|Awarded for||Distinguished service on behalf of European unification|
|Presented by||Society for the Conferring of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen|
|First awarded||1 May 1950|
|Currently held by||Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Maria Kalesnikava, Veronika Tsepkalo|
The Charlemagne Prize (German: Karlspreis; full name originally Internationaler Karlspreis der Stadt Aachen, International Charlemagne Prize of the City of Aachen, since 1988 Internationaler Karlspreis zu Aachen, International Charlemagne Prize at Aachen) is a prize awarded for work done in the service of European unification. It has been awarded since 1950 by the German city of Aachen. It commemorates Charlemagne (German: Karl der Große), ruler of the Frankish Empire and founder of what became the Holy Roman Empire, who resided and is buried in Aachen. Traditionally the award is given to the recipient on Ascension Day in a ceremony in the Aachen Town Hall. In April 2008, the organisers of the Charlemagne Prize and the European Parliament jointly created a new European Charlemagne Youth Prize, which recognises contributions by young people towards the process of European integration. Patrons of the foundation are King Philippe of Belgium, King Felipe VI of Spain, and Henri, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg.
On 19 December 1949, Kurt Pfeiffer presented to the reading group "Corona Legentium Aquensis", which he had founded, his proposals for the prize: "We have the honour of proposing annual presentation of an international prize for the most valuable contribution in the services of Western European understanding and work for the community, and in the services of humanity and world peace. This contribution may be in the field of literary, scientific, economic or political endeavour."
The sponsors of the prize, the City of Aachen, refer to Charlemagne as the "Founder of Western Culture", and assert that under his reign, the City of Aachen was once the spiritual and political centre of the whole of what is now western Europe.
Following the presentation of the award to the Italian Prime Minister Alcide de Gasperi in 1952, the International Charlemagne Prize of the City of Aachen has repeatedly sent messages going far beyond Germany and promoting the "unity of Europe".
The award sponsors assert that the list of Charlemagne Prize winners reflects the history of the European process of unification, commonly referred to as European Integration. They continue that it has been awarded to founding fathers of a United Europe such as de Gasperi, Schuman, Monnet and Adenauer, and to those who have embodied hope for integration such as Edward Heath, Konstantinos Karamanlis, and His Majesty Juan Carlos I.
The sponsors promote that the Charlemagne Prize is not only an expression of gratitude for lasting services for the unity of Europe, but also an encouragement and an expression of hopes and expectations directed towards the future. They quote Kurt Pfeiffer: "the Charlemagne Prize reaches into the future, and at the same time it embodies an obligation – an obligation of the highest ethical value. It is directed at a voluntary union of the European peoples without constraint, so that in their newfound strength they may defend the highest earthly goods – freedom, humanity and peace – and safeguard the future of their children and children's children."
In April 2008, the organisers of the Charlemagne Prize and the European Parliament jointly created a new European Charlemagne Youth Prize, which recognises contributions by young people towards the process of European integration.
- 1950 Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi
- 1951 Hendrik Brugmans
- 1952 Alcide de Gasperi
- 1953 Jean Monnet
- 1954 Konrad Adenauer
- 1956 Winston Churchill
- 1957 Paul Henri Spaak
- 1958 Robert Schuman
- 1959 George C. Marshall
- 1960 Joseph Bech
- 1961 Walter Hallstein
- 1963 Edward Heath
- 1964 Antonio Segni
- 1966 Jens Otto Krag
- 1967 Joseph Luns
- 1969 European Commission
- 1970 François Seydoux de Clausonne
- 1972 Roy Jenkins
- 1973 Salvador de Madariaga
- 1976 Leo Tindemans
- 1977 Walter Scheel
- 1978 Konstantinos Karamanlis
- 1979 Emilio Colombo
- 1981 Simone Veil
- 1982 Juan Carlos of Spain
- 1984 Karl Carstens
- 1986 The People of Luxembourg
- 1987 Henry Kissinger
- 1988 Helmut Kohl and François Mitterrand
- 1989 Frère Roger
- 1990 Gyula Horn
- 1991 Václav Havel
- 1992 Jacques Delors
- 1993 Felipe González
- 1994 Gro Harlem Brundtland
- 1995 Franz Vranitzky
- 1996 Beatrix of the Netherlands
- 1997 Roman Herzog
- 1998 Bronisław Geremek
- 1999 Tony Blair
- 2000 Bill Clinton
- 2001 György Konrád
- 2002 The Euro
- 2003 Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
- 2004 Pat Cox
- 2004 / Pope John Paul II (extraordinary prize)
- 2005 Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
- 2006 Jean-Claude Juncker
- 2007 Javier Solana
- 2008 Angela Merkel
- 2009 Andrea Riccardi
- 2010 Donald Tusk
- 2011 Jean-Claude Trichet
- 2012 Wolfgang Schäuble
- 2013 Dalia Grybauskaitė
- 2014 Herman Van Rompuy
- 2015 Martin Schulz
- 2016 / Pope Francis
- 2017 Timothy Garton Ash
- 2018 Emmanuel Macron
- 2019 António Guterres
- 2020/2021 Klaus Iohannis
- 2022 Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Maria Kalesnikava, Veronika Tsepkalo
- 2023 Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people
- Germany, France : 9
- Italy, United Kingdom : 5
- Spain : 4
- Belgium, United States, Netherlands, Luxembourg : 3
- Vatican, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Europe : 2
- Ireland, Czech Republic, Norway, Lithuania, Denmark, Greece, Switzerland, Portugal, Romania, Belarus, Ukraine :1
(The popes are counted only for the Vatican City)
- European Charlemagne Youth Prize
- European integration
- Leipzig Human Rights Award, originally called the "Alternative Charlemagne Award", formed in opposition to Clinton's recognition with the award
- The Writing on the Wall (Yes Minister), which subjects the prize to satirical treatment (called the 'Napoleon Prize' in the episode)
- Aachen Peace Prize, formed in opposition to Kissinger's recognition with the award
- "Patrons". www.karlspreis.de.
- "President of the European Parliament to receive the 2015 Charlemagne Prize". Deutsche Welle. 13 December 2014. Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "Aachener Karlspreis an Rumäniens Präsidenten Klaus Johannis verliehen". Der Spiegel (in German). 2 October 2021. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
- "The International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen". Stiftung Internationaler Karlspreis zu Aachen. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "Charlemagne Prize". The Lord Mayor of the City of Aachen. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "European Charlemagne Youth Prize". European Parliament. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "Timothy Garton Ash erhält den Karlspreis". Der Spiegel (in German). 22 January 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2021.