TO ADVANCE THE EUROPE OF PEOPLES
In order to overcome the conflicts of the past and to cope with the rise of new superpowers Europe must build its unity. This effort started long ago as far as political institutions and economic relations are concerned.
Today still the peoples of Europe don’t know each other well, especially those who were cut off for so long by the ‘Iron Curtain’. This lack of understanding is largely down to their not being open to the culture of others. To advance the Europe of Peoples is to advance the Europe of cultures.
TO MAKE OF CULTURE A EUROPEAN PRIORITY
In this respect the Declaration in favour of a European Charter of Culture adopted in Paris on 3 May 2005 is an encouraging first step : ’We, the representatives of the European Union Member States, convinced that culture is at the origin of the Europe in which we are living and represents a fundamental aspect of the European identity and citizenship, undertake to make culture an essential priority of the European construction process’.
The idea of a European Prize for Literature is both simple and bold : to contribute to a better mutual understanding of the peoples of Europe through the iconic personalities of their contemporary culture, those who today like Victor Hugo in his time are a living symbol thereof. It is by putting a face on each European country, that of its most famous contemporary writer, that our countries will best be able to respect, and to understand each other.
THE EUROPEAN PRIZE FOR LITERATURE
Every year the European Prize for literature honours for the entire body of his, or her work a European writer of international stature, with the view to highlight in a highly symbolic venue the cultural importance of Europe. The award is based on criteria of quality and of exemplarity, which are as demanding as those for the Nobel Prize for Literature.
NATHAN KATZ AND JEAN ARP PRIZES
The European Prize for literature is awarded by the Juries of the top Literary Prizes of Strasbourg, together with the Prix de Littérature Francophone Jean Arp and the Prix du Patrimoine Nathan Katz. These three prizes complement one another, and thereby rise above the lack of roots that often weakens the most generous initiatives in favour of the European idea, with each one affirming itself fully against the genuine and open background of the European capital city of Strasbourg, of multi-lingual Alsace, and of the French speaking world.