Angela Merkel

Laureate International Four Freedoms Award 2016

Angela Merkel Laureate International Four Freedoms Award 2016

The International Four Freedoms Medal will be awarded to Dr. Angela Merkel (1954) on 21 April 2016 in Middelburg, The Netherlands. This is announced today by the chairman of the Roosevelt Foundation and King’s Commissioner in the Province of Zeeland, Mr. Han Polman, exactly 75 years after President’s Roosevelt Four Freedoms speech before Congress.

Angela Merkel was raised in Templin, a small town in East Germany. After the peaceful revolution in the autumn of 1989 Merkel joined the opposition political movement called “Demokratischer Aufbruch” (Democratic Awakening), which merged with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in 1990. She has been the leader of the CDU since 2000 and the Chancellor of Germany since 2005. She is the first woman and the fi rst former citizen of the German Democratic Republic to hold either office.

Merkel has played a crucial role in managing the financial crisis in the European Union. As a European leader she led the negotiations to reach a diplomatic solution (de-escalation) in the Ukrainian crisis (Minsk peace talks and Minsk agreement) in the interest of peace and security in Europe. She shows great moral leadership as Chancellor of all Germans regardless of faith and ethnicity in the face of the start of the anti-Islam movement Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against Islamisation of the West) in 2014. In the current migrant and refugee crisis Merkel is committed to Europe’s humanitarian duty to protect those fl eeing war and confl ict in the Middle East, Africa and Asia and to tackle the causes of the crisis by working for peace in Syria and the region.

Earlier Freedoms Medals were awarded to some of the most distinguished world citizens of our time, including Harry S. Truman, H.R.H. Princess Juliana of The Netherlands, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, J. William Fulbright, Arthur Miller, Jimmy Carter, Malala Yousafzai and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.

The Four Freedoms Medals are presented each year to men, women and organizations whose achievements have demonstrated a commitment to the principles which President Roosevelt proclaimed in his historic speech to Congress on 6 january 1941. In this speech he said that if democracy is to survive and fl ourish, people everywhere in the world are entitled to four human rights: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. Important words that have not lost any of their value and meaning even after 75 years. 

The Roosevelt Foundation in Middelburg and the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in New York work to inspire people to promote these four freedoms, everywhere in the world. The Four Freedoms Awards ceremonies take place in the odd years in New York and in the even years in Middelburg. 

More information about the Four Freedoms Awards and the Roosevelt Foundation and the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute is available at the websites: