The Euro Atlantic Association of Belgium Issues its Yearly Prize to Michaël Schroeder and Evi Roelen - 15 June 2011
Picture : form left to right : Capt Michaël Schroeder, EAAB President Jacques Rosiers, Ms Evi Roelen, Minister Steven Vanackere, Mr Hadrien Goffinet, Ms Leila Demarest, Hry Ambassador Raf Van Hellemont, Mr Jean-Paul Preumont.
Involving the younger generation in an international discussion on foreign policy and security issues is the main aim of the yearly Euro Atlantic Prize of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, which was awarded for the ninth time on June 15, 2011 by the Euro Atlantic Association of Belgium at a ceremony at the Palais d’Egmont. Founded in 2003, the prize is awarded on a yearly basis to one Flemish and one French speaking student of Belgian academic institutions for the best Masters’ thesis in the field of international security and peace-keeping.
The role of the Association in fostering a debate around issues such as security and freedom and bringing young people into this discussion was the highlight of the welcome speech by its president Rear Admiral (retired) Jacques Rosiers. This debate is particularly important in a place like Belgium, home to both NATO and the European Institutions. On the eve of its 50th anniversary, the association is strongly oriented towards the future and has made a dialogue with the younger public a top priority - a dialogue further enhanced by new communication tools and a increased presence on social networks. The Association receives much-appreciated support from the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Steven Vanackere and his team.
The winners of this year’s prize were introduced by the chairmen of the Flemish and the French- speaking juries. Mr Jean-Paul Preumont commented the thesis of Mr. Michaël Schroeder: The US policy in Afghanistan – Analysis of 30 years of influence and interventionsand Mr Raf Van Hellemont, honorary ambassador, praised the work submitted by Ms. Evi Roelen : One beating heart for the EU?
Special mentions were also awarded to Mr Hadrien-Laurent Goffinet for his work: the A400M-take-off to a Europe of Defence? and to Ms Leila Demarest for her thesis : the Non-Proliferation regime: Opportunities and obstacles.
The highlight of the ceremony was the speech by Mr Steven Vanackere, who also handed the prizes to the winners. The Minister stressed the importance of the transatlantic friendship between two parts of the world that represent 53% of the World GDP and more than one third of the word trade. This friendship illustrates the common values that exist between North America and Europe and constitutes the best guarantee to safeguard our security and our democratic systems. He pointed out that the thinking process and the academic work remain key elements to feed and maintain the spirit of the transatlantic alliance. The Minister also thanked the Euro Atlantic Association of Belgium for its active role in this thinking process and especially for the organisation of the Euro Atlantic prize that will continue to receive his full support in the future.