The International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen is awarded for work done in the service of European unification. The prize is named after Charlemagne, the King of the Franks, who was revered by his contemporaries as the “Father of Europe”. The laureate of the award for 2015 was European Parliament President Martin Schulz.
The announcement was made on December 23 in Aachen, Germany, by the prize´s executive committee. Citing his address to the European Parliament in 2014, the prize committee commended the pope´s message of "peace and understanding" as well as "compassion, tolerance, solidarity and the integrity of creation throughout his pontificate." "In these times, in which many citizens in Europe seek orientation, His Holiness Pope Francis sends a message of love and encouragement," it said in a statement.