SOFIACORRADIGuillermo Fernández Vara, President of the Government of Extremadura and the Board of Trustees of the European Academy of Yuste Foundation, announced yesterday that the Carlos V European Award will be presented on 9 May, Europe Day, to Italian professor Sofia Corradi, better known as “Mamma Erasmus” for being the driving force behind this exchange program for European students.

The President also said that King Felipe VI is “very likely” to attend the award ceremony, to be held at the Monastery of Yuste, the headquarters of the Foundation.

The presentation of the award will coincide with the commemoration of Europe Day, a good opportunity, stated Vara, to “raise our voices” and proclaim “the Europe we believe in”, which, he went on to say, should not just be a “counter of the European Central Bank” but also the “social and inclusive Europe” which “we have always believed in and want to continue to believe in”.

By presenting the Award on Europe Day, the jury and the Foundation aim to convey a clear message with regard to the commitment to what unites us, such as the above university mobility program, the Schengen Agreement and the Euro, which are, ultimately, the great achievements and pride of the EU, which States, institutions, civil society and the general public should continue to support. The Erasmus program represents the values Europe is working on, such as the promotion of co-existence, diversity, understanding, cooperation, European values and, more importantly, helping us to eliminate the mental barriers, the stereotypes, which are the main obstacle to progress and the peaceful co-existence of Europeans and those who inhabit our continent.

With this award the jury wishes to recognize Sofia Corradi, who becomes the tenth person, and second woman to win the European Carlos V Award for “her career and, above all, her great commitment and contribution to the process of European integration by means of the design and implementation of the ERASMUS initiative of the European Union, as well as her work and endeavour on behalf of academic mobility, focussing on young European students as a guarantee of tomorrow and the future of Europe.

The Erasmus program has directly changed the lives of almost 3.5 million European students from around 4,000 universities throughout its period of operation, lasting nearly 30 years (the program was created in 1987). It has also benefited the teaching staff and, more indirectly, the environment where the students have led their lives, promoting highly positive changes in European academic, social, cultural, educational and economic life since its creation.

The 10th European Carlos V Award

It should be pointed out that this is the 10th Carlos V European Award, following the recent twentieth anniversary of the presentation of the first award to Jacques Delors, the former President of the European Commission, in 1995. There have been, therefore, ten awards, which demonstrates that the Carlos V European Award has a well-established and proven track record, confirming Extremadura’s commitment to the process of European integration and the values it promotes and highlighting the importance of initiatives such as this one, born from civil society, on behalf of the unity and cooperation of the peoples of Europe. The recipients of the award until now have been Jacques Delors (1995), Wilfried Martens (1998), Felipe González (2000), Mikhail Gorbachev (2002), Jorge Sampaio (2004), Helmut Kohl (2006), Simone Veil (2008), Javier Solana (2010) and José Manuel Durao Barroso (2013).

Following the announcement of the award a total of twenty nominations were submitted by institutions from seven countries in the European Union, with a total number of seventeen candidatures being selected for the 10th Carlos V European Award.

Carlos V European Award

The European Academy of Yuste Foundation created the Carlos V European Award in order to recognize the work of those who have excelled in their commitment to the process of building the European Union or for their contribution to the enhancement of the cultural, scientific and historical values of Europe. Therefore, the Carlos V European Award represents the spirit of the construction of a united Europe.

The award is made by the Board of Trustees of the European Academy of Yuste Foundation, on the motion of a jury designated for such a purpose and made up of renowned figures from the different socio-cultural fields of Europe, as well as the members of the European Academy of Yuste themselves and previous winners.

The award ceremony is a solemn act presided over by the Spanish Royal Family, to be held in 2016 at the Royal Monastery of Yuste (Cáceres, Extremadura). The ceremony for the Carlos V European Award is seen by the European Academy of Yuste Foundation as a privileged moment to express its commitment to a united and cohesive Europe.