On Wednesday 29 June 2016, Luxembourg Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, will be honoured with Grand Media Prize of the Franco-German Journalism Prize (PFAJ) association.
The PFAJ association brings together all major French and German media and, since 1983, has been annually awarding the Grand Media Prize since 1983 to people active or present in German, French and European media who, through their work, have shown particular interest in enhancing the cultural relations between France and Germany.
Previous winners include former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing; Germany’s former social democratic Chancellor Helmut Schmidt; former French Minister of Health and President of the European Parliament, Simone Veil; and German-French writer and sociologist, Alfred Grosser.
Jean Asselborn’s accession to the list of winners will be an historic one, as he will be the first individual to receive the accolade who is neither German nor French. He is being awarded the prize “for his commitment to European integration and for his firmness in the face of the recent infringements of the freedoms of the press and of expression in certain countries of the European Union.”
“Jean Asselborn knows better than anyone how to find the right words at the right time, without hiding behind diplomatice formulas,” commented President of the PFAJ and CEO of the Saarländischer Rundfunk, Thomas Kleist. “As a privileged interlocutor of the media, particularly in Germany, Mr. Asselborn is appreciated both for the precision of his analyses as well as his humour.”
According to Mr. Kleist, the politician embodies “a sympathetic figure and the role of an honest mediator in terms of European values”.
The award ceremony will be taking place in Berlin and will also present an opportunity for Minister Asselborn to participate in an expert forum with the German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble. The two ministers will engage in a Q&A session with the audience, which will consist of students from Sciences-Po Paris and from the Freie Universität Berlin.
The discussions will focus on European politics, especially in dealing with Franco-German and European cooperation, as well as the referendum on the membership of the United Kingdom to the EU.