European Union Prize for Literature: extracts from the press conference by Ján Figel'
The first edition of the European Union Prize for Literature took place on 28 September 2009 in Brussels during a high-profile ceremony at which public figures from the field of culture, literature and politics, as well as a broad European audience, were present.
The Prize will be awarded in three phases, in the years 2009, 2010, and 2011, with eleven or twelve winners each time. This way, by 2011, a winning talent will have been identified in each of the 34 countries in the EU's Culture Programme, which is co-funding the prize.
The 12 countries selected for the 2009 Awards are: Austria, Croatia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden. In 2010, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Finland, Luxembourg, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia and Spain will participate. They will be followed by Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Serbia, The Netherlands, Turkey and the United Kingdom, in 2011.
The aim of the European Union Prize for Literature is to put the spotlight on the creative and diverse wealth of Europe's contemporary literature, promoting greater circulation of literature within Europe and interest in non-national literary works.
The Prize is co-financed by the Culture Programme and by a consortium composed of the European Booksellers Federation (EBF), the European Writers' Council (EWC) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP). The consortium asked national bodies to establish a jury for the selection of this prize within their country.
The Prize-giving ceremony took place in the Flagey arts centre in Brussels and it was attended by Henning Mankell, Ambassador of the 2009 European Union Prize for Literature, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, and Ján Figel', Member of the EC in charge of Education, Training, Culture and Youth. SHOTLISTLINKLINKLINK