Honored as pioneers of a cosmopolitan, economically liberal, and public-spirited society, this year’s laureates are Prof. Mario Monti, Ph.D., and Dr. h.c. Friede Springer. The German Minister of Finance, Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, gave an address.
Mario Monti, born March 19, 1943, in Varese, Lombardy, is an Italian politician and professor of economics, who has held important offices at the national and EU level. He is particularly well known for his combative and uncompromising stance as European Commissioner for Competition against the antitrust activities of large corporations. His success in this role earned him the nickname “Super Mario.” In 2011, he succeeded Silvio Berlusconi as Prime Minister of Italy and laid the foundations for a number of national reforms. Monti has a reputation as a committed European and important supporter of the single currency. More on Mario Monti's life and achievements.
Friede Springer, born August 15, 1942, in Oldsum on the island of Föhr, is a German publisher. She is the majority shareholder and Vice Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Axel Springer SE, one of the largest publishing houses in Europe. Following the death of her husband, Axel Springer, in 1985, Friede Springer secured the company’s future by systematically buying back shares and regaining control of the business. In the process, she had to contend with rival media companies, internal resentment, and disputes with other family heirs. Ultimately, she succeeded in remodeling the company, transforming it into an international multimedia and digital publishing house. More on Friede Springer's life and achievements.