On Saturday evening, the Hans Ringier Foundation presented the European Prize for Political Culture to Mario Draghi. The ceremony was hosted by Frank A. Meyer, who described Mr. Draghi as an outstanding European and an anchor of stability in troubled times, adding that “The euro is not only the second most important currency in the world. It also ensures that Europe, as a world economic power, has an appropriate voice in exchange-rate policy. Mario Draghi is thus not only safeguarding the EU’s currency, but its standing in the world as well. His actions in carrying out that task are not solely economic in their focus. Acting with generous courage where necessary, he never loses sight of the responsibilities with which he has been entrusted.”
In his encomium address, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder recognized both Mario Draghi’s achievements and the importance of his work in furthering the interests of a shared currency, “In awarding the European Prize for Political Culture to Mario Draghi, we are honoring a great European, a convinced supporter of European unity and a defender of the common currency. During the four years he has presided over the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi has done everything in his power to uphold the independence of that institution, to keep prices stable and to ensure that the eurozone remains intact in its current form. His decisions have been unequivocal, courageous and eminently sensible.”
The Hans Ringier Foundation’s prize was presented by Frank A. Meyer at the traditional dîner républicain held at the Castello del Sole in Ascona , Switzerland. Since it was first instituted 41 years ago, the dîner républicain has been held during the Locarno International Film Festival, which always provides a suitably festive backdrop to this illustrious gathering. Guests attending the prize giving this year included the Swiss President, Simonetta Somaruga, the French minister Hélène Conway-Mouret, Schleswig-Holstein’s minister for schools and education, Britta Ernst, the CDU party chairman for Rheinland-Pfalz, Julia Klöckner, Swiss Federal Councillor Alain Berset, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, the first mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz, the chairman of the German Bundestag’s foreign-policy committee, Norbert Röttgen, the leader of Germany’s FDP party, Christian Lindner, the Deputy Chairman of the fraction Die Linke in the German Bundestag, Dietmar Bartsch and the chairman of the Munich Security Conference Wolfgang Ischinger. Guests from the world of culture included the Swiss writer Adolf Muschg, the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk and the Historian Christopher Clark.