Potsdam, 02 September 2019. The international media conference M100 Sanssouci Colloquium honours Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for her opposition to Brexit and commitment to the European Union cohesion with the M100 Media Award. Armin Laschet, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, delivers keynote address praising the British-Scottish politician and her clear pro-European stance. Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, President of the German Bundestag, delivers the political keynote speech.
In presenting this year’s M100 Media Award on 17 September in the Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, the M100 Advisory Board expresses its explicit support for Nicola Sturgeon’s responsible and ethical stance against Brexit and its desire for sustained close relations between Great Britain and the European Union in service of the European unification process.
A no-deal Brexit looms with Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, just as Labour – Britain’s largest British opposition party – and its leader Jeremy Corbyn have no clear course for Brexit. Sturgeon stands out as a politician with a clear pro-European stance in politically turbulent times for Great Britain and Scotland. In the course of internal UK affairs and campaigns such as the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, Sturgeon has asserted herself as a strong and passionate pro-European and democrat.
Nicola Sturgeon will be honoured in a speech by Armin Laschet, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia: “Nicola Sturgeon is a crucial voice of reason at a time in which political discourse is sadly too often shaped by a lack of objectivity and short-term thinking. As a staunch European, Nicola Sturgeon conveys strong messages of cohesion and political rationality from Scotland to both Europe and the entire world. She stands for the regions’ strength and the growing importance of regional cooperation in Europe. With the M100 Media Award, her commitment to a unified Europe is rightfully honoured.”
The Lord Mayor of Potsdam, Mike Schubert, emphasises as Chairman of the M100 Advisory Board: “Nicola Sturgeon is a strong politician and a passionate European. She has not only raised the flag of Scotland, but has also stood up to the Brexit protagonists in difficult times. I would like to express my profound admiration for that. Her voice is heard when it comes to the question of European identity. She is a worthy laureate.”
“No other part of Great Britain voted against Brexit with such an overwhelming majority as Scotland. Much of this is due to the efforts of Nicola Sturgeon, who knows the value of the European Union peace project and has fought the populist Leave campaign with all her might,” explains M100 board member Kai Diekmann, founder of storymachine.
M100 advisory board member Astrid Frohloff, TV presenter and journalist at rbb TV, about the award: “She likes to mess with powerful opponents: ‘I’m ready, Prime Minister’, Nicola Sturgeon wrote to Boris Johnson’s address under a photo in which she laughingly swings a Viking axe. A scene that says a lot about the Scottish head of government. With courage and acumen she resists Brexit. She is the face of the Scottish independence movement. Her fan base is large. In the 2016 EU referendum, Scotland voted FOR remaining in the EU. Since then, the Scottish head of government has fended off attacks by the Brexiteers with great perseverance. She deserves recognition and thanks for her efforts to stay in the EU. Europe needs politicians with clear convictions like her.”
Nicola Sturgeon is a “voice of reason in a completely overheated and self-destructive debate”, notes M100 board member Mathias Müller von Blumencron, editor-in-chief of Tagesspiegel.
M100 board member Christoph Lanz, head of board at Thomson Media, stressed the M100 Award’s relevance in its anniversary year: “Convincing, passionate, rational, and pragmatic: Nicola Sturgeon personally embodies every one of these qualities. She is not only one of the most popular political minds in Europe, but a great voice for a united Europe. M100 is proud of this prizewinner in the fifteenth year of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium.”
“Sturgeon is a passionate believer in her national cause and staunch European at the same time – and this is not just out of strategic calculation but out of conviction. Above all, she is a passionate democrat. Thus, regardless of the outcome of Scottish independence efforts, she embodies the very principles of the European Union”, says M100 board member Dr Leonard Novy, Director of the Institute for Media and Communication Policy.
M100 board member Stephan-Andreas Casdorff, publisher of Tagesspiegel, praised Sturgeon’s distinctive attitude: “Nicola Sturgeon brings absolutely everything to the table when it comes to commitment to Europe and the courage to show Brexiteers their limits. An excellent attitude. Brave heart – who wouldn’t be inspired by that!”
Launched in 2005, the M100 Media Award distinguishes individuals who have left their mark on Europe and the world and are committed to strengthening democracy, freedom of opinion and of the press, and European understanding. Previous recipients include Lord Norman Foster, Dr Bernard Kouchner, Bob Geldof, Ingrid Betancourt, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Kurt Westergaard, Charlie Hebdo, Roberto Saviano, Natalia Sindeeva, and Deniz Yücel.
M100 is an initiative of Potsdam Media International e.V. funded mainly by Potsdam, capital of the German federal state of Brandenburg.Other supporters include the German Federal Foreign Office, medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the German Federal Press Office, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, and the National Endowment for Democracy. M100 is sponsored by Facebook, and United Europe e.V. Cooperation partners include the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg, Reporters Without Borders, and the Association of German Magazine Publishers (VDZ).