The award ceremony took place at 12 noon on 29 October 2012 at the University of Luxembourg.
Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg and the current Chairman of the Euro Group, was presented with the 2011 BELA Award in recognition of his exceptional achievements towards the realization of the goals and ideals of the European Union, his sustained commitment to its integration and stability and his central role in managing the euro zone crisis.
Jean-Claude Juncker has excelled as a passionate and enthusiastic European, advocating a stronger and more deeply integrated Europe. He was a key architect of the Maastricht Treaty, a milestone in the European integration process, and since then he has helped to shape a new united Europe. His contributions include the defense of adherence to the Maastricht criteria and the introduction of the Stability and Growth Pact. As President of the Euro Group since 2005, he has worked indefatigably to resolve the euro zone crisis and continues to fight for the stability of the euro zone. Mr Juncker has always stood up for the weaker European countries, and called for patience, understanding and cooperation in dealing with their problems within the Union.
Jean-Claude Juncker is a leader who has never lost sight of his main goal, namely the creation of a prosperous, socially-oriented and just Europe. He is, moreover, an outspoken and enthusiastic supporter of the younger generation of Europeans, inspiring them to take part actively in the unique project of European integration.
Prime Minister Juncker received the award at a ceremony in the University of Luxembourg, Campus Limpertsberg on October 29, 2012. Prof. Dr. Rolf Tarrach, President of the University, welcomed the guests. The presentation of the award was introduced by Barbara-Maria Monheim, President & Founder of the BELA Foundation. A laudatory greeting from Maestro Claudio Abbado, was read by the European Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski and the laudatory speech was delivered by Dr Marek Belka, former Prime Minister and current President of the National Bank of Poland. Prime Minister Juncker spoke on the theme: “ Lasst diese Krise nicht ungenutzt!“ (“Let Us Not Waste This Crisis!”). Music by Dmitri Shostakovich, performed by 3 young students, formed a musical framework for the ceremony.
The event was followed by a lunch to which a small circle of prominent figures from cultural, economic and political life were invited.