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European Prize for Political Culture goes to Frank-Walter Steinmeier
On Saturday evening, August 6, 2016, the Hans Ringier Foundation presented the European Prize for Political Culture to Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Ascona. The ceremony was hosted by Frank A. Meyer, who described Mr. Steinmeier as someone in whom the world, Europe and Germany all had confidence, adding that “he is an exemplary exponent of the European idea. His foreign-policy decisions are appropriate and proportional. His commitment is consistently directed towards the disadvantaged. Frank is, in short, a good person”.
In an address in the prizewinner’s honour, Swiss Federal Councillor Alain Berset said, “Today’s multiplicity of diverging interests require both idealism and pragmatism. And it is precisely these two attributes that Frank-Walter Steinmeier embodies, being serious and honest, efficient and charming, down-to-earth and urbane. The opposite, in other words, of a populist”, adding that Frank-Walter Steinmeier was “a true exponent of the ethics of responsibility, yet one who has his own point of view”.
The Hans Ringier Foundation’s prize was presented by Frank A. Meyer at the traditional dîner républicain held at the Castello del Sole Hotel in Ascona. Since it was first instituted 43 years ago, the dîner républicain has been held during the Locarno International Film Festival, which always provides a suitably festive backdrop to a gathering bringing together personalities from politics, business, science and culture. Guests attending the prize giving this year included Swiss Federal Councillor Alain Berset, Swiss National Council President Christa Markwalder, European Parliament Vice President Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, German Free Democratic Party leader Christian Lindner, Chairman of the German Federal Council’s Commission on Foreign Affairs Norbert Röttgen and German Parliamentary State Secretary Jens Spahn. Representatives of the world of culture included Nike Wagner, Director of Bonn’s Beethoven Festival, the philosophers Rüdiger Safranski and Peter Sloterdijk and the political scientist Bassam Tibi.