name and information about the photo, will be displayed on the RCC website, social media and/or used in RCC publications.

Clarifications

Should there be any questions about the competition or need for additional clarifications, please contact us at the e-mail address competition@rcc.int.

Background on RCC

As the successor of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, the RCC fosters regional cooperation and supports European and Euro-Atlantic integration in South East Europe. The areas of cooperation in the framework of the RCC are economic and social development; energy and infrastructure; justice and home affairs; security cooperation; building human capital, as well as cross-cutting issues such as parliamentary cooperation, media development, civil society activities and gender mainstreaming. The RCC is based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

More info on the RCC and its work is available at our website www.rcc.int



* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.