Catherine Ashton, European Union's foreign policy chief as well as the Vice President of the European Commission, has received the 2011 Mediterranean Blue Award 'Mare Nostrum' from the Union of Mediterranean Confederations of Enterprises (BusinessMed).
The award is given for efforts to promote peace and economic development in the Mediterranean region, according to a press release. The winner is selected by the Presidents and members of BusinessMed, which brings together 12 national business organizations.
The award ceremony took place during BusinessMed's General Assembly in Brussels on Wednesday. Although the award was started in 2007, it was the first time the prize has been awarded since the dramatic events of the Arab Awakening.
"This award, that we have the great honor to present to High Representative Ashton today, is a symbol of recognition for her vision and work to promote peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean region, and to help create a genuine Euro-Mediterranean space," BusinessMed President Ouided Bouchamaoui said at Wednesday's ceremony.
In response, Catherine Ashton stated: "It is a great honor for me to receive the 2011 BusinessMed Blue Award. Europe has an historic responsibility to support the transitions going on in our southern neighborhood."
"It is also a personal priority of mine. To help our southern partners, we have committed ourselves to helping build 'deep democracy'. We also need to ensure inclusive and sustainable economic development, without which democracy will not take root," she added.
by RTT Staff Writer
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