International Charlemagne Prize Spurring us all on for the Europe of tomorrow
What do Bill Clinton, Pope John Paul II, Angela Merkel, the euro and the people of Luxembourg have in common? They’re all past winners of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen (Internationaler Karlspreis) whose award ceremony, each May, draws monarchs, presidents, heads of government and people of clerical and academic renown to our city year after year.
The International Charlemagne Prize
- awarded since 1949
- donated by the citizens of Aachen
- named after the Emperor Charlemagne
- awarded each year on Ascension Day
This is an award which refuses to bow the knee to modern fashionable hype surrounding the “Grammies” and such like. (Even Oscars are won each year by a lot of people for a lot of things that are instantly forgotten). The Charlemagne Prize honours only that which will remain, whether it be political, cultural or academic in nature – services to Europe, promoting unity and the bringing-together of this western continent which, for centuries, has suffered from borders and wars.
Charlemagne Youth Prize
Bringing about the ongoing peaceful convergence of Europe is the job of the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council of Ministers and EU summits – those are the professionals, the great and good, the responsible heavyweights often burdened by the heavy weight of responsibility. But the burning challenge of unity, as described once by the first ever Charlemagne Prize-winner, Count Richard Coudenhove-Calergie, is something for everyone – especially for young people, whose hard work and commitment is celebrated each year by the “Charlemagne Youth Prize”.
Here, young people between the ages of 16 and 30 in all EU member states are encouraged to get actively involved in shaping the future of Europe. As individuals or in groups they can submit applications presenting projects aimed at growing international understanding and promoting the feeling of a common European identity. These project present role models for young people across Europe, giving practical examples of how Europeans can live together as a common community.
Europe is its people! The world of politics shouldn’t govern Europe but move it forward. That’s why today – just like 60 years ago – we have the International Charlemagne Prize.
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