The annual award honours inspiring examples of people and organizations who, with courage and creative power, imagine new paths for Europe.

Contact: Szilvia Kochanowski, Award Coordinator

2019: Democracy Needs Imagination

The 2019 Award theme is Democracy Needs Imagination. It is “everyday” democracy that puts the active participation of all people in politics and community life, online and offline. This aspect of democracy is under great threat. This year’s award will therefore highlight inspiring people and initiatives who bridge the gaps and consider democracy a shared responsibility for all of us rather than a system owned by a few.

The jury will convene in early 2019 and the two laureates will be announced on 9 May 2019, Europe Day. The Award will be presented on 2 October 2019 in Amsterdam and includes a sum of € 25.000 per laureate. 

Parallel to the festive award ceremony the European Cultural Challenge will take place: A two-day advocacy retreat that brings together laureates, grantees, partners, researchers, foundations, media-makers and policy-makers to work on concrete cases: from exploring cultural solutions to imagining campaigns and developing concrete advocacy proposals. 

History of the Award

The award was initiated in 2008 in honour of the foundation’s former President, HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, who has shown enormous dedication to the important role of culture in invigorating democracy in Europe. The Award was established in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

For the last ten years, the ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture has honoured laureates as diverse as the cultural fields in which they work. They come from the performing and visual arts, literature, music, film, cultural activism, critical thinking, architecture, digital and media culture. Brilliant, innovative, daring, compassionate – these individuals and collectives have shone out in their resolve to find a better way, even in the face of global upheaval, and to shape a future that is more fair and respectful of both people and the planet that we share.

Award Archive

We host a growing archive specifically dedicated to the ECF Princess Margriet Awards for Culture in our Library, including yearly publications, interviews with past laureates, speeches, videos, audio recordings, press releases and media coverage. 

All awards

2019
Read more about the theme and jury

2018
Borderland | Forensic Architecture

2017
Aslı Erdoğan | Navid Kermani | Luc Mishalle | Marina Naprushkina

2016
Krétakör | Medialab-Prado

2015
Athens Biennale | Visual Culture Research Center

2014
Teodor Celakoski | Teatro Valle Occupato  

2013
Yoel Gamzou | Lia & Dan Perjovschi

2012
Charles Esche | John Akomfrah

2011
Kutluğ Ataman | Šejla Kamerić

2010
Borka Pavićević | Stefan Kaegi

2008 
Stuart Hall | Jerôme Bel & Pichet Klunchun