The Círculo Ecuestre de Barcelona hosted the 18th Otto of Habsburg Award, the annual distinction awarded by the Spanish Committee for the Pan-European Union to personalities who have stood out for their defence of European values, their collaboration in the process of European integration or their work in European institutions.
Teresa Freixes was the winner on this occasion and received the award in the city of Barcelona. Professor Teresa Freixes holds a PhD in Law from the University of Barcelona, was Professor of Constitutional Law at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and is a Jean Monnet Professor ad personam (Succes Stories distinction). She is also vice-president of the Royal European Academy of Doctors, an expert of the European Commission and the Council of Europe, and president of the Free Culture Foundation and the international organisation Citizens pro Europe. As a legal expert, she has been involved in the drafting of the Treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon, the European Constitution and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The jury composed of the members of the Board of Directors of Paneuropa España, chaired by Florentino Portero, as President, and Carlos Uriarte, as Secretary General, consider that Teresa Freixes has embodied in her life with coherence the defence of an integrating constitutionalism in our country, being a Catalan and a Spaniard, who has known how to make Europe the homeland of her choice. In very difficult circumstances, in which the European Union must face major challenges, Freixes' example, from academia and civil society, is as commendable as it is encouraging.
The event was held at the Círculo Ecuestre de Barcelona, where a lunch was held prior to the presentation of the award. The introductory laudatio was delivered by Josep Piqué, Minister of the Spanish Government (1996-2003) in various portfolios such as Foreign Affairs, Science and Technology and Industry and Energy.
Professor Freixes thus joins the list of award winners that includes Margaritis Schinás, Vice-President of the European Commission; Iñigo Méndez de Vigo, Minister of Education, Culture and Sport of the Spanish Government (2015-2018) and Government Spokesperson (2016-2018); Rosario Silva de Lapuerta, Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union (2007-2021) and Nick Clegg, Member of the European Parliament (1999-2004) and Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2010-2015), among others.