Charlemagne Prize goes to Grybauskaite

  • 2013-04-17
  • From wire reports

Angela Merkel is former prize-winner.

VILNIUS - On May 9 in Aachen’s Town Hall, in Germany, President Dalia Grybauskaite will be presented with the honorable International Charlemagne Prize, reports ELTA. On this occasion, Lithuania will be widely introduced throughout Germany. Cultural and academic events - a total of more than 40 - will be held, which will help to know better Lithuania, its history, culture, and business opportunities.

According to the president, this prestigious political award opens up a great opportunity to acquaint Germany and the whole of Europe with Lithuania. “Lithuania certainly has things to be proud of. It is a very good opportunity to show Europe what Lithuania and its people are like, our accomplishments over 23 years of re-independence. This is particularly important before taking the presidency of the European Union,” she said.

Various exhibitions, lectures and concerts will be organized in Germany. The program includes the showing of Lithuanian films, presentations to German entrepreneurs of investment possibilities in Lithuania, discussions with students, poetry readings, and meetings with Aachen’s community.

An extensive series of events will run for a month, ending with a solemn ceremony on Europe Day in the Aachen Town Hall where the International Charlemagne Prize will be presented to Grybauskaite. This award is conferred to her in recognition of her personal contribution to European integration and for leading Lithuania out of the difficult economic crisis.

The events are organized by the Lithuanian Embassy in Germany, the International Charlemagne Prize Foundation and the municipality of Aachen City.
The origins of the award date back to 1950, when it was suggested by the citizens of the German city of Aachen. The award, which is also known as the Oscar in politics, has become a symbolic invitation to seek concord, unity and solidarity.

Among the previous 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 outstanding personalities.