Last Wednesday, May 18, the Círculo Ecuestre de Barcelona hosted the 18th Otto of Habsburg Prize, the annual distinction awarded by the Spanish Committee for the Pan-European Union to personalities who have stood out for their defense of European values, their collaboration in the process of European integration or its performance in European institutions.

Professor Teresa Freixes, has a doctorate in law from the University of Barcelona, ​​was a professor of Constitutional Law at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and is a Jean Monnet professor ad personam (Succes Stories distinction). She is vice president of the Royal European Academy of Doctors. She is an expert for the European Commission and the Council of Europe. She is president of the Free Culture Foundation and the international organization Citizens pro Europe.

As a legal expert, she has participated in the drafting of the Treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon, the European Constitution and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.

The jury made up of the members of the Board of Directors of Paneuropa Spain, chaired by Florentino Portero, as president, and by Carlos Uriarte, as general secretary, consider that Teresa Freixes has been able to consistently embody in her life the defense of an inclusive constitutionalism in our country, being a Catalan and a Spaniard, who has been able to make Europe the homeland of her choice. In very difficult circumstances, in which the European Union must face major challenges, the example of Freixes, from academia and civil society, is as commendable as it is encouraging.

The event was held at the Círculo Ecuestre in Barcelona, ​​where a lunch was held prior to the award ceremony. The introductory laudatio was delivered by Josep Piqué, Minister of the Government of Spain (1996-2003) in various portfolios such as Foreign Affairs, Science and Technology or Industry and Energy.

Professor Freixes thus joins the list of winners, including Margaritis Schinás, Vice President of the European Commission; Iñigo Méndez de Vigo, Minister of Education, Culture and Sports of the Government of Spain (2015-2018) and Government spokesman (2016-2018); Rosario Silva de Lapuerta, judge of the Court of Justice of the European Union (2007-2021) or Nick Clegg, Member of the European Parliament (1999-2004) and Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2010-2015), among others.