Pope Francis to be awarded Charlemagne Prize on 6 May
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.
The programme is as follows.
THURSDAY, 5 May
18:30, Musei Capitolini, Sala degli Orazi e Curiazi, Rome
Panel discussion "State of the European Union", jointly organised by the Charlemagne Foundation and the European University Institute of Florence in cooperation with the European Parliament.
Opening address by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
Panel speakers: European Parliament President Martin Schulz, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Council President Donald Tusk
FRIDAY, 6 May
10:30, Vatican City
Joint Private Audience of the three Presidents of the European Institutions with Pope Francis
12:00, Sala Regia, Vatican City
Charlemagne Prize Award Ceremony
Words of welcome by Marcel Philipp, Mayor of Aachen
Reading of the Charlemagne Award decision by Dr Jürgen Linden, Charlemagne Foundation
Prize to be awarded to Pope Francis by Marcel Philipp, Mayor of Aachen, and Dr. Jürgen Linden, Charlemagne Foundation
Speeches by President Schulz, President Juncker and President Tusk
Address by Pope Francis
14:00, Hotel Residenza Paolo VI, Roof terrace, Rome
Press Conference with President Schulz and President Juncker, Dr. Jürgen Linden, Charlemagne Foundation and Marcel Philipp, Mayor of Aachen.
Journalists wanting to attend can be accredited through the Delegation of the EU to the Holy See (please send an e-mail to Sylvia.FANTOLI@eeas.europa.eu. The ceremony can be followed from the Vatican press room, access to other events are open to the accredited press.