Charlemagne Prize 2020: Ceremony postponed due to COVID-19
Charlemagne Prize Laureate 2020: Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania
While other Member States are adopting nationalist-conservative or even right-wing populist stances towards the European Union, Klaus Iohannis, with enormous dedication and success, has led Romania to espouse a pro-European policy committed to the rule of law. Iohannis strengthens the European Union, is committed to its objectives and promotes cooperation between its Member States. What he has achieved for Romania represents one of the greatest advances in integration since 1989. He is a great proponent of fairness, of protection of minorities and of cultural diversity, as well as he's a leading mediator and bridge-builder between Western and Eastern European societies.
Read the full version of the Citation by the Board of Directors of the Society for the Conferring of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen to the President of Romania Klaus Iohannis here.
Postponement of the Charlemagne Prize Award Ceremony due to COVID-19
With regard to the uncertain developments of the COVID-19 situation, the awarding of the International Charlemagne Prize to Aachen to the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, originally scheduled for May 21, 2020, will be postponed. The same applies to the events of the side-programme associated with the award ceremony, the EU Youth Prize and the Karlspreis Europa Forum. The Board of Directors has agreed on this in a conference call on March 24th.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Jürgen Linden, has coordinated the decision with the designated laureate by phone. President Iohannis also believes that the Charlemagne Prize cannot be awarded at the moment. Romania is also broadly affected and grateful for the European solidarity that the country is experiencing. Iohannis hoped - with the best wishes for the health of all citizens - that a suitable new date for the award ceremony would be found soon after the pandemic was contained. Dr. Linden said they would keep in close contact.
For the Mayor of Aachen, Marcel Philipp, Dr. Linden and the chairman of the Charlemagne Prize Foundation, Prof. Thomas Prefi, - as they emphasized in a joint statement - it was decisive for the decision that "the Prize must remain a European citizens' festival, open to the general public and an invitation for mutual exchange".
“This goal is not only served by the ceremony itself, but also by the events of the extensive side programme, the large open-air festival, the forum and the Charlemagne Youth Prize, to which we welcome young people from all member states of the European Union to Aachen every year. Unfortunately, we cannot keep up the invitation to these kinds of encounters these days”, the statement said.
Updates on developments and new dates will be posted soon.