The Mayor of Aachen, Dr. Jürgen Linden and Prof. Walter Eversheim, spokesman of the Charlemagne Prize Board of Directors met Prof. Andrea Riccardi in Rome, March 5, to communicate to him officially – according to the tradition of the Prize - the bestowing of the International Prize "Charlemagne".
The Prize will be awarded May 21, Ascension Day, in the Coronation hall of the town hall of Aachen during a solemn ceremony.
The Prize is bestowed on Prof. Andrea Riccardi "to honor an extraordinary example of civil commitment for a more human and united Europe both within and outside its borders, for the understanding between peoples, cultures, faiths and for a more peaceful and just World".
In the motivation of the Prize it is also written that the Board decided to award the Charlemagne Prize 2009 on Andrea Riccardi "to hail him as a great European who has put his life at the service of the neighbour, in the best sense of the term, for his passionate commitment to supporting understanding and dialogue between people of every religion and nationality and for the Saint Egidio Community is giving an outstanding contribution to a more peaceful and fair world.
In his over 40 years of work Andrea Riccardi was an extraordinary sign and example of the European values of peace, of solidarity and human dignity and of civil commitment for a better world".
Among the winners of the previous editions:
2008 Angela Merkel ; 2005 Carlo Azeglio Ciampi ; on 24 March 2004, extraordinary Charlemagne Prize on Pope John Paul II; 2000 Bill Clinton; 1999 Tony Blair; 1998 Bronislaw Geremek; 1997 Roman Herzog; 1991 Václav Havel; 1989 Frère Roger Schutz, Taizé; 1988 François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl; 1987 Henry Kissinger; 1978 Konstantin Karamanlis; 1959 George Marshall; 1958 Robert Schuman; 1957 Paul-Henri Spaak; 1956 Sir Winston Churchill; 1954 Konrad Adenauer; 1953 Jean Monnet; 1952 Alcide de Gasperi .