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Headlines Published on 02 October 2006

Title European researcher honoured with first ever Lindh award

The first ever Anna Lindh award has been handed to Dr Helene Sjursen for her research concerning EU security policy.

Helene Sjursen won the 1st ever Anna Lindh Award for her work with the CIDEL project, among others.  © Matt+
Helene Sjursen won the 1st ever Anna Lindh Award for her work with the CIDEL project, among others.
Dr Sjursen has been involved in several EU-funded research projects focusing on key policy issues, namely as part of the Citizenship and Democratic Legitimacy in the EU (CIDEL) project.

The CIDEL project focused primarily on the concept of European citizenship. The project, which officially ended in October 2005 but continues to produce influential bodies of work, was divided into eight workpackages. Dr Sjursen was involved with the workpackage entitled "External Security".

Under this rubric, she was involved in several workshops. She participated in "From civilian to military power: the European Union at a crossroads?", where she gave a presentation called 'What kind of power?'; and Questioning EU Enlargement, for which Dr Sjursen edited a book of the same name.

The Anna Lindh award is was created as a common project by three different European research foundations: Compagnia di San Paolo in Turin, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond in Stockholm and VolkswagenStiftung in Hanover. The prize is awarded in the context of their European Foreign and Security Policy Studies training programme. The programme focuses on the prospects of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the European Security and Defense Policy. The foundations wish to support research projects that look beyond the national views currently dominating academic and practical approaches towards European foreign and security policy.

The award is named after the slain Swedish Foreign Minister who was attacked while shopping in a Stockholm department store. Ms Lindh was a member of the Swedish Social Democratic party and vocal supporter of Sweden's referendum to join the Euro-zone. Voters rejected the idea just a few days after her murder, despite much debate as to whether voters would be swayed by her death.

During the award ceremonies in Brussels, Commission Vice President Margot Wallström paid homage to Ms Lindh and her ideals of integrating peace into a viable security policy.

" Anna Lindh wanted the European Union to be better at preventing and managing crises, both inside and outside Europe. Thanks to her vision and energy, and despite initial reticence, the EU did finally decide to set up a civilian crisis management capability in parallel with its military capability," she said in her speech.

More information:

  • VolkswagenStiftung
  • Commemorative address by Commissioner Margot Wallström
  • CIDEL homepage

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