Statement by Jacques Delors at the European Book Prize
End production: 06/12/2007 First transmission: 06/12/2007
The first European Book Prize was awarded on 5 December 2007 at the European Parliament in Brussels, to Guy Verhofstadt, Belgian Prime Minister, for his book entitled "The United States of Europe". The European book prize is supported by Jacques Delors, former President of the European Commission. It intends to reward the work that best conveys a vision of the Europe of tomorrow. This book must have been published in one of the 27 Member States during the previous year. This prize seeks to promote European values, and to contribute to European citizens' better understanding of the European Union as a cultural entity. For its first edition, this award constituted the final touch of the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome celebrations.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Parliament in Brussels
||Henning Mankell, Swedish writer, President of the Jury of the European Book Prize
||Booklet of the event and Jacques Delors, former President of the EC
||Jacques Delors with Martin Schulz, Member of the EP
||Jacques Delors congratulating the winner: Guy Verhofstadt, Belgian Prime Minister
||Jacques Delors (in FRENCH) on why he accepted to sponsor the event; saying that anything that can boost the European adventure and attract citizens' interest is positive; the EU construction is complex, very active, with multiple decisions, debates; but for the citizens it is too far away; therefore, as he took the initiative of the Erasmus programme, it seemed to him that the European book Prize was another way to stimulate energies and rise attention on simple things that show we have a common destiny;
on how to communicate to citizens from 27 countries, 23 languages and different cultures; saying that Europe is unity in diversity; if you neglect one of the two, you do not move forward and you face opposition of the people or the citizens; unity in diversity, it has always been so; Europe has multiple origins, we have to accept that diversity;
on what message should be addressed to the citizens to explain Europe; saying that the jury had a variety of books, some focused on history, others on the future, others on the Institutions, others on politics; it is up to the jury to choose the book that gives a bit of a boost , a book that means we are ready to build the Europe we have dreamed about;
on how to explain the EU to the citizens in advance of the ratification of the reformed treaty and the 2009 European elections; saying that the EU and the Nation States are together, they share competencies, they have agreed jointly to exercise a part of their sovereignty; so let's turn to Europe for what it is competent and let's turn to the Nation State for what it is competent; to be an inventor of simplicity and then explain the interest of the reformed Treaty on the one hand; and above all explain the importance of the debate before the European elections of 2009, taking into account the increased power of the European Parliament, its contribution as the legislator and promoter of ideas;
on what he thinks about this reformed treaty; saying that in this Treaty, personally as a European citizen, he accepts 80% of what has been done; he questions for example the permanent President of the Council; he thinks it is a useless complication, there are enough Presidents already but altogether; and you can notice it in the public opinion, whatever orientations they have, the fact that there is a possibility to have this treaty and to be able to move on and decide is the most important we could not stand uncertainty and blockage anymore;
on the multicultural identity of Europe; saying that despite the efforts of Charlemagne or Napoleon there has never been a European Empire; it proves we are a complex addition of Nations; it must be respected, whatever difficulty; if you want to touch this diversity, the people of Europe will turn their back on Europe