Herman Van Rompuy, Martin Schulz and José Manuel Barroso receive the Gold Medal of the Foundation
On 17 October 2014, the Foundation awarded its Gold Medal to Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council; Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament; and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission.
Through this award, the Foundation sought to jointly commend three people who, at the head of their respective institutions and in the spirit of the Community method forged by Jean Monnet, have succeeded in showing solidarity in confronting the major challenges faced by Europe, by preserving the original community framework that presided over the European integration process.
The awarding of the Foundation’s Gold Medal received extensive media coverage
The emotion was palpable among the crowd as the helicopters of the Foundation’s three Gold Medal laureates came into sight, arriving in a beautiful clear blue sky that merged with Lake Geneva. Arriving from Geneva airport, they landed at around 17.45 in front of the Amphimax building of the University of Lausanne campus.
The welcome committee, centering around President José Maria Gil-Robles, included members and the management of the Foundation, numerous students and lecturers from the University of Lausanne, and several public figures including Rector Dominique Arlettaz, the Mayor of the City of Lausanne, Daniel Brélaz, and the President of the State Council of the Canton of Vaud, Pierres-Yves Maillard. There followed a special moment to meet and talk over drinks before the Gold Medal award ceremony began with the European anthem, played by the string trio whose musical interludes accompanied the whole ceremony.
Following speeches by the University Rector and representatives of the public authorities, the President of the Foundation gave a laudatory speech in which he expanded upon the reasons for choosing the three laureates to jointly receive the Foundation’s Gold Medal.
The laureates then addressed the public for 15 to 20 minutes each, with speeches that notably evoked the European Union’s work in overcoming the existential crisis that had been threatening it—speeches not devoid of emotion and more personal words referring to their years of collaboration, at a time when two of the three laureates are reaching the end of their term of office.
The ceremony was filmed and broadcast live on the channel Europe by Satellite (EbS).
Opening of the ceremony
Speech by Dominique Arlettaz, Rector of the University of Lausanne
« La qualité des relations entre la Fondation Jean Monnet pour l’Europe et l’Université de Lausanne est un témoignage quotidien de l’intérêt que les facultés de l’Université, les enseignants, les chercheurs et les étudiants portent à l’Europe. »
Speech by Daniel Brélaz, Mayor of the City of Lausanne
Speech by Pierre-Yves Maillard, President of the State Council of the Canton of Vaud
Speech by Henri Gétaz, Ambassador, Director of the European Affairs Directorate of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Musical interlude: Franz Schubert, string trio in B flat major, D471 – Allegro
Laudatory speech to the recipients, by José Maria Gil-Robles, President of the Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe
“Today, not only does the European Union seem to have weathered the worst of the storm, but new advances have been made in the joint exercise of national sovereignty, and in strengthening the solidarity between the Member States”
“The three presidents commended by the Foundation have succeeded in maintaining continuous, positive dialogue both between the institutions they are at the head of and between themselves personally”
Awarding of the Gold Medal to the recipients
Musical interlude: Ludwig van Beethoven, string trio in E flat, op. 3, N°. 1 – Menuetto moderato
Response by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council
“We took these decisions standing on the edge of a precipice, with our backs against a wall, and a knife at our throats…It was urgency that brought about these tough decisions. And that is what worries me for the future. Today the urgency is no longer so pressing, but that does not mean that our underlying problems have been resolved.”
Response by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament
Response by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
“It is this vision of Europe that we defended throughout the years—a strong and united Europe, a Europe of collective solidarity and individual responsibility, a Europe of stability and growth.”
Intermède musical : Ludwig van Beethoven, Sérénade en ré majeur, op.8 – Allegretto alla Polacca
Conclusions by José Maria Gil-Robles, President of the Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe
The musicians in the string trio were Johannes Rose, Mary Elliot, and Olivier Blache.