Dr Helene Sjursen is the winner of the Anna Lindh Award. Named in honour of Anna Lindh, the former Foreign Minister of Sweden, this is the first time the prize is presented for research on EU security policy. Dr Sjursen, a Norwegian researcher, is a vital player in various EU-funded research projects focusing on key policy issues. She is especially noted for her work in the project titled 'Citizenship and Democratic Legitimacy'.
CIDEL spotlighted the concept of European citizenship. While the project ended in October 2005, CIDEL is still generating influential bodies of work. Dr Sjursen played a significant role in the 'External Security' work package, which was one of eight packages. Under this rubric, she participated in many workshops, such as 'From civilian to military power: the European Union at a crossroads?', where Dr Sjursen presented 'What kind of power?' and 'Questioning EU Enlargement', for which she edited a book of the same name.
Dr Sjursen was presented the Anna Lindh Award in Brussels in September 2006, where EU Commission Vice President Margot Wallström paid homage to Ms Lindh and her principles 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," Ms. Wallström remarked.
Ms Lindh was slain while shopping in a Stockholm department store. She was a member of the Swedish Social Democratic party and a key supporter of Sweden's accession to the Eurozone, despite the constituents' decision to vote against membership.
The Anna Lindh Award was the brainchild of three European research foundations: Compagnia di San Paolo in Turin (Italy), Riksbankens Jubileumsfond in Stockholm (Sweden) and the VolkswagenStiftung in Hanover (Germany). The €20,000 prize is awarded in the context of their European Foreign and Security Policy Studies training programme, which underlines the prospects of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the European Security and Defence Policy. Research projects that look beyond the national views now dominating academic and practical approaches towards European foreign and security policy are getting the backing they need from the three foundations.