The former German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, awarded the Carlos V European Award in 2006, has died at the age of 87 at his house in Ludwigshafen. Kohl received the award at a formal ceremony presided over by the King and Queen of Spain at the Royal Monastery of Yuste. Also attending the ceremony were other Carlos V Award recipients: former president Felipe González who gave a tribute to Chancellor Kohl, the former Belgian prime minister and president of the European Popular Party Wilfried Martens, and former president of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio, among other personalities.
The award jury panel, lead by former president of the Regional Government of Extremadura, Juan Carlos Rodríguez Ibarra, highlighted the former German chancellor’s commitment “to the union of European countries as a guarantee of peace and stability on the Old Continent” and his “contribution to the enlargement of Europe”.
Helmut Kohl received the Carlos V European Award the year that Spain commemorated its twentieth anniversary of joining the European Union, “a great country which continues to lead the future of our continent” he said, adding that Spain’s membership is a “unique success story: one of great economic growth, political stability, and of the modernisation of the country – all signs of fantastic development” which continues to reap rewards today.
During his speech, the award winner defended European unity, saying it had successfully reached its first objective “no more war in Europe”, and this has brought about an increase in the average life expectancy in Europe. He went on to allude to Spain’s contribution to Germany, “acting as a loyal friend” after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a historic event which meant “all at once Poland, the Czechs, the Slovaks, and the Hungarians, all had another opportunity and the possibility of change”.
He also gave words of recognition for the work the Foundation carries out through its programmes and courses, because “it contributes to the advancement of the concept of European integration”; and also highlighted the work the European Academy of Yuste does, because if we talk about “a citizens’ Europe” we also need “an intellectuals’ Europe” – one which does not need to be overly cautious, and has the determination to “say a loud ‘yes’ to the European house”.
During the award ceremony several new European Academy of Yuste members took their chairs: Spanish cardiologist Valentin Fuster (Maimonides chair); French sociologist and thinker Edgar Morin (Jean Monnet chair); British historian Paul Preston (Marcel Proust chair); Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires (Anne Frank chair) and Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi (Luis Vaz de Camoes chair). Also at the ceremony were French sociologist Alain Touraine, Polish politician Bronislaw Geremek, Italian mathematician Edoardo Vesentini, Portuguese writer José Saramago, Hungarian sociologist and economist Zsuzsa Ferge, German economist and Nobel Prize Winner Reinhard Selten, Luxembourgian historian Gilbert Trausch, Portuguese historian Joaquím Veríssimo Serrao, Spanish politician Marcelino Oreja Aguirre, Dutch sociologist Abram de Swaan, Belgian historian Gustaaf Janssens, and German gerontologist Ursula Lehr, all of whom are members of the European Academy of Yuste Foundation. All came together to celebrate Helmut Kohl receiving the European Award, and to approve the “Social Europe, Europe of the Citizens” Declaration: https://www.fundacionyuste.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/europasocial2006_es.pdf
Helmut Kohl was also on the jury panel for the 2008 Carlos V European Award, granted to the first female president of the European Parliament, Simone Veil.
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