Jürgen Habermas, born in 1929, receives the prize as one of the greatest European intellectuals. Habermas is chiefly known through his work in the field of social philosophy and teaching activities at universities all over the world. His theories have considerably shaped the development of modern social sciences and the morals of philosophy.
The German Environment Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, honored Jürgen Habermas with a laudatory speech. The 50,000 Euro prize, endowed by the Hans Ringier Foundation, was handed over in the framework of the «Dîner républicain» in the Castello del Sole in Ascona (Switzerland). The event took place for the 33rd time during the International Locarno Film Festival at invitation of the Swiss journalist Frank A. Meyer.
Among other guests, the prize was presented in the presence of Switzerland’s Executive Federal Councilors Hans-Rudolf Merz and Moritz Leuenberger, as well as the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Jürgen Rüttgers.
Jury members were the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Chief of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Publisher Michael Ringier; Swiss author Adolf Muschg and the Manager, Utz Claassen, as well as Jury President Frank A. Meyer.
The European prize was awarded for the third time this year – in 2007 it was presented to the Serbian President, Boris Tadic, and in 2006 to the Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker.