Pope Francis To Be awarded Charlemagne Prize
The award ceremony will take place at the Vatican on 6 May at 12:00. It will be introduced by “laudatio” speeches by European Parliament President Martin Schulz, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Council President Donald Tusk. On the previous day, the three EU Presidents will take part in a panel debate about the state of the EU, preceded by an address by Italian PM Matteo Renzi.
The International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen is awarded for work done in the service of European unification. The prize is named after Charlemagne, the King of the Franks, who was revered by his contemporaries as the “Father of Europe”. The laureate of the award for 2015 was European Parliament President Martin Schulz.
The announcement was made on December 23 in Aachen, Germany, by the prize’s executive committee. Citing his address to the European Parliament in 2014, the prize committee commended the pope’s message of “peace and understanding” as well as “compassion, tolerance, solidarity and the integrity of creation throughout his pontificate.” “In these times, in which many citizens in Europe seek orientation, His Holiness Pope Francis sends a message of love and encouragement,” it said in a statement.