In the framework of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008, the European Commission has launched the photo initiative 'Cultures on my street', open to all EU residents in all 27 member states.

With the initiative, the EU aims to challenge Europeans to capture their vision of intercultural dialogue and share it with the world. The competition deadline is June 30 and photos can be submitted through a special competition website. Prizes valued at €15,000 await the winners.

Commissioner for Education, Training, Youth and Culture Ján Figel said: "Europe has changed a lot over the past few years. We have seen an expansion of the Union along with greater mobility between its borders and an increase in exchanges with the rest of the world. Diversity in Europe is a fact and Europeans are interacting with more and more people from different cultural backgrounds. With this photo initiative the EU encourages everyone living in Europe to show their view of dialogue and diversity. We want to see what intercultural dialogue means to Europeans today and how they experience it in their lives."

The 'Cultures on my street' photo competition was launched on March 3 with a special website, where participants can post their entries. All European residents regardless of age or origin are invited to join the competition.

There are no limits to the imagination and inspiration, and photos can be related to education or religion, science or culture, migration, minority groups or youth, or simply everyday life.

Four winners will be selected. Three will be chosen by a jury of established artists and leading figures on intercultural issues, who will look for creativity and technical quality as well as the photographer's ability to portray the theme of intercultural dialogue. The fourth winner will be 'the public's favourite', selected through online voting by visitors to the website.

The winners will be presented with their prizes next September, at a ceremony in Brussels. These include trips to European capitals and professional cameras.

The winning and shortlisted photos will be publicised around Europe, appearing in magazines and other media to help break down communication barriers and foster cultural diversity, they will also feature in a travelling exhibition that will further spread the message.

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