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03-05-2016

Pope Francis to be awarded Charlemagne Prize on 6 May

The award ceremony will take place at the Vatican on 6 May at 12:00. It will be introduced by “laudatio” speeches by European Parliament President Martin Schulz, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Council President Donald Tusk. On the previous day, the three EU Presidents will take part in a panel debate about the state of the EU, preceded by an address by Italian PM Matteo Renzi.

The International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen is awarded for work done in the service of European unification. The prize is named after Charlemagne, the King of the Franks, who was revered by his contemporaries as the “Father of Europe”. The laureate of the award for 2015 was European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

The announcement was made on December 23 in Aachen, Germany, by the prize's executive committee. Citing his address to the European Parliament in 2014, the prize committee commended the pope's message of "peace and understanding" as well as "compassion, tolerance, solidarity and the integrity of creation throughout his pontificate." "In these times, in which many citizens in Europe seek orientation, His Holiness Pope Francis sends a message of love and encouragement," it said in a statement.

The programme is as follows.

THURSDAY, 5 May

18:30, Musei Capitolini, Sala degli Orazi e Curiazi, Rome

Panel discussion "State of the European Union", jointly organised by the Charlemagne Foundation and the European University Institute of Florence in cooperation with the European Parliament.

Opening address by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

Panel speakers: European Parliament President Martin Schulz, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Council President Donald Tusk

FRIDAY, 6 May

10:30, Vatican City

Joint Private Audience of the three Presidents of the European Institutions with Pope Francis

12:00, Sala Regia, Vatican City

Charlemagne Prize Award Ceremony

Words of welcome by Marcel Philipp, Mayor of Aachen

Reading of the Charlemagne Award decision by Dr Jürgen Linden, Charlemagne Foundation

Prize to be awarded to Pope Francis by Marcel Philipp, Mayor of Aachen, and Dr. Jürgen Linden, Charlemagne Foundation

Speeches by President Schulz, President Juncker and President Tusk

Address by Pope Francis

14:00, Hotel Residenza Paolo VI, Roof terrace, Rome

Press Conference with President Schulz and President Juncker, Dr. Jürgen Linden, Charlemagne Foundation and Marcel Philipp, Mayor of Aachen.

Media accreditation

Journalists wanting to attend can be accredited through the Delegation of the EU to the Holy See (please send an e-mail to Sylvia.FANTOLI@eeas.europa.eu. The ceremony can be followed from the Vatican press room, access to other events are open to the accredited press.

EP LiveEbS+ (06.05.2016) Audiovisual material for professionals