The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR) will present Tuesday its 2012 Medal of Tolerance Award to the President of Croatia, Ivo Josipović and the former President of Serbia Boris Tadic.
According to the ECTR, the two Balkan leaders are being recognized as “examples of tolerance, honesty, moral courage, and reconciliation, especially during the current European economic difficulties which is leading to so much unrest on the continent.”
The awards will be bestowed by the co-chairmen of the ECTR, former Polish President Aleksander Kwasśniewski, and the President of the European Jewish Congress Moshe Kantor at a ceremony in the European Parliament in the presence of the EU assembly’s president Martin Schulz.
“We aim to send a strong message that despite the current difficulties in Europe, a strong and brave leadership can solve problems peacefully,” Kantor said.
The First European medal of tolerance was conferred on King Juan Carlos I of Spain for his lifelong dedication and devotion to the issues of tolerance and political reconciliation.
“All these award recipients have in common is that they led during a time of uncertainty not long after conflict and they brought their people forward in peace and tolerance through difficult chapters in their history.”
At the same event, the ECTR will present a Model European Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance. The model law, written by prominent European jurists, is designed for adoption by the respective national legislatures in the European Union Member nations.
The European Council for Tolerance and Reconciliation is a non-governmental organisation comprised of former heads of European states, Nobel Peace Prize laureates and other world renowned individuals for their achievements in promoting tolerance. The council laid out a vision whereby the average citizen of Europe would not be a bystander to intolerance, but rather work against acts of racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism.