The “Dimitris Tsatsos-Prize for distinguished achievements in the fields of European Constitutional Sciences” is generally awarded for achievements in the fields of European Constitutional Sciences and honors a scientist’s oeuvre in one or several disciplines that deal with constitutions’ development on a national and European level. In special cases the prize honors also the conceptual and practical commitment to unification and constitutionalization of Europe.
The prize is jointly awarded by the Themistokles and Dimitris Tsatsos Foundation – Centre for European Constitutional Law (CECL) in Athens and the Dimitris Tsatsos Institute for European Constitutional Sciences (Dimitris-Tsatsos-Institut für Europäische Verfassungswissenschaften – DTIEV) University of Hagen, Germany.
Dimitris Tsatsos, the prize’s eponym, passed away in Athens – in his home country Greece – in April 2010 at the age of 76. The renowned scientist, committed European and courageous democrat studied jurisprudence in Athens and Heidelberg. As the Greek military junta of 1967–74 denied him the venia legendi, he qualified as a professor a second time at the University of Bonn (Germany), where he was lecturer until 1974. From 1974 to 1980 he was professor of Constitutional Law at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and from 1980 to 1994 at the Panteion University of Athens. From 1980 to 1998 Tsatsos was professor at the University of Hagen. He headed the Institute of German and European Party Law from 1991 to 1997, which he had founded. From 1994 to 2004 he was a Member of the European Parliament.
Since May 2003 he had been a member of the management board of the Institute for European Constitutional Sciences (renamed as Dimitris Tsatsos Institute for European Constitutional Sciences in 2011), which he had founded, and became a Honorary Director in 2009. The Dimitris-Tsatsos-Institute of European Constitutional Sciences is an interdisciplinary department of the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies and tracks the integrative development of the European Constitution since its very beginnings.
The CECL was founded by Dimitris Tsatsos in Athens in 1995. As a non-governmental Centre for European Constitutional Law, the CECL contributes to the development of democratic institutions. It aims to strengthen and to deepen the European Integration by theoretical and practical research, building up institutions and enhancing awareness throughout the Union. The CECL’s research is focused particularly on the field of fundamental rights and public policy. Worldwide in more than 20 countries it has contributed to the development of institutions. The CECL hasbeen granted consultative status by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
By awarding this not-valued prize, these two institutes honor personalities, who have made an outstanding contribution to the unification of a democratic Europe by their research or political-practically acting such as the prize’s eponym. The prize should be awarded every two years alternating in Hagen and in Athens.
- Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c.mult. Vassilios Skouris
First laureate of the Dimitris Tsatsos-Prize is the former President of the European Court of Justice Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Vassilios Skouris. He was honoured in Athens on 2nd November 2012.
- Prof. Dr. Baron Iñigo Méndez de Vigo y Montojo
Second laureate of the Dimitris Tsatsos-Prize is the Spanish Minister for Education, Culture and Sport Prof. Dr. Baron Iñigo Méndez de Vigo y Montojo. He was honoured in Hagen on 20th October 2015.
- Senator Giorgio Napolitano
Third laureate of the Dimitris Tsatsos-Prize is the former President of the Italian Republic, Senator Giorgio Napolitano. He was honoured at the Embassy of the Hellenic Republic in Rome on 19th September 2016.
- Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolfgang Reinhard
Fourth laureate of the Dimitris Tsatsos-Prize is Wolfgang Reinhard, Professor emeritus of modern history at the department of history of the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg and associate fellow of the Max-Weber-Center for cultural and social studies at the university of Erfurt. He was honoured in Hagen on 14th April 2018.