Jančar and Križnar Accept European Citizens’ Prize


Being one of the most translated Slovenian authors, Jančar has proven that good literature can reach international audiences even if they come from a relatively small language, MEPs Milan Zver, Lojze Peterle, Ivo Vajgl, Romana Tomc, Franc Bogovič and Patricija Šulin argued in their nomination.

The 67-year-old Jančar most recently won the French Prix du meilleur livre etranger for the best foreign book, while in Slovenia he has won several top literary accolades, including the Kresnik Prize and the Prešeren Prize for lifetime achievements.

Jančar said upon receiving the award that the writers had actually been better heard when Europe was still bordered by barb-wire and mine fields and added that it was the writers' reflection on Central Europe that also contributed to doing away with these borders.

Similarly, Tomo Križnar's work is a reminder to the immunity people have developed in a world full of corrupt mechanisms, profit and capital hoarding, MEPs Tanja Fajon and Igor Šoltes said in their nomination for European Citizen's Prize.

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, Fajon and Šoltes said.

Križnar said that Europe must retain a crucial position in the modern world because it was the cradle of philanthropy. In his opinion, Europe should strive to stop all wars that are ravaging the world, because it is "the European man that has become the most conscious of the importance of human rights over the past few centuries".

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.