Leipzig Award










Responses to the Charlemagne Award for Clinton

Aachen, Germany
dates ending March 20, 2000
Aachen Newspaper


Tanja Goebels: Looking at two side of the medal
Erwin Kneip: comparison to clinton
Norbert Schunck: Norbert Schunck
Walter von den Driesch: Time for an emergency escape
Christian Mertens: Yes, so where is he?

Tanja Goebels ( 24 February 2000 )

Looking at two side of the medal

Surely Bill Clinton's accomplishments have contributed to unity in Europe, but it is questionable as to whether he was the chief initiator. Wouldn't it have been more fitting to have chosen one of the force commanders of the UNO troops or a person from among the large first aid teams like the Red Cross or Maltese Assistance. The bombs ended the media effectiveness of the war. But what is now going on in the areas of crisis is almost even worse. People are still dying there, be it of hunger, cold, exhaustion or crimes of all sorts. Where is America now?

Erwin Kneip ( 24 February 2000 )

Comparison to clinton

Advertisement for Aachen is good and is needed. But who will the Charlemagne Award directorate be able to nominate for the 2001 Charlemagne Award once they have already given it to Clinton?! Despite common sense, the Charlemagne Award has unfortunately degenerated into a a floor show for super celebrities. My request: grant the awards to those who are really involved!

Norbert Schunck ( 08 March 2000 )

Concerning the decision on this year's winner of the Charlemagne Award, I would like to add the following comment:

In my opinion the Dutch official who discovered the embezzlement of tax monies by the last European Commission in Brussels last year, thereby redeeming this EU Commission, would have been a basically much better suited award winner. This man, presumably, did Europe a basically much greater service than the American President Bill Clinton could ever do. An American President is bound by his own Constitution to pursue American interests. As far as he is concerned, developments in the European unification process play a role in his decisions only in so far as they conform to American interests. That Dutch official, however, put his personal career on the line for the future of Europe. By granting this year's award to him, it would have been a sign that the European state of mind is the mission of all Europeans and not just of politicians. At the same time the people in Europe would have been encouraged in that they would have been shown that it still pays off to put personal awareness above career considerations today. Unfortunately, the Charlemagne Award Committee passed up this chance in its search for models of the great and powerful in this world. The chief mayor's statements about granting the prize to Clinton brought Aachen into extra- regional consciousness: the Charlemagne Award as a marketing tool for Aachen. That may fit today's trend of functionalizing everything and anything, but it fundamentally contradicts what the Award was originally meant for. It would be good for the esteem for the Charlemagne Award and its roots in Aachen and in Europe if at some time in future years a " little" European man (or woman) would be honored for having demonstrated something big for Europe even though his area of influence was only small.

Walter von den Driesch ( 20 March 2000 )

Time for an emergency escape

I think it is a sign from heaven, and a whim from those politically in charge to make an emergency escape. IMO it is high time to consider diversity in giving the prize in Aachen.

Christian Mertens ( 20 March 2000 )

Yes, so where is he?

Mildly put, I find it an act of impudence to accept the time-honored Charlemagne Award on the fringe of some other event. And then to simply refuse the award if the other event is cancelled. Naturally, Good Ole Bill is an Important Person (even creating peace in Pakistan and, while he's at it, doing away with world hunger besides). But enough of the sarcasm: if Bill Clinton thinks the Charlemagne Award is so insignificant that he does not even think it is worth a visit to one of the most beautiful German cities, then surely it wouldn't bother him if somebody else got it. With all the special things he has, that would be just one more something special...


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