German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, this year’s Charlemagne prize winner, has called for a face for Europe.
In the German city of Aachen to receive the award for European Unity, he called for the direct election of an EU president to make Europe more democratic.
The sentiment was shared by Euro Group President Jean-Claude Juncker.
“With a nation alone you cannot make a state in the 21st century, only with Europe can you make a state and have a future. And that’s why we need, like Schäuble always says, more Europe and not less Europe,” Juncker said.
Regarded as the most pro-EU member of the German cabinet, Schäuble was rewarded for his contribution to stabilising the euro.
At the ceremony, he said that the single currency needs a closer political union to weather the eurozone crisis. It is an idea which chimes with many economic analysts but strikes fear amongst many in the EU. He did add that closer union does not mean a United States of Europe is on the cards.