Just before receiving the Charlemagne Prize, the Pope met with three representatives of the major European institutions:
Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council and Jean-Claude Junker, president of the European Commission.
He held a brief meeting with them in the library of the Apostolic Palace and at the end gave them a symbolic gift.
"The angel of peace expels the demon of war.”
Minutes later, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with him in the Apostolic Palace. It is the third time the two have met in the Vatican.
As a previous Charlemagne Prize recipient, President Martin Schulz recalled during his speech at the Sala Regia of the Vatican that this award was born thanks to the initiative of the citizens of Aachen, Germany. These people, despite the then-recent World War II, decided to promote unity and recognize the efforts of those who fought for peace.