Javier Solana Receives Ewald-von-Kleist Award of the Munich Security Conference for His Lifetime Achievements

For his outstanding leadership advancing the cause of peace Javier Solana, former High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union and Secretary General of NATO, will receive the Ewald-von-Kleist Award of the Munich Security Conference this coming Saturday, February 6th. The prize will be awarded for the second time this year. Last year’s laureate was the former US-Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger.

The Ewald-von-Kleist Award is intended to honor leading personalities in foreign and security policy who have contributed significantly to global peace and conflict resolution. It is named after Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist, who founded the Munich Security Conference in 1962, at this time named "Wehrkundetagung". As a young officer in the German Army, he was one of the conspirators who attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler on July 20th,1944.

This year’s laureate of the Ewald-von-Kleist Award, Javier Solana de Madariaga, effectively shaped European foreign policy in particular – from 1999 to December 2009 he was Secretary General of the Council of the European Union as well as High Representative of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and simultaneously Secretary General of the Western European Union (WEU). During this time, the Spanish-born Solana provided the European Union with a unified voice in global affairs, prepared the ground for the European Foreign Service, and strengthened the EU’s role as an international conflict manager. He is also held as the leading strategic mind behind a European crisis prevention strategy. In the Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute, he took on a mediating role. In 1995, he initiated the Barcelona process for a closer neighbourhood-policy with the Mediterranean states. In the framework of the Middle East Quartet, he was significantly involved in the drafting of the Roadmap. In the controversy surrounding Iran’s nuclear program, Solana was entrusted with the conduct of negotiations by the group of six powers and insisted on a peaceful, diplomatic resolution of the conflict.

The political career of the learned physicist began with the end of the Franco-Regime in 1977, when Solana entered congress as a delegate of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE). In 1982, he became cultural minister under the then-governing Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez and – after other posts – took over the foreign ministry in 1992. Surprisingly, in 1995, he was appointed to be the ninth Secretary General of NATO, as whose critic he had long been held. During his four-year-long term, Solana proved great diplomatic skills, for instance regarding the integration of Russia and the Eastern enlargement of the alliance. After the coming into effect of the Treaty of Lisbon on December 1st, 2009, Baroness Catherine Ashton succeeded Solana as High Representative of the CFSP.

"Peace through Dialog" – this is the inscription on the back side of the silver medal with which Solana will be presented for his lifetime achievements during a gala dinner at the Munich Residency of the Prime Minister of Bavaria. Sponsor and designer of the medal is the Munich jeweller Maximilian Heiden. Laudator for Javier Solana on Saturday evening will be the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.
Munich Security Conference