AACHEN, Germany, May 20 (UPI) -- Outgoing European Parliament President Pat Cox and Pope John Paul II Thursday were named co-winners of Germany's prestigious Charlemagne prize.
It marked the first time two people shared one of Europe's most coveted prizes, Britain's U.TV reported. The pope was given his award during a ceremony in March.
The jury awarding the prize described Cox as a "dynamic full-blooded European" and as one who stands for a democratic Europe unlike any other. Cox referred to the uniting of Europe as "the political cause of my life."
When the 51-year-old Irishman collected his award in Germany's historic city of Aachen, he spoke of the crowning achievement of EU enlargement on May 1. He spoke of the need to adopt a strong, yet simple constitution for the EU and said the time is ripe now for all EU citizens to discover and realize Europe's potential.
Many EU observers expect the outspoken Cox, a former TV journalist and father of six, to return to European politics, Deutsche Welle reported, possibly succeeding European Commission president Romano Prodi later this year.