On the evening of August 4, 2018, the Hans Ringier Foundation presented the European Prize for Political Culture to Sir Christopher Munro Clark in Ascona. Frank A. Meyer, chairman of the foundation, on the reasons for choosing Christopher Clark: «His book about the outbreak of the First World War, The Sleepwalkers, is currently very topical for Europe, while his six-part TV series The Europe Saga not only conveys insights into Europe’s roots, but also provokes a cheerful acceptance of the European community. Christopher Clark is one of the great historical thinkers of our time.»
Wolfgang Schäuble, President of the German Bundestag, paid tribute to the prize winner with the following words: «For Christopher Clark, history is like the Oracle of Delphi: it offers mysterious, enigmatic stories. It is only by attempting to understand and explain these stories that we deepen our understanding of today’s problems. If history is an oracle, then Christopher Clark is its seasoned attendant, almost a high priest of profound interpretation of sources, clever analysis, stringent reasoning and rousing descriptions. A European perspective is central to his historical work. He thereby contributes to an understanding of European history and to a European consciousness – something we need more urgently than ever.»
The award was presented during Frank A. Meyer’s traditional «Dîner Républicain» in the Hotel Castello del Sole in Ascona. For 45 years, the Locarno Film Festival has offered a cultural backdrop for this gathering that brings together personalities from politics, business, science and culture. The guests included Alain Berset, President of the Swiss Confederation, Swiss Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, Wolfgang Schäuble, President of the German Bundestag, Gerhard Schröder, former Chancellor of Germany, Jens Spahn, the German Minister of Health, Norbert Röttgen, Chair of the German Committee on Foreign Affairs, Stephan Steinlein, Head of the Office of the Federal President, Jack Lang, former French Minister of Culture and Education, Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, and Kate Gilmore, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights. Guests from the cultural sector included the authors Adolf Muschg, Gilles Kepel and Kacem El Ghazzali, the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, the French historian Edouard Husson, and the actors Margarita Broich and Burghart Klaussner.
Ringier AG, Corporate Communications
Upper row: Alain Berset und Muriel Zeender-Berset, Kristina Spohr, Gastgeber Frank A. Meyer, Europa-Preisträger 2018 Christopher Clark, Wolfgang und Ingeborg Schäuble, Lilith Frey, Paola Rodoni und Ignazio Cassis. Front row: Marco und Michela Solari, Gerhard Schröder und Soyeon Kim, Jack Lang, Stephan Steinlein, Ebba Herfs-Röttgen und Norbert Röttgen. Copyright: Karl-Heinz Hug