The seminar took place on 9 December 2009 at the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the European Union in Brussels and was devoted to "New European Solidarity or the Return of Egoism?"
The BELA Foundation hosted a seminar for 20 participants of the younger generation, both EU officials and parliamentarians prior to the presentation of the inaugural BELA Award.
The BELA Foundation Award
With the BELA award we want to honour those role models in our society whose achievements, performance and personalities can be a guide and an inspiration for the new generation. The award is in the shape of a relay baton: it symbolizes at the same time several leitmotivs of the Foundation, above all the idea of a common striving across generations towards European excellence. The name of each winner is engraved on the ebony baton. In this way his or her name and achievements become an integral part of our movement.
The award ceremony took place at 6 p.m. on 9 December 2009 at the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the European Union in Brussels.
His Excellency Carl Bildt, the Swedish Foreign Minister was presented with the 2009 BELA Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the enhancement of the European Union's global standing. Throughout his distinguished career Carl Bildt served to make the slogan "a Europe whole and free" possible. He made a unique contribution to achieving peace in the Balkans as the EU mediator and Special Representative as well as as Vice-Chairman of the Dayton Peace Conference and later EU High Commissioner for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Mr Carl Bildt is an outspoken and enthusiastic supporter of the idea of building a strategic dimension of the EU's presence in the world. In December Carl Bildt was still in charge of the EU's foreign policy as the Swedish presidency was finishing its mandate.
The presentation of the award was introduced by Barbara Maria Monheim, the Founder & President of the BELA Foundation and Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference. His Excellency Dr Miroslav Lajčák, the Foreign Minister of the Slovak Republic delivered the laudatory speech which was followed by the address of H. E. Carl Bildt: "A G3 World - Making the EU a Global Power".
The event was followed by a reception to which key personalities of the EU and its institutions were invited. In the evening the Annual Advisory Board meeting took place. It summed up the first two years of the BELA Foundation's work, including the launch of several initiatives i.e. BELA conferences, BELA seminars and BELA debates.