Published on 14 March 2023
Magdeburg awards the Kaiser Otto Prize every two years, honouring personalities with outstanding achievements in the field of European unification, particularly with regard to the countries of Eastern and Southeastern Europe. This year, the President of the Slovak Republic, Zuzana Čaputová, will receive the prize. In this way, the prize committee and the Kaiser Otto Cultural Foundation honour her European stance and her constructive commitment to the rule of law, peace and freedom. The Kaiser Otto Prize will be awarded at a ceremony on 30 August 2023, in Magdeburg Cathedral.
‘With this year’s most important award of the state capital Magdeburg, we honour a globally-minded, committed European who enjoys international high regard and recognition far beyond the borders of Slovakia and has taken a clear position against the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine’, said Mayor Simone Borris. ‘With tenacity, persuasiveness, straightforwardness and courage, Zuzana Čaputová fought for human rights and the rule of law long before taking up her political office. She advanced to become a leading figure for a democratic Slovakia shaped by liberal values […].’
The award committee’s citation states, among other things: ‘In moving and difficult times for Europe, marked by major crises such as we are currently experiencing, Zuzana Čaputová has been and continues to be a committed and passionate campaigner for fundamental values such as the rule of law, peace and freedom, both in her country and in Europe. She sees the defence of democracy as one of the main tasks for European politicians of her generation. In conservative Slovakia, she is a courageous and passionate advocate for equal rights for homosexuals and ethnic minorities and is tirelessly committed to climate protection. She gives a voice to those who are not heard in society and is a role model for politically active women.’
The Kaiser Otto Award will be presented on 30 August 2023, at Magdeburg’s St. Mauritius and St. Catherine Cathedral. The ceremony is thus traditionally celebrated at the place that is most closely associated with Emperor Otto the Great. He elevated Magdeburg in the 10th century to a leading centre of power that could compete in importance with cities such as Aachen, Rome and Constantinople.
The Kaiser Otto Prize is awarded every two years in recognition of internationally significant individuals or legal entities who have rendered outstanding services to European understanding, who have championed the liberal values of peace, tolerance and democracy in word and deed, and who have contributed to promoting and deepening the process of European unification.