More than two months after the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is still impossible to foresee what consequences Vladimir Putin's war of aggression will have for political, social and cultural life in Europe. In any case, far beyond the military confrontation and its devastating immediate effects, these consequences will change profoundly the way of life on our continent. Instead of the hoped-for steady progress towards stable structures of peaceful coexistence, there is a threat of new permanent rifts and fault lines liable to make social cohesion in European immigration societies more difficult.
It is precisely this cohesion that the CIVIS Media Foundation has been working for constantly. The renowned European CIVIS Media Prize for Integration and Cultural Diversity is the most prominently visible sign of this commitment. This year, it will be awarded on 3 June in Cologne.
The response to the CIVIS Media Prize competition has been encouraging. Once again, close to 800 productions from 20 EU states and Switzerland were submitted in the various categories. The contributions for television, radio and internet revolve, among other things, around the topics of racism, anti-Semitism and antiziganism, and the fight against them. Many productions deal with flight, labour migration, homeland and identity.
The competition entries show that the concerns of CIVIS are not a list fixed once and for all. A society composed of people of different origins and backgrounds is always in a state of change. And the media play an essential role in this. They report on what stands in the way of peaceful coexistence: racist prejudice and discrimination, ignorance and arrogance towards the unfamiliar. But they tell success stories as well: Of diversity as a source of wealth. Or of confident resistance against narrow-mindedness, intolerance and extremism of all kinds.
The European CIVIS Media Prize for Integration and Cultural Diversity honours the work of authors who present outstanding reports and stories of that kind. In doing so, they render an exemplary contribution on how to address, in civil and humane ways, one of the most urgent social tasks of our time.
The Association of Public Broadcasting Corporations in the Federal Republic of Germany (ARD), represented by WDR, the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF), the Swiss Radio and Television Corporation (SRG SSR), Deutsche Welle (DW) and Deutschlandradio, represented by their directors-general, congratulate the nominees and wish them a successful award ceremony!
Tom Buhrow (Director General of WDR, Chairman CIVIS Board of Trustees)
Roland Weißmann (Director General of the Austrian public broadcaster /Österreichischer Rundfunk)
Gilles Marchand (Director General of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation)
Peter Limbourg (Director General of Deutsche Welle)
Stefan Raue (Director General of Deutschlandradio)