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France's Macron to get Charlemagne Prize for 'European vision'

来源:REUTERS 作者: 时间:2018-05-11 Tag: 点击:


Emmanuel Macron will become on Thursday only the second sitting French president to win the prestigious Charlemagne Prize for offering a “vision of a new Europe”, and Germany’s Angela Merkel will deliver the official speech commending his efforts.

But, while lavish in her praise for the 40-year-old Macron since he swept to power a year ago, the German chancellor is ironically proving the biggest obstacle to his ambitions for a more politically and economically integrated Europe.

Macron will receive the award - given out annually since 1950 - at a ceremony rich in symbolism in the Coronation room of Aachen town hall in Germany. Aachen was the residence of Charlemagne, often called the “father of Europe”, who managed to unite much of western Europe in the early ninth century.

The French leader impressed the prize committee with his “vision of a new Europe and the re-establishment of the European project”. In their citation, they call Macron “a head of state with a claim to European leadership”.

Francois Mitterand was the last sitting French president to receive the award, winning it jointly with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1988.

Merkel, the longest serving European Union leader, sometimes dubbed the “Queen of Europe”, has demonstrated her personal esteem for Macron in agreeing to deliver the “laudation”. She herself received the prize in 2008.

Yet she has largely poured cold water on Macron’s ideas for reviving the EU, which include a stand-alone budget for the single currency bloc, a single finance minister, and other steps to reinforce economic and monetary union.

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