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Photo: Number 10 (Flickr); Licence:CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In the wake of last week's "Karlspreis" being awarded to Martin Schultz, president of the European Parliament, guest author Frank Burgdörfer reflects upon this predictable choice and suggests David Cameron as a better candidate given his European achievements.

The city of Aachen has awarded Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, with the "Karlspreis" – an annual prize named after the medieval emperor Charlemagne. It comes as no surprise at all, as the prize is usually given to people who hold key functions in European institutions. Thus the group of potential recipients is rather limited. Council president Donald Tusk and commission president Jean-Claude Juncker were already awarded the prize. As former president of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet got one previously, it will most likely be the turn of his successor Mario Draghi next year. Truly exciting...

Do not get me wrong: Schulz definitely has merits with regard to Europe. However, this is not exceptional because we as European tax payers remunerate him well for his work. He has indeed increased and consolidated the EP’s influence over the last years. Still, giving him an award for that is a bit like awarding the Pope for special achievements in the field of leading the Catholic Church. 

Are there no committed citizens, innovate business men, progressive researchers or clerics building bridges in Europe? Cartoonists, journalists, historians, teachers or doctors, who have used their positions to give "exceptional contributions in political, economic or spiritual regard for the unity of Europe", as a declaration from 1990 puts it? It seems that the Charlemagne Prize actually puts the city of Aachen more into the spotlight than the awardee – which is in fact often the case with other prizes too. 

Published in Brussels Bubble

We can happily announce that E&M has been awarded the UK nomination to the Charlemagne Youth prize 2011! 

The Charlemagne Youth Prize is organised by the European Parliament and the Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen and is awarded for projects that foster a shared sense of European identity and cooperation. Every country nominates one project (“national winner”) that then gets invited to Aachen for the European final prize.

We would like to thank the UK committee for awarding us this nomination (and for making us winners for the second year in a row!) and we look forward to representing E&M at the European final in Aachen, 31st May 2011.

We wanted to demonstrate all the progress that this project has made during the last year, and then we remembered all those Europeans who had helped us grow our community of readers and contributors, achieve the transnational adventure, run the workshop, and create the Sixth Sense. We realised that 2010/11 was a year in which the E&M project was revolutionised! 

We must thank the hundreds of dedicated authors, editors, and partners who have helped us to reach out to the whole of Europe like never before! And of course, most of all we would like to thank our readers for continually inspiring us with fantastic stories from across the continent. It's your input and interest that helps us carry on writing and sharing the many examples of how wonderfully diverse, amazing and interconnected Europe really is!  

Check out our winning summary!  

And keep your fingers crossed for us once more for the European prize. Save the date: 31st May 2011. 


Chris, Fabian, Fátima, Helya, Johannes, Laura, Lucy, Marta, Martin, and Matt

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