In this afternoon’s plenary session the EESC’s President, Staffan Nilsson, gave out the 2012 EESC civil society prizes to representatives of the three winning organisations: Transition Network (UK), CAIS (Portugal) and Livestycket (Sweden). This year the prize theme was  ‘innovate for a sustainable Europe’. The winner of the first prize, Transition Network, was awarded for its REconomy project, designed to help local communities to create green businesses and to embed green practises in existing ones. CAIS helps homeless and disadvantaged people to take back their lost dignity through job-creation and back-to-work schemes and was rewarded for eighteen years of good work. Livstycket was rewarded for a project designed to help immigrant women learn Swedish and hence facilitate their integration into Swedish society.  “I am impressed,’ said Staffan Nilsson, by the creativity and the unique character of the three winning projects. They have social innovation at the heart of their activities and show that sustainability is not only about environmental issues.”