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IP/09/ 1369

Brussels, 28 September 2009

The new European Union Prize for Literature puts twelve emerging European authors in the limelight

In the Flagey Theatre in Brussels, 12 emerging European authors received the new European Union Prize for Literature during a ceremony attended by 800 people from the European cultural scene. President José Manuel Barroso and writer Henning Mankell launched the event with a dialogue about literature. They concluded that the real value of this prize will be its success to get literature across borders in Europe and beyond.

The award ceremony in Brussels today was attended by the Commission President José Manuel Barroso , the Commissioner for Education and Culture Ján Figel' , the Swedish Minister for Culture Ms Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth , the prize winning authors themselves, Henning Mankell —the patron of this years' prize—as well as a great number of the participants in this week's Culture in Motion conference - where cultural projects funded by the European Commission took the stage prior to the Award event.

T he European book sector generates significant revenues and is an important driver of creativity and a generator of growth and jobs in the EU. It is estimated to generate sales revenues of around €23 billion per annum, for example.

In contrast with existing book prizes, this new prize highlights and promotes the full diversity of European literature. The prize will be granted in three phases, in the years 2009, 2010 and 2011, with 11 or 12 winners each time. In this way, literature in all the 34 countries participating in the Culture Programme will be covered by the prize over a period of three years. The award spotlights emerging talent and aims at stimulating the circulation of their books across Europe and contributes to changing attitudes to awareness and openness to literature from abroad.


The prize is co-funded through the European Union's Culture Programme and a Consortium consisting of the European Booksellers Federation (EBF), the European Writers Congress (EWC) and the Federation of European Book Publishers .

The aim of th e prize is to put the spotlight on the creativity and diverse wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature, to promote the circulation of literature within Europe and encourage greater interest in non-national literary works.

The prize will be granted in three phases, as follows:

Phase 1, 2009: Austria, Croatia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden.

Phase 2, 2010: Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Finland, Luxembourg, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia , Romania, Slovenia and Spain.

Phase 3, 2011: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Serbia, The Netherlands, Turkey and United Kingdom.

In order to select the 2009 winners, national juries were set up to choose a talent in the field of contemporary literature (fiction) in their country.

The value of the Prize is a lump sum of 5 000 Euros for each winner. Additionally, the EU Culture Programme has a specific strand focusing on the support for literary translation.

The Programme supports trans-national cultural cooperation projects involving operators from a minimum of three different countries participating in the programme. It also provides specific support for the translation of literary works and is open to all cultural sectors except audiovisual, for which a separate programme exists.

The Programme also supports the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage, the European Prize for Contemporary Architecture (Mies van der Rohe Awards) and the European Border Breaker Awards for pop music.

Further information:

- The EU Prize for Literature:

- The Culture in Motion conference 28 - 30 September:

-The Culture programme:

- Literary translation funding:

- Culture policy developments:

- Press release announcing the winners:



This year's award winners are:


Winning author: Mr Paulus Hochgatterer

Book awarded: Die Sü b e des Lebens (2006) – in English: the Sweetness of Life

Publishing house: Paul Zsolnay Verlag, Wien


Winning author: Mrs Mila Pavicevic

Book awarded: Djevojčica od leda i druge bajke (2006) – in English: Ice Girl and Other Fairy-tales

Publishing house: Naklada Bošković, Split.


Winning author: Mrs Emmanuelle Pagano

Bo ok awarded: Les Adolescents troglodytes (2007)

Publishing house: Editions P.O.L, Paris


Winning author: Mrs Szécsi Noémi

Book awarded: Kommunista Monte Cristo (2006) – In English Communist Monte Cristo

Publishing house: Tericum, Budapest


Winning author: Mrs Karen Gillece

Book awarded: Longshore Drift (2006)

Publishing house: Hachette, Dublin


Winning author: Mr Daniele Del Giudice

Book Awarded: Orizzonte mobile (2009) - in English: Movable Horizon

Publishing house: Giulio Einaudi editore


Laura Sintija Černiauskaitė

Book Awarded: Kvėpavimas į marmurą ( 2006) - In English Breathing into Marble

Publishing house: Alma Littera


Winning author: Mr Carl Frode Tiller

Book Awarded: - Innsirkling (2007) - in English: Encirclement

Publishing house: Aschehoug


Winning author: Mr Jacek Dukaj

Book Awarded: LÓD (2007) – In English ICE

Publishing house: Wydawnictwo Literackie


Winning author: Mrs Dulce Maria Cardoso.

Book Awarded: Os Meus Sentimentos (2005)

Publishing house: Asa Editores


Winning author: Pavol Rankov

Book Awarded: Stalo sa prvého septembra (alebo inokedy) (2008) - In English It Happened on September the First (or whenever)

Publishing house: Kalligram


Winning author: Mrs Helena Henschen

Book Awarded: I skuggan av ett brott (2004) . In English The Shadow of a Crime

Publishing house: Brombergs

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