Deadline 31 October 2022
Prize in honour of advocates of freedom, solidarity and tolerance offered by the City of Gdańsk, the European Committee of the Regions and the International Cities of Refuge Network.
The Mayor of Gdańsk, Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, announced the opening of nominations for the 2022 Mayor Paweł Adamowicz Award for local champions of freedom and solidarity and the fight against intolerance, oppression and xenophobia. She was speaking today, at the general assembly of International Cities of Refuge Network.
The award is to city leaders, civic leaders, or organisations working in partnership with local and regional authorities, who build bridges and tear down walls, with a clear sense of responsibility for future generations and who does not shy from any urgent battle for human rights and civil liberties, locally, nationally or internationally.
The award honours the life and example of Paweł Adamowicz, Mayor of Gdańsk from 1998 until his murder on 13 January 2019. His murder was preceded by an upsurge of hate speech directed against him. The establishment of this Award is also recognition of everyone who works with courage and integrity against intolerance, radicalisation, hate speech, oppression and xenophobia, and who works to promote equal opportunities, social integration and fundamental rights.
Mr Adamowicz was committed to promoting the fundamental values of the EU, and he was an active member of the European Committee of the Regions. In 2016, Mayor Adamowicz launched the Gdańsk ‘Immigrant Integration Model’ after meeting Pope Francis. It has served as a model that inspired other Polish cities.
Speaking at the ICORN general assembly, the First Vice-President of the European Committee of the Regions, Vasco Alves Cordeiro, said that the kind of inspiration provided by Mayor Adamowicz is needed because “it makes us stronger when democracy is challenged and when fundamental rights are attacked. It makes us stronger to build solidarity and cohesion in Europe and beyond”.
Nominees for the Award may be proposed by the members of the European Committee of the Regions, any city or regional council as well as by international organisations with strong engagement and relevant expertise in the fields of the Award. Nominees for the Award may come from or be active in any country in the world. The deadline for submitting nominations is 31 October 2022. The award ceremony will take place in January 2023.
The first Laureate of the Mayor Paweł Adamowicz Award is Henriette Reker, the Lord Mayor of Cologne in Germany, in recognition of her extraordinary dedication and work in her city in promoting tolerance, inclusiveness, and the integration and non-discrimination of citizens with migrant backgrounds, whilst fighting hate-speech and xenophobia. Amongst the many personal and professional challenges that she has faced in carrying out this work, she survived a near-fatal xenophobia-motivated knife attack in October 2015.