Timothy Garton Ash (2013)

The British historian and writer Timothy Garton Ash was awarded with the 13th Charlemagne medal for European media arts, the “Médaille Charlemagne pour les Médias Européens”, in Aachen on 2 May.

Since the year 2000, this medal is awarded in the run-up to the Charlemagne festivities to a European personality who has shown outstanding achievements in the media in support of European unification and the formation of a European identity.

“For many years, Timothy Garton Ash has been speaking out on behalf of a united Europe. As a passionate European as he describes himself, he goes to bat for a united Europe in his books and the numerous articles written for renowned newspapers and magazines. He makes good use of his position as a well-known historian and expert on European affairs to repeatedly demonstrate the need for a united Europe. In his writings, Timothy Garton Ash makes clear that, for the first time in its history, Europe presents a single community in terms of politics, economy and security whose citizens enjoy an almost borderless freedom of movement and can live in peace,” said Dr Frauke Gerlach, chairwoman of the curatorium of the “Médaille Charlemagne” Association when announcing this year’s prize winner in Aachen today.

The Lord Mayor of Aachen, Marcel Philipp, emphasized: “With his ideas, Timothy Garton Ash puts especially the younger generation into the limelight. From his point of view, it is very relevant what the European idea means for people in their 20s today. The younger generation in particular needs to develop a relationship with Europe. They will be the future of Europe. Hence the impulse for a united Europe should come from the ground up and be supported by a large majority of European citizens, especially the young. Precisely today when Europe is wracked by a crisis and at a time when many people lack trust in the political, social or economic systems, Timothy Garton Ash is counting on his fame and renown to make the point that this is the best Europe we’ve ever had.”

Since the year 2000, the “Médaille Charlemagne pour les Médias Européens” is awarded in the run-up to the international Charlemagne prize in Aachen to a European personality or institution that has made outstanding contributions in the field of media arts to the process of European unity and the formation of a European identity.

The prize has so far been awarded to publisher Lord George Weidenfeld (GB), author Cees Nooteboom (NL), producer Jan Mojto (D), director Jean-Jacques Annaud (F), the erstwhile director of WDR Cologne Fritz Pleitgen (D), Polish actress Krystyna Janda, the Berlin Philharmonics  Foundation, jointly to directors Fatih Akin (D) and Abdellatif Kechiche (F), the organisation “Reporters Without Borders” , musical performer André Rieu (NL), Italian publisher Dr Inge Schönthal-Feltrinelli and the editors of Russian newspaper Nowaja Gazeta (RUS).

The prize is endowed by the Association “Médaille Charlemagne pour les Médias Européens” in which the following institutions are members: the City of Aachen, the German-Speaking Community of Belgium, the City of Maastricht, the NRW State Office for the Media (LfM), the NRW Film and Media Foundation,  European culture channel Arte,  BBC World News, Deutsche Welle [the Voice of Germany], EOS Entertainment, Euronews, Eurosport S.A., the Newspaper Publishers’ Trade Association for North Rhine Westphalia, regd. Assn.,  as well as the Society for the Award of the International Charles, regd. Assn.  The Association was established in 2006 at the behest of the NRW Film and Media Foundation and the City of Aachen.

The medal is designed by Cologne resident artist Angela Katzy. It has a diameter of about 10 cm and is made of 925 silver. The lapis lazuli stone is set in 750 yellow gold with an inner stay also of yellow gold. It stands for the bar which Charlemagne used as a seal in lieu of affixing his signature as he was illiterate