Zuzana Čaputová (46), the newly elected President of Slovakia, received the Hans Ringier Foundation’s European Prize for Political Culture today in Ascona. The environmental activist and civil rights campaigner, who was previously almost unknown outside Slovakia, is the new face of hope for Eastern European EU countries – as once Václav Havel, the anti-communist freedom fighter and first president of the Czech Republic.
Zuzana Čaputová’s decisive election victory in March this year can be seen as a historic turning point. She provides her young country with a leading figure whose politics are firmly opposed to the power of corruption and oligarchy.
«Every European democrat should salute Zuzana Čaputová’s determination and courage, as well as the determination and wisdom of the Slovakian citizens in electing her,» said Frank A. Meyer, President of the Hans Ringier Foundation, on her election.
Katarina Barley, Vice-President of the European Parliament, honoured the prizewinner in her laudatory speech: «The Slovakian president Zuzana Čaputová epitomises the key issues currently at the centre of attention in Europe: she is committed to the rule of law, civil rights, the protection of minorities, and a collaborative migration policy. She is also dedicated to sustainable environmental policies. She opposes corruption and champions transparency in society. Her election to president is a heartening sign for a values-based Europe, and it is an honour for me to deliver this speech for her.»
The award was presented during the traditional «Dîner Républicain». The event, hosted by Frank A. Meyer, has been bringing together prominent figures from politics, business, science and culture for conversations and debates in Ascona for more than 46 years.
Ringier AG, Corporate Communications