Cardinal Marx welcomes the award of the Charlemagne Prize for 2015 to Martin Schulz “Tireless work for a united Europe”
On the occasion of the award of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen to the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, next Thursday, the President of COMECE, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, issued the following statement:
“The award of this year’s Charlemagne Prize to the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, is in recognition of his work for the goal of a united Europe and his international efforts on behalf of the European Union. Martin Schulz’s activities are characterised by his personal commitment to Europe. His conviction and experience enable him to inspire the younger generation, making them feel more involved in the European concept.
Initially as a parliamentary group chairman, and since 2012 as President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz has worked hard for the European Union through enhancing its democracy and strengthening its parliamentary tradition. From the start he has articulated the claims of the democratically legitimised Parliament in relation to the other EU institutions, in particular the European Council and the heads of state and government, as well as seeing to it that these claims were realised in practice. During a period of crisis in Europe, he has strengthened the Community’s methods with regard to cooperation between the governments within the European Union, and performed a great service to the cause of European integration.
Together with Jean-Claude Juncker, the leading candidate in the European elections of 2014, Martin Schulz made a substantial contribution to the further development of the political system in the European Union. After the European elections, Martin Schulz helped lead the parliament break new ground, culminating in the election of the President of the Commission. This commitment to strengthening democracy and citizens’ representation in the European Union makes him a worthy recipient of the Charlemagne Prize.
I would particularly like to recall what Martin Schulz said last November when welcoming Pope Francis to the European Parliament: [in many areas] ‘the stance of the European Union and that of the Catholic Church to a large extent go hand in hand’. In tacit acknowledgement of this fact, he often tackles difficult subjects which have also been of concern to the churches, ranging from the social dimension of the Eurozone crisis to the refugee crisis on the Mediterranean. His dedication to these issues shows that Martin Schulz places people at the heart of European politics. I am grateful to him for this, and warmly congratulate Martin Schulz, in the name of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) on receipt of this award.”
CONTACT: Johanna Touzel, Press Officer of COMECE
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