Wien, 8. July 2011 Press release

Spindelegger: “Our thanks to Jerzy Buzek, the extraordinary politician who has done so much to further the cause of a united Europe

Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger congratulates Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament, on being awarded the Dr. Alois Mock Europe Prize

Vienna, 7 July 2011 – Today, in the Foreign Ministry’s Marble Hall, the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, was awarded this year’s Dr. Alois Mock Europe Prize for his commitment to a free and united Europe.

“Jerzy Buzek’s commitment to strengthening democracy and defending human rights both in his home country and in Europe is exemplary,” said Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Dr. Michael Spindelegger of the President of the European Parliament and former Polish Prime Minister. The prize was handed over in person by the President of the Foundation, former Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Dr. Alois Mock.

Elected in June 2009, Jerzy Buzek was the first national of one of the ten member states of the 2004 EU enlargement to be elected as President of the European Parliament. Prior to taking this office he had gained an excellent reputation as a Polish MP, Prime Minister and Polish Member of the European Parliament. “Following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon it was President Buzek who fully exploited the new competencies of the European Parliament and made Parliament an equal partner in talks and negotiations within the EU,” said Spindelegger, paying tribute to Buzek in his eulogy.

Buzek’s commitment to freedom and democracy in Poland and Europe goes back to the time when he chaired Solidarność, the Independent Trade Union Federation, at the beginning of the nineteen eighties, and his efforts reached their climax when Poland joined the European Union.

Buzek was awarded the Prize in recognition of his achievements as President of the European Parliament and as a Polish statesman.

Created in 1997, the Dr. Alois Mock Prize has been awarded to the following persons: Paul Lendvai, Elmar Brok, Dimitrij Rupel, Hugo Bütler, Roland Dumas, Magdalena Vasaryova, Hans-Gert Pöttering, Otto von Habsburg and Hans-Dietrich Genscher.

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