The Freedom Awards are conferred by the Atlantic Council to honor extraordinary individuals and organizations that defend and advance the cause of freedom and peace. One of the first laureates of the Freedom Award was Lech Wałęsa who received the award during the ceremony held in Berlin to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Among the laureates of the previous rounds are Hillary Clinton, Vaclav Havel, Javier Solana, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Jerzy Buzek, Władysław Bartoszewski and Tadeusz Mazowiecki.
Since 2010, the award has been presented during the Wrocław Global Forum – the annual conference on transatlantic economic cooperation and political relations between the European Union and the United States. The conference is organized by the Atlantic Council, the City of Wrocław and the Polish Institute of International Affairs.
“The Freedom Award enjoys considerable worldwide recognition and is presented to people and institutions who had particular contribution in promoting freedom, human rights, and civil liberties,” said Rafał Dutkiewicz, Mayor of Wrocław during the ceremony.
Among the recipients of the 2014 Freedom Awards are: Catherine Ashton, EU foreign policy chief, who was honored for conceiving a peaceful resolution to the Kosovo conflict; Miklos Nemeth, former Prime Minister of Hungary, for his guiding hand in Hungary’s peaceful transition in the 1980s and 1990s and for his contribution to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia – for his efforts to build democracy in his country and strengthening liberal society, as well as the Polish-American Freedom Foundation.
The award for the Foundation and the PAFF President was presented by Professor Zbigniew Brzeziński, who said that for almost 15 years the Foundation managed by Jerzy Koźmiński has been engaged in the support of building the civic society and democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. The former security advisor to President Carter emphasized also Jerzy Koźmiński’s share in activities that served development of Transatlantic relations including, first of all, those in support of Poland’s entrance to NATO.