The 2023 Charlemagne Prize awarded to the Ukrainian people and their President, Volodymyr Zelensky

Each year, the Charlemagne Prize rewards a particularly outstanding commitment to the agreement in Europe. For its 2023 edition, this prestigious distinction goes to the Ukrainian people and its president, Volodymyr Zelensky, the selection committee announced on Friday, December 16.

“The Ukrainian people are victims of a Russian war of aggression of indescribable brutality which violates international law”write the organizers on their website (content in English). “Under the leadership of its President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian people not only defend the sovereignty of their country and the lives of its citizens, but also Europe and European values.”

“A role model for his people”

Affirming that this war is aimed “to destabilize the European community of peoples and to bring about a political reorganization of Europe”the Charlemagne Prize Committee praises “courage, leadership and empathy”, demonstrated by the President of Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelensky is a “model for her people,” he said.

This distinction, awarded each year in Aix-la-Chapelle, former capital of the Carolingian Empire, was created in 1949 to promote European integration, after the destruction of the Second World War. In 2022, it was awarded to three opponents of the Belarusian regime: Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa, Veronika Tsepkalo and Maria Kolesnikova.

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