The Slovenia Times

Writer Jančar, Activist Križnar to Receive Citizens' Prize


Nominated by Slovenian MEPs, the two will receive the prize given out by the European Parliament at a ceremony in October.

Jančar was nominated by Milan Zver (SDS/EPP), Lojze Peterle (NSi/EPP), Ivo Vajgl (Desus/ALDE), Romana Tomc (SDS/EPP), Franc Bogovič (SLS/EPP) and Patricija Šulin (SDS/EPP).

Announcing the nomination in April, the MEPs said that Jančar's literary oeuvre and active citizenship had significantly contributed to the strengthening of the European idea and promotion of freedom, equality and democracy.

As former president of the Slovenian PEN Centre, the author made a contribution to the democratisation of Slovenia and called for a peaceful solution during the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s, the MEPs added.

The 67-year old Jančar is one of the most prominent and most translated Slovenian authors. His works have been translated and/or staged in Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Italy, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Ireland and East Europe.

Jančar most recently won the French Prix du meilleur livre etranger for the best foreign book. At home he has won three Kresnik Prizes for best novel, as well as the Prešeren Prize for lifetime achievements, Slovenia's highest recognition for the arts, in 1993.

Tomo Križnar, a devoted human rights activist and humanitarian worker, was meanwhile nominated by Igor Šoltes (Believe/European Greens) and Tanja Fajon (SD/S&D).

With his human rights activism in the Third World countries, especially in South Sudan, the province of Darfur and DR Congo, Križnar won recognition from various international organisations and institutions, the MEPs said.

In the European Year of Development, whose motto is "Tackling poverty in support of human dignity", it would be right for the European Parliament to publicly present and reward the work of a man who is trying to put these goals into practice in the most disadvantaged parts of the world, they added.

The 50-year-old Križnar, who was a special envoy of then Slovenian president Janez Drnovšek for Darfur and close aide of Sudanese human rights lawyer Salih Mahmoud Osman, won the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2007, which is also conferred by the European Parliament.

The European Citizens' Prize has been given out since 2008 to individuals and groups who have made important contributions to cooperation among EU nations or work daily on the implementation of the principles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The 47 winners from 25 member states will receive this year's prizes from the hands of European Parliament President Martin Schulz at a ceremony in October.

Other Slovenians to have received the prize are writer Alojz Rebula, sociologist Spomenka Hribar (both 2014) and writer Boris Pahor (2013).


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