Berlin (D), 3 Ocotber 2006
Riccardo Illy, President of the Region Friuli Venezia Giulia and President of the Assembly of European Regions was awarded in Berlin, on the Day of German Reunification, the Quadriga Prize for being ‘truly European’.
In her laudation, the Italian journalist and Member of European Parliament Lilly Gruber honoured President Illy as a ‘convinced federalist’, whose authentic politics have contributed to overcoming national and regional borders. He puts his capacities as an entrepreneur to good use in politics, she said, being more a problem solver and rationalist, rather than a media-attention seeker.
Riccardo Illy, known as an Italian entrepreneur of the family coffee business illycaffè, belongs to an Austro-Hungarian family. He reorganised the internal business structure and created a marketing sector for illycaffè, which today is present in over 130 countries. In his strive for economic development, Illy always takes questions of social responsibility and social cohesion into account. He was elected mayor of Trieste two times and in 2003 he was elected President of the Autonomous border Region Friuli Venezia Giulia.
‘The competitive advantage of Friuli Venezia Giulia and Europe lies in their cultural and linguistic diversity,’ Illy stressed in his acceptance speech. ‘Diversity fosters the creative process, brings innovation and therefore economic development.’ He hoped for a new version of the EU Constitution under the German EU Presidency and highlighted the crucial role of the Regions in boosting the European process, as entities closest to the citizens.
Every year on the day of German reunification the Werkstatt Deutschland, a non-profit association, awards the die quadriga prize (www.diequadriga.com) to four persons who have shown courage, vision and responsibility. In addition to Riccardo Illy, Viktor Juschtschenko was awarded die quadriga for his ‘mission for democracy’ and Simon Peres for his ‘standpoint of reconciliation’. The team Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Sebastian Koch and Ulrich Mühe were awarded for their film ‘The life of others’.
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