Charlemagne Prize goes to Grybauskaite for special merits to Europe

  • 2013-03-06

VILNIUS - President Dalia Grybauskaite met with the Speaker of the Board of Directors of the International Charlemagne Prize Foundation, Jurgen Linden, and Aachen's Lord Mayor Marcel Philipp, who officially announced that Charlemagne Prize for 2013 is awarded to the President of Lithuania. 

Representatives of the Charlemagne Board of Directors emphasized that President Dalia Grybauskaite's role was exceptional in promoting the unity of the European Union and overcoming serious economic challenges. 

"To overcome the crisis, the resolute commitment of outstanding personalities, who paved the way to overcoming the crisis with courage and the right judgment, with determination and self-confidence, was required; personalities who could give guidance even in difficult times while at the same time bestowing confidence in their own people and also in their partners in the European Union," the explanatory statement from the society for the conferring of the international Charlemagne Prize reads. 

According to representatives of the Board of Directors, the path the Baltic republics have taken is impressive. Lithuania is an example of consolidation, dedication and success for the whole of Europe. 

The merits of President Dalia Grybauskaite as a former Commissioner were also highlighted. She successfully reformed the structure of the EU budget, took decisions which helped the member states reach a deal in difficult negotiations on the financial framework.

"The International Charlemagne Prize is a very high evaluation of the whole of Lithuania. It is recognition that our achievements and accomplishments constitute a significant contribution to the unity and stability of the European Union. It demonstrates that Lithuania - having joined the European Union nine years ago - is a committed member of the Community," the President said.

The award, which is also known as "Oscar in Politics," will be presented to President Dalia GrybauskaitÄ— on May 9 - Europe Day - in Aachen's Town Hall. Suggested by the citizens of the German City of Aachen in 1950, Charlemagne Prize is the most prestigious and honorable distinction in the EU awarded for special contribution to European unity. 

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, the European Commission, King Juan Carlos of Spain, U.S. President Bill Clinton, Czech humanist President Vaclav Havel, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UK's Prime Minister Tony Blair, President of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet, European currency - the euro, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker, and other prominent European and world leaders.