Yuste Foundation Mourns the Death of Jorge Sampaio, Carlos V European Award

The former president of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio, winner of the European Carlos V Award in 2004, has died at the age of 81. (10/09/2021)

Sampaio collected the award on 13 October in a solemn ceremony which was presided over by the King and Queen of Spain and held at the Royal Monastery of Yuste. The jury of the Carlos V European Award, organised by Yuste Foundation, decided to award this prize “for his meritorious public service in favour of general understanding, the struggle for humanitarian values, the enhancement of the historical and cultural values of Europe, his work with the European Council’s European Commission on Human Rights and for his contribution to unifying European cities, from the south-western Iberian Peninsula”.

During his speech when receiving the award, Sampaio alluded to Yuste stating that “places touched by history, like Yuste, offer us emotions, but as a counterpart they impose the duty to remember the present on us in order to better conceive the future”. The laureate also made reference to the future of Europe in a year in which the Constitutional Treaty was pending ratification by the member countries. In this regard, he appealed to the “the responsibility of European leaders and citizens to ensure the firmness of a path of progress that requires another political will of effective intervention, both within their space and within the framework of better and more coordinated internal action”.

Finally, he highlighted his commitment to accompany those that when “advocating the need for more Europe, that is, for a Europe with a higher level of ambition in the concretisation of its common policies and in the setting of new objectives, do not forget the necessary balance game to avoid ruptures, nor Jean Monnet’s lesson in triumphant pragmatism. Of course there has been sin, sometimes out of lukewarmness, in the enunciation or in the execution of goals, but what matters, above all, is to point out the extraordinary results already obtained in the materialisation of the essential values that finally make up the identifying matrix of that community of destination that is ours and that is called the European Union today”.

Sampaio and Yuste

The former Portuguese president participated actively in Yuste Foundation’s different activities. We can thus find the article “A New Compact for the Mediterranean” in number 13-14 of the Foundation’s journal Pliegos de Yuste; he was also interviewed by journalist Fernando Jáuregui for the book Europa desde Yuste, which was published in 2007. In addition, he participated as part of the jury for the Carlos V European Award in the following editions: 2006, 2008, 2014 and 2021, attending the award ceremony for the former German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, in 2006 and that of the former president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani.

Jorge Sampaio also committed himself to the social activities of the Foundation, attending the congress “The Future of Europe: Social and the Citizens’ Europe”, held at the Royal Monastery of Yuste in June 2006. When Jorge Sampaio was High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Yuste Foundation signed a collaboration agreement with the United Nations’ initiative, which encouraged the Foundation to participate in several forums promoted by the former Portuguese president in both Malta (2011) and Qatar (2012), with the aim of promoting intercultural and Mediterranean dialogue.

Yuste Foundation and its entire team mourn the loss of such an illustrious personality; he was closely linked to Extremadura and committed to the European integration project and Human Rights, and we send our condolences to his family members and loved ones.