Westphalian Peace Prize

Europe looks to Münster

Next Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron will be honored in the ballroom of the historic town hall in Münster for his special commitment to peace in Europe. The head of state is coming to Münster on the last day of his three-day state visit to Germany. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier gives the laudation and then presents his guest with the International Peace of Westphalia Prize 2024.

A top-class jury from the Economic Society for Westphalia and Lippe (WWL), chaired by Federal President Steinmeier, awarded Macron this award in spring 2023. The prize is endowed with 100,000 euros, half of which goes to the German-Polish Youth Office, which was awarded the Youth Prize.

In addition to Macron and Steinmeier, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst and the two youth ministers from Germany and Poland, Lisa Paus and Barbara Nowacka, will also take part in the ceremony. Von der Leyen will give the opening speech in front of 350 guests, and Macron is expected to make a strong political commitment to peace and Europe in his acceptance speech.

North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst welcomes the presidential couple on Tuesday morning at Münster/Osnabrück Airport. From 9 a.m. the first guests of honor are expected in front of the town hall on the Principal Market. The state visit and award ceremony in Münster ensure the highest level of security in Germany on this day. The city center around the town hall is largely closed to private traffic. More than 350 guests and 200 international media representatives must undergo extraordinary security checks. When the presidential couple enters the ballroom, all other guests have taken their seats. That's what the protocol says.

WWL Chairman of the Board Dr. In addition to the state guests and award winners, Reinhard Zinkann can welcome guests from German and European politics, from Westphalian, Lippe and national entrepreneurs, from culture and the church, including CDU chairman Friedrich Merz and Federal Minister Svenja Schulze. The WWL fought for the appointment with Macron for more than a year. Dr. Zinkann: “It was very fortunate that the Federal President is also the chairman of our jury. In numerous conversations with President Steinmeier, I advocated incorporating the award ceremony into the program of the planned state visit. At the same time, our managing director Dr. André Vielstädte spoke to the Élysée and the French embassy for months, canvassed and maintained contact. We have not let up in our efforts to have the French President personally accept the Peace Prize in Münster.”

After the award ceremony, which is scheduled to last two hours, the award winners will be presented on Tuesday shortly after 12 noon, accompanied by Prime Minister Wüst and EU Commission President von der Leyen as well as Mayor Markus Lewe and Dr. Zinkann, looking over the Principal Market from the Sentenzbogen.

At the end, Macron, Steinmeier and their wives as well as von der Leyen and Wüst sign their names in the city's Golden Book. The state visit to Germany ends with a lunch together for the French presidential couple.

For the other guests at the Peace Prize ceremony, the day is not yet over with the departure of the presidential couple from Münster Town Hall. The WWL then invites the guests to a lunch snack and many exciting conversations and encounters in the foyer in front of the ballroom. The entire award ceremony will be broadcast live on German television by the Phoenix and WDR channels.

Münster's mayor Markus Lewe and the WWL chairman Dr. Reinhard Zinkann are looking forward to the Peace Prize ceremony (Image source: Stadt Münster/Münsterview).