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Driving force of Europe: Theodor Wanner Award for Federica Mogherini

Award-winner Federica Mogherini, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Ulrich Raulff, President of ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen).

Award-winner Federica Mogherini, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Ulrich Raulff, President of ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)., © Thomas Trutschel/photothek.de

18.12.2019 - Article

Federica Mogherini has worked for peace and understanding on many fronts and has decisively strengthened the role of cultural diplomacy. In recognition of these achievements, ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) presented her with the 2019 Theodor Wanner Award.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas paid tribute to her work.

There are many different voices in the EU choir. Getting a harmonious sound is hard work. At today’s ceremony to present the Theodor Wanner Award to Federica Mogherini, Foreign Minister Maas highlighted her great dedication to European unity:

Not only did you manage the cultural differences, the many voices, the various egos and temperaments of Europe’s Foreign Ministers. You were Europe’s strong voice for its friends and partners in the world. Throughout the five years in which you were the director of our European choir, you displayed great sensitivity and determination to avoid hitting wrong notes. You set standards here for the still relatively new position of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Maas paid tribute to Mogherini’s great dedication in a job that is difficult to do. Above all on the nuclear agreement with Iran, her tireless work was a major factor in the success of European diplomacy. Just one day after the Brexit referendum, Mogherini published the EU’s Global Strategy. She thus underscored the EU’s goals to work closer together on foreign policy as well as on security and defence – as the only way for it to hold its own in our changed world.

Cultural diplomacy as a key component of European foreign policy

European foreign policy was always for Mogherini also a cultural task, as Maas emphasised: “Because you recognised the need for diversity as an element of our fight against populism and nationalism. And you appreciated that the beauty inherent in this cultural and human diversity is the basis for our identity”. In 2016, Mogherini identified cultural diplomacy as a key component of the Global Strategy.
Together with Germany, she put the topic “culture and crisis” on the European Agenda for 2017, while the protection of cultural property was anchored as an element of the Common Security and Defence Policy – within the EU and beyond. Concrete projects include the Balkan Heritage Route to which Mogherini was committed and the efforts to promote cultural preservation in Iraq. As part of cultural diplomacy, the EU is now also more engaged in promoting creative industries and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Theodor Wanner Award

Since 2009, ifa has been awarding the Theodor Wanner Award to persons and organisations who have made outstanding contributions to intercultural dialogue and international understanding. The Foreign Minister is patron of the Award which is endowed with 10,000 euros. Mogherini, who describes herself as “a proud Roman, a proud Italian and a proud European”, will donate this money to the organisation Rondine Cittadella della Pace which is committed to reducing armed conflicts around the world and has developed its own method for the creative transformation of conflicts.

Theodor Wanner, German entrepreneur, promoter of academia and museum director, founded the Süddeutsche Rundfunk AG and served as director of the Linden-Museum für Länder- und Völkerkunde in Stuttgart. It was on his initiative that ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) was founded in 1917.

More information: Ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)

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