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Pope John Paul II and Pat Cox MEP, President of the European Parliament, receive the Charlemagne Prize for great European Achievement  

Please find below the text of a press release from the European Parliament Office in Scotland, for further information, contact:  

John Edward, Head of Office  
European Parliament Office in Scotland  
The Tun, 4 Jackson ´s Entry  
Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8PJ  
T: +44 (0)131 557 7866 (9149 from inside EP)  
F: +44 (0)131 557 4977  
www.europarl.org.uk  

Exceptionally in 2004, the Charlemagne Prize - one of the highest European honours - will be awarded twice.  

Next Wednesday, 24 March, an extraordinary Charlemagne Prize will be awarded to His Holiness Pope John Paul II in Rome to pay tribute to his outstanding life's work promoting European understanding in the service of humanity and world peace. The award ceremony will take place in the Vatican from 17.00-18.00 local time.  

Pat Cox MEP, President of the European Parliament, will receive the International Charlemagne Prize on Ascension Day, 20 May 2004, in Aachen City Hall in Germany. The prize is being awarded in recognition of the President's contribution to European integration and, in particular, his work in securing the historic enlargement which will take place on May 1st this year.  

Pat Cox, President of the European Parliament, will attend the ceremony in Rome on Wednesday.  

For further information relating to interviews with President Pat Cox or photographs of the two award winners please contact: David Harley, Spokesman for the President, GSM +32 496 599 453 or Helen Kearns, Press Officer GSM +32 478 585 281  

For more information on the Charlemagne Prize see attached background note.  

Background information  

What is the Charlemagne Prize?  

The International Charlemagne Prize is given in recognition of services to European peace and unity.  

It was established by the City of Aachen in Western Germany in 1949 - at a time when the city was in ruins having been all but destroyed in the closing months of the Second World War.  

Named after the Aachen-born 8th Century Emperor Charlemagne, as a "great founder of Western Culture," the prize marks Germany's commitment to a harmonious post-war continent. It has become one of the most prestigious European honours.  


The official criteria for the prize is that it awarded for contributions fostering mutual understanding among European peoples. Although it can be awarded for literary, scientific, economic or political endeavour, the prize has frequently been given to European leaders noted for their commitment to achieving post-war harmony on the continent.  

The Charlemagne Prize Laureates  

Previous Charlemagne Prize winners include Jean Monnet, Konrad Adenauer, Winston Churchill, George Marshall - who drew up a rescue scheme for post-war Europe - Sir Edward Heath, Lord Jenkins, Henry Kissinger, Dr. Helmut Kohl and Vaclav Havel.  

More recently, the award has been given to the President of the European Convention Valéry Giscard d Estaing in 2003, to the "EURO" represented by the European Central Bank and its President Wim Duisenberg in 2002, to the Hungarian writer and sociologist Györgi Konrád in 2001, to Bill Clinton President of the United States of America in 2000, and to Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1999.  

ENDS  

Peter Kearney  
Director  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
Glasgow  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168  
pk@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org  

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