International Charlemagne Prize
At the historical Aachen Town Hall, President Dalia Grybauskaitė was presented the prestigious International Charlemagne Prize. The award, also known as "Oscar in Politics", has been extended to President Grybauskaitė for Lithuania's contribution to uniting the European Union and building the economic stability of the whole Europe.
"I dedicate the Charlemagne Prize, awarded by the people of Aachen, to the Lithuanian people. It signifies the recognition of our united efforts as we fought for Lithuania's freedom and its place in Europe as well as to overcome the economic crisis. This award is also a commitment to assume responsibility for bringing all the nations together to shape the future of Europe," the President emphasized at the award ceremony.
The laudatio in honor of President Dalia Grybauskaitė was delivered by President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz. The official patrons of the Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize are the King of Spain Juan Carlos I, the King of the Belgians Albert II, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, President of the Republic of Austria Heinz Fischer, and President of the Federal Republic of Germany Joachim Gauck.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė said that all Europeans must stand together, step over their differences, learn from each other, listen in, negotiate and find common solutions in their acknowledgement of the efforts by Charlemagne, Robert Schuman, Jean Monnet, and Konrad Adenauer to unite Europe.
According to the President, Europe needs to live within its means, seek social consensus, maintain people's trust in financial policies and provide young people with real opportunities to establish themselves because twenty years from now they will stand at the helm of Europe.
The President was congratulated by European leaders – President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, former President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Rene Van Der Linden, Vice-President of the European Parliament Anni Podimata, also former laureates of the Charlemagne Prize – Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, former President of the European Parliament Pat Cox, and former President of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet. Among the other participants of the ceremony were members of the European Parliament, ambassadors of the EU member states, diplomats, representatives of the Lithuanian community in Germany, Lithuanian politicians – Česlovas Juršėnas, Chair of the Seimas Committee on European Affairs Gediminas Kirkilas, member of the European Parliament Vytautas Landsbergis, member of the Seimas Andrius Kubilius.
About the Charlemagne Prize
The origins of the International Charlemagne Prize date back to 1950, when it was suggested by the citizens of the German city of Aachen. In war devastated Europe, it was a symbolic invitation for European nations to seek solidarity, unity and mutual understanding. Among the recipients of this award are Pope John Paul II, the founding fathers of the European Union Jean Monnet, Konrad Adenauer and Robert Schuman, Great Britain's Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, U.S. President Bill Clinton, Czech humanist President Vaclav Havel, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker, and other prominent political figures.
A historical city of Aachen is very important for the history of Germany and the whole of Europe. Having united Frankish and other Germanic tribes in the eighth century, the Roman Emperor Charles the Great (Charlemagne) made Aachen a political center of Europe. The Aachen Cathedral, built by the Charlemagne over a thousand years ago, for many centuries has been the place of coronation of the kings of Germany and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire.
Last updated 2015.12.29 11:45