All European Academies Madame de StaŽl Prize for Cultural Values

Dame Helen Wallace awarded 2015 All European Academies Madame de StaŽl Prize for Cultural Values

In honour of her highly respected and extensive scholarly work on European political studies and integration, Dame Helen Wallace of the British Academy was the second scholar to be awarded the 2015 All European Academies Madame de StaŽl Prize for Cultural Values; a prize initiated by ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities.

The prize was awarded to Professor Wallace at a ceremony on the premises of the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon on 23 April 2015 in the context of the ALLEA General Assembly, which was open to the public and the press. The European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, handed over the prize to Professor Wallace.

Commissioner Moedas said: “For the European Union to best serve its citizens, we need continuous debate on research, science and innovation matters involving all levels of society. Academic leaders, like Dame Helen, provide much of the momentum and expertise for such discussions, helping us all to better understand the challenges ahead and how we can equip ourselves to build a prosperous future.”

 “Dame Helen Wallace has provided us with an invaluable resource in her work. Her personal as well as her scholarly integrity is unwavering and her commitment to European cooperation is undisputed”, stated Professor GŁnter Stock, ALLEA President and chairman of the prize jury, in his speech to the ceremony’s international audience at the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon.

The laureate has served as Foreign Secretary of the British Academy since 2011 and was previously Professor at the European Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Professor Wallace’s research has focused on European politics in nearly every context and region, establishing her reputation as an authority in the field. Her seminal work Policy-Making in the European Union is currently entering its seventh printing. Her advice and consultation is sought after at the highest levels of European policy making.

Photos by Felicitas Soeiro

About the prize
The All European Academies Madame de StaŽl Prize for Cultural Values is awarded to eminent scholars whose work represents a significant contribution to the cultural and intellectual values of Europe and to the idea of European integration, thereby promoting and strengthening an understanding of Europe as multifaceted, intellectual, open and vibrant. The prize also seeks to underline the importance of non-technological scholarly work and research for European advancement.

Europe is remarkable in that its definition and geographic boundaries have varied over the centuries, yet there has always been a kind of constant understanding of European culture as rooted in an inherent openness supported by a dynamic and vigorous intellectualism. In a time when the cultural diversity of Europe seems to be increasingly threatened by scepticism, extremism and instability, this prize serves to remind us of this deep-rooted and revered characteristic of Europe.

At the same time it relates to the project New Narrative for Europe, initiated by the President of the European Commission Josť Manuel Barroso, which invited artists, intellectuals and scientists to contribute to a reflection on the European story.
Photo by Philippe Veldeman
The prize forms part of a larger set of ALLEA activities aiming not only to promote the intellectual and cultural richness of Europe, but also to support and acknowledge scholarly contributions that benefit these most valuable of Europe’s assets. In 2014, European Commission President Josť Manuel Barroso handed over the inaugural prize to Professor Luisa Passerini, who was honoured for her research on forms of European identity.


The All European Academies Madame de StaŽl Prize for Cultural Values is endowed with 25,000 EUR. The prize is kindly co-sponsored by Stiftung Mercator.

Laureates are well known for their scholarly excellence in the fields of history, political science, social science, religion, law or any other field in the humanities. A laureate’s work may also be of interdisciplinary nature and must represent a major contribution to the research on Europe in these respective areas. At the same time, it should also be of remarkable significance for the existing and emerging values of Europe which help to tackle current and future challenges such as inequality, political instability, religious diversity, demographic change, or migration, and not least scepticism towards European integration and unity.

Nominations and Jury
An academic committee chaired by the President of the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, ALLEA, and composed of renowned fellows of European Academies in the fields of the Social Sciences and Humanities collects nominations, evaluates the merits of the candidates and identifies the prize laureates. The jury is also responsible for selecting a laudator.

Jury members

GŁnter Stock, Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities / Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA President and Chair of Jury)
Oivind Andersen, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
Marie-Therese Flanagan, Royal Irish Academy
Nicholas Mann, The British Academy
Ed Noort, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
Luisa Passerini,  part-time Professor at the European University Institute, Italy / Laureate of Madame de StaŽl Prize 2014
Alberto Quadrio-Curzio, Academy of the Lincei, Italy

Stiftung Mercator
Stiftung Mercator is a private foundation which fosters science and the humanities, education and international understanding. It specifically initiates, develops and funds projects and partner organisations in the thematic fields to which it is committed: it wants to strengthen Europe, improve integration through equal educational opportunities for everyone, drive forward the energy transition as a trigger for global climate change mitigation and firmly anchor cultural education in schools. Stiftung Mercator feels a strong sense of loyalty to the Ruhr region, the home of the founding family and the foundation’s headquarters.

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Madame de StaŽl
The All European Academies Madame de StaŽl Prize for Cultural Values is named after Anne Louise Germaine Necker, Madame de StaŽl-Holstein (1766-1817), who stands for a perception of Europe as shaped by its longstanding intellectual and cultural values.

She was the daughter of the French politician Jacques Necker and Suzanne Curchod; growing up, she was exposed to the intellectual salon her mother hosted in her house. In 1786 she married Baron de StaŽl-Holstein, the Swedish ambassador, and soon established her own salon as a centre of progressive political and intellectual discussions. In 1803, StaŽl was banned from Paris by Napoleon, and took up residence in Coppet near Lake Geneva, where she created a new salon.

Celebrated for her conversational eloquence, she participated actively in the political and intellectual life of her times. Her works, both critical and fictional, made their mark on the history of European Romanticism. In 1814, the French memoir writer Madame de Chastenay summed up her life in a single epigramme. There were, she wrote, three great powers struggling against Napoleon for the soul of Europe: “England, Russia, and Madame de StaŽl”.

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