Max van der Stoel Award

What is the Max van der Stoel Award?


The Max van der Stoel Award, a prize of €50,000, is presented every two years to a person, group or institution for extraordinary and outstanding achievements in improving the position of national minorities in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) participating States.

Established in 2001 by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Award honours Max van der Stoel, a prominent Dutch statesman who was the first OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. The Award highlights issues related to national minorities and supports the High Commissioner´s conflict-prevention work.

Who is eligible?

Eligible candidates include international organizations, non-governmental organizations, research institutes, government bodies or individuals with a record of excellence in the field of improving the position of national minorities in the OSCE area.

How is the winner selected?

The office of the High Commissioner on National Minorities manages the selection process. Nominations can only be made through the OSCE missions and institutions, delegations of the OSCE participating States and the High Commissioner on National Minorities. After drawing up a shortlist of candidates, a specially composed international jury, chaired by the High Commissioner, chooses the winner of the Award.

Who is the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities?

The High Commissioner on National Minorities works to identify and seek early resolution of ethnic tensions that might endanger peace, stability or friendly relations between OSCE participating States or within the OSCE area.

The most recent High Commissioner on National Minorities was Astrid Thors of Finland. Her mandate ran from 20 August 2013 through 19 August 2016.


More information

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
High Commissioner on National Minorities
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
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