A new European Prize was launched in order to honour people who made an important contribution to the understanding and bridging of Europe’s historic diversities.
Identity and diversity are two key issues for European cooperation. They have ancient roots in the consciousness of all Europeans and they are closely linked to people’s perception of their place in the world and to their systems of governance. They need to be nurtured with equal respect under an overarching European concept of togetherness.
The new European Prize honours people whose achievements help to understand and to spread understanding of the historic interdependencies of the peoples in Europe, their interwoven cultural, economic and political background. These form the basis for curiosity and respect for each other and for constructive collaboration in their mutual interest in today’s world. It will be awarded annually by the Theophano Foundation on the first Saturday after the first of November, in the Grand Rotonda in Thessaloniki, a monument and city that testifies to the Roman, Byzantine, Orthodox, Jewish, Ottoman and Greek influences in the making of Europe. The Prize is named after the Byzantine princess Theophano who married the German Emperor Otto II and who had a great influence on early medieval politics and culture.
The chairman of the Advisory Council, Herman Count Van Rompuy, President Em. of the Eruopean Council, speaking at the launch of the Theophano Foundation.
The Grand Rotunda at Thessaloniki, where the prize giving ceremony takes place.