January 23, 2017 / 10:20 AM / 4 years ago

Oxford historian Garton Ash to receive Germany's Charlemagne prize

FILE PHOTO: European Parliament President Martin Schultz wears the Charlemagne Prize medal during a news conference in Rome, Italy, May 6, 2016. REUTERS/Max Rossi/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Oxford University historian Timothy Garton Ash, an outspoken opponent of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, is to receive the 2017 Charlemagne Prize conferred annually by the German city of Aachen.

Pope Francis was last year’s winner of the prize, awarded annually to those who have contributed most to the ideals of post-war Europe.

The prize organizers described Garton Ash as “an extraordinary British academic, who has commented on and accompanied the journey of the European Union with passion and precision, providing the community with thoughtful depth”.

It singled the historian out for his engagement and commitment to a unified Europe, and his call to press forward towards an EU with “practical construction that is strong enough to weather the storm”..

Garton Ash published a column on Saturday in Britain’s Guardian newspaper criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump for his “irascible, bullying, narcissistic character” and said his arrival in the White House heralded “a new era of nationalism” marked by such personalities as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Xi Jinping of China.

The price is named for Charlemagne, the eighth to ninth century Frankish ruler who carved out a European empire.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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