Launched at a ceremony in Thessaloniki, Greece, which was opened by former EU Commissioner Herman Van Rompuy, the Empress Theophano Prize will recognise personalities who promote modern European principles, values and identity
The Prize will be awarded annually by the Theophano Foundation at the Rotunda Monument in Thessaloniki, a site symbolizing the Roman, Byzantine, Christian Orthodox, Ottoman and Greek influences which have shaped Europe. The first Award will take place on 9th November, 2019.
Speaking at the opening ceremony to announce the Empress Theophany Prize, Herman Van Rompuy, commented:
“The choice of prize name and location are full of symbols. More than ever before our times need bridges overcoming contradictions and polarisation. Greatness is to look beyond one’s narrow economic interests and the time when he or she happens to be politically active.”
Describing the EU as “the biggest peace project of all time,” Mr Van Rompuy noted that European unity should be promoted and defended through words and actions” by taking responsibility for sound public finances,
climate, the environment, but also through solidarity.”
Commenting on her appointment to the Governing Committee for the Empress Theophany Prize, which is chaired by Mr Van Rompuy, Professor Kakabadse said:
“I’m delighted to be part of such a prestigious panel, which includes former European ambassadors, ombudsmen, ministers, a past president of the European Court of Justice, a film director and leading academics from universities in Glasgow, Exeter, Paris, Turin, the Netherlands and Thessaloniki.
“The Empress Theophano prize aspires to be an initiative of European-wide significance and will be awarded to a personality or organisation for their contributions towards promoting the principles, values and bonds that shape modern Europe.
“At a time when the UK, after 45 years of EU membership, stands on the precipice of exiting the Union, this is a timely reminder of the benefits of togetherness versus isolation.”