The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, was awarded with the “2023 In Veritate Award” on Friday 29, September 2023. Fr. Barrios Prieto: “Your commitment to democracy, to Christian values and to advance the process of European integration is an example for many”. Videos: Ceremony | President Metsola’s Speech
The awarding ceremony was held in the context of the XXIII International Krakow Conference on ‘The Role of Christians in the Process of European Integration’, this year dedicated to the theme: ‘Consequences of the War. What will Europe be like? What will Poland be like?”.
The In Veritate Award is given to personalities as a recognition for their outstanding achievements in combining Christian and European values. The Award carries the name of H.E. Mgr. Tadeusz Pieronek, a late Polish prelate and one of the initiators of the International Krakow Conference.
“In a world where war crimes and the violation of human rights are rife, where major powers challenge democracies and totalitarisms defy multilateralism, standing up for our values is more important than ever” – EP President Roberta Metsola said in her acceptance address.
“Our Christian and European values anchor us, they will help us prepare for a future European Union in which like-minded democracies such as Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and the Western Balkans will be included. We share common beliefs and interests, and it is our responsibility not to let them down”, she continued. Watch the video of her speech
Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto, Secretary General of COMECE, thanked President Metsola and stated: “Your commitment to democracy, to Christian values and to advance the process of European integration is an example for many”.
The In Veritate Award was also given to Rev. Andrzej Boniecki MIC, Honorary editor-in-chief of the “Tygodnik Powszechny” weekly.
H.E. Mgr. Janusz Stepnowski, Bishop Delegate of the Polish Episcopate to COMECE and President of the COMECE Commission on Culture and Education sent a video message congratulating both awardees. Watch the complete video
During the opening of the event, Fr. Barrios Prieto highlighted the importance of this annual Conference as a “space for dialogue between politics, academia, media, the Church and the civil society”.
Recalling the two dreams that Pope Francis considers urgent for today’s Europe – unity and peace – the Secretary General of COMECE pleaded for recovering the European spirit, “one that enables us to look beyond our own times, beyond national boundaries and immediate needs, and that generates forms of diplomacy capable of pursuing unity, and not aggravating divisions”. Read the Fr. Barrios’ opening speech
The event was co-organised by the Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek Foundation, the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), the Robert Schuman Foundation, the European People’s Party Group in the European Parliament and its Polish delegation.