Photograph of Javier Solana de Madariaga courtesy of ESADE and taken by photographer Rafa Martín.

The award ceremony of the XXV International Compostela Group Xunta de Galicia Award will take place on 13 September at the University of Santiago de Compostela.

The jury of the XXV International Prize Grupo Compostela-Xunta de Galicia grants the award to former Spanish Minister of Culture Javier Solana de Madariaga for his “actions in favour of the main milestones of the Jacobean route”, including the ceremony organised in 1987 on the occasion of the declaration of the Camino de Santiago as the first European cultural route by the Council of Europe. Moreover, the members of the jury highlight in the resolution his “permanent social commitment” and his international career, throughout which he contributed to the “development of the European values of cooperation, integration, diversity, tolerance and unity that surround” the pilgrimage route.

Upon being informed of the decision, the laureate declared that he had “always maintained a special relationship with Santiago, the city and the Camino”. He also expressed his wish that “Santiago continues to be a quiet place of serene conversation and peace”. It is worth remembering that he travelled the different routes of the Camino for more than two decades, both on foot and by bicycle.

The awarding ceremony is scheduled to take place on 13 September as part of the XXV General Assembly of the Compostela Group of Universities, which this year will be hosted by the University of Santiago de Compostela. At this ceremony, he will receive a golden shell, the symbol of the network of Higher Education institutions, and a monetary prize of 6,000 euros gross.

Profile of the awardee

Francisco Javier Solana de Madariaga is a Spanish politician and diplomat with a notorious career in the national and international arena. He was Spain’s Minister of Culture (1982-1988), Minister of Education and Science (1988-1992), and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1992-1995). He was also General Secretary of NATO (1995-1999), High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (1999-2009) and Commander-in-Chief of EUFOR (1999-2009).

As for his academic career, Javier Solana holds a PhD and a professorship in Physical Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid (Spain). After graduating from this university, he continued his education in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, where he completed his postgraduate studies.

Members of the jury for 2021

The meeting of the jury of the XXV International Prize Grupo Compostela-Xunta de Galicia was chaired by the General Secretary for Universities of Xunta de Galicia, José Alberto Díez de Castro, on behalf of the Regional Minister for Culture, Education and University, Román Rodríguez González.

The following authorities are likewise members of this jury:

  • The General Secretary for Culture of the Xunta de Galicia, Anxo Lorenzo Suárez.
  •  The President of the Compostela Group of Universities, Marek Kręglewski.
  • The Rector of the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Antonio López Díaz.
  • The Rector of Jaume I University (Spain), Eva Alcón Soler.
    Dr Dermot McCluskey, acting on behalf of the Rector of the Anáhuac Xalapa University (Mexico), Luis Linares Romero.

The Executive Secretary of the Compostela Group of Universities, María Teresa Carballeira Rivera, served as secretary to the jury.