Schwarzkopf Europe Award

With the Schwarzkopf Europe Award, young Europeans honour institutions or people in public life who are particularly committed to a peaceful, unified and sustainable Europe. The prize has been awarded since 2003 to actors who work for European understanding, the coming together of Europe and for Europe’s responsible role in the world.

The nomination process

Nominations are made exclusively by young Europeans who focus on young topics in the selection process. For this reason, the jury consists of the foundation’s Young Europeans of the Year.

The award aims to make visible where topics and values that play a role for young people and their futures are being represented in public life and discourses today. It honours commitment to democratic values such as freedom of speech, peaceful coexistence, environmental protection and/or fighting against repressive, undemocratic regimes, corruption and abuse.

Winner 2022

Serhij Zhadan

Serhij Zhadan is not only a great writer and musician, but he has also always shown courage. Having already actively supported the Orange Revolution and Euromaidan, Zhadan's poetry and commitment stand for a vibrant Ukrainian civil society. In face of the war, he embodies a sign of hope – not just for Ukraine, but for all of Europe.

Former Awardees

  • 2021 – As Slovakia’s first female president, Zuzanna Čaputová takes a stand against organized crime, for minority rights and an eco-sustainable future. She is honoured by the jury for this commitment and her exemplary role as a democratic leader.

  • 2020 – With her cinematic works and beyond, the Norwegian filmmaker Deeyah Khan deals in an impressive way with religious and political fundamentalists and perpetrators of violence and confronts them with their own befliefs. With her feminist magazine “sister-hood” she offers young Muslim women a supporting platform and creates a network of unheard voices.

  • 2019 – This year, the Schwarzkopf Foundation honours the civil rights initiative New Europeans, which is campaigning for an #EUGreenCard to ring fence the rights and status of EU citizens currently resident in the UK and Britons currently resident in Europe.

  • 2018 – Margrethe Vestager has been European Commissioner for Competition since 2014. The jury honored her inspiring interpretation of her role as commissioner and the courage she has shown in the past years fighting for fair competition. As a Commissioner, she pushed for compliance with EU laws, but also worked tirelessly to bring EU institutions closer to their constituents.

  • 2017 – Emily O’Reilly is the EU Ombudswoman who supports the integrity of the different institutions of the European Union and upholds the European idea in her work. She has become a role model for the European youth through her tiredless work against the erosion of the European Union.

  • 2016 – IHA Germany e.V. , Flüchtlinge Willkommen, and SOS Méditerranée for their work with central challenges to the refugee crisis. Inter European Human Aid Association in Germany focuses on the protection and assistance on the EU borders. The initiative Flüchtlinge Wilkommen brings flat shares and refugees together. SOS Méditerranée Germany not only supports shipwrecked refugees in the Mediterranean sea but protects and guides refugees and migrants with the help of medical and psychological care.

  • 2015 – Neil MacGregor is a historian and one of the founding directors of the Humboldt Forum who has outstandingly dedicated himself to the European self-conception. He manages to unite cultural visions of the past, present and future in an extraordinary way, using innovative ways of teaching.

  • 2014 – The human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina shows impressive dedication in her work for human rights in her native Russia. She fights especially for refugees and displaced persons in Russia and Europe and founded in 1990 the first human rights organisation in Russia. Together with parlamantarians, she is developing legal basis for the rights of refugees and displaced persons und is convinced that Germany's asylum policy plays an important role in Europe.

  • 2013 – sociologist Ulrich Beck is committed to the European common good instead of narrow-minded national policies in times of crises. He is eager to make his scientific insights and a debate about them accessible to as many people as possible and thus contributes to the creation of a European public.

  • 2012 – German politician Martin Schulz is honoured for his tiredless advocacy for a solidary and united Europe in his role as the President of the European Parliament.

  • 2011 – Connie Hedegaard, former European Commissioner for Climate Action, received the Schwarzkopf Europe Award 2011 for her dedicated and tireless commitment in the fight against climate change.

  • 2010 – Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, was honoured for his communication of the historical importance of European integration and cooperation, and his exemplary management of the financial crisis. Additionally, he was honoured for his commitment to counteract casual emergences of nationalism in European politics.

Awardees before 2010

  • 2009: Nataša Kandić (Founder and Director of the Humanitarian Law Center Belgrade), Vesna Terselic (Founder and Director of Documenta Zagreb), Mirsad Tokaca (Founder and Director of the Research and Documentation Center Sarajevo)
  • 2008: Alexander Stubb (Finnish Foreign Minister)
  • 2007: Aliaksandr Lahvinets (Opposition Politician in Belarus)
  • 2006: Dieter Kosslick (Director of the Berlin International Film Festival)
  • 2004: Navid Kermani (Author and Islamic Scholar)
  • 2003: Carla del Ponte (Chief Prosecutor of the Yugoslavian Tribunal)