Press Release - Bavarian Minister of the Interior
Augsburg, 13. October 2015

Bestowal of the Golden Peutinger-Medal on Dr. Ingo Friedrich - Bavarian Minister of the Interior, Joachim Herrmann: European Pioneer and Initiator of the Flag of the European Union – Joint European Solidarity Currently More Important Than Ever

+++ The Bavarian Minister of the Interior, Joachim Herrmann, has dignified Dr. Ingo Friedrich, former Vice-President of the European Parliament, as a „European pioneer“. During the award ceremony for the Golden Peutinger-Medal in Augsburg, Hermann praised Friedrich’s decades of dedication to European politics: “You, dear Ingo, are a European in body and soul. For over three decades you campaigned as member of the European Parliament for the people in Bavaria, Germany and Europe.” Friedrich served in the European Parliament as Vice-President from 1999 until 2007 and as quaestor and presidium member from 2007 until 2009. “Mastering the current refugee crisis puts the European Union to huge political test - maybe the biggest in its history so far.” This is more than ever about joint solidarity. The common European rules of the game have to finally be applied again, for example the Dublin Treaty and the effective protection of the European external borders. „Hence we need strong representatives like you also in the future, who are familiar with European and national interests and the concerns of the citizens and the or the mittelstand (SMEs) alike,” said Herrmann in his laudatory speech. +++

Herrmann praised in particular Friedrich’s initiative for the flag of the European Union. “Twelve golden stars on blue background are nowadays a visible sign of European unity for the entire world. With your petition for the use of the European flag as flag for the European Union you have significantly helped shape the identity of the European Union until today.”  The fact that the European Fundamental Rights Charter expressly mentions Europe’s spiritual and moral heritage traces back to Friedrich’s dedication.   "For you the Christian view of humanity is part of the unswerving foundation of our continent.”  

Friedrich was uninterrupted member of the European Parliament from 1979 until 2009. Since 2009 he is president of the European Economic Senate. In June of 2015 he was elected president of the Wilhelm Löhe Hochschule  of the deaconry of Neuendettelsau. Friedrich received the Golden Peutiger-Medal for his dedication to a free and unified Europe. It is awarded by the Peutinger-Collegium, a European association of people from industry. politics, justice, science and art.