German and Dutch writers take European Book Prize

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German and Dutch writers take European Book Prize

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This year’s European Book Prize winners are Dutch writer Luuk van Middelaar and Germany’s Rolf Bauerdick.

Taking the essay category, Van Middelaar won the award for his work ‘‘Le Passage à l’Europe’‘ or Europe’s passage.

Since 2010, he has been the speech writer for EU Council President Herman van Rompuy.

Speaking to euronews, Van Middelaar said: ‘‘Each time during crises countries find out that their political links hold everything together and are stronger than imagined and that sometimes they are even stronger than economic or other interests.’‘

Winning best novel category, Rolf Baueridick’s “Madonna on the Moon’‘ explores the relationship between the Roma and a small village community in Romania before the fall of Communism.

“We can learn a lot from the gypsies and I would say that the gypsies can learn a lot from us. For example the freedom of the heart, their honesty, the politeness; This is everything we can learn from them.” Bauerdick said.

The prize aims to help foster a better understanding of the EU as a cultural entity.

From Brussels euronews’ Marta Vivas said: Literature and ideas as a way to unite Europe. This is the main goal of this award which brings writers of of all generations together every year. Now in its sixth edition, the prize has aspirations one day to become Europe’s biggest literature prize.’‘