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Transparency International Founder receives prestigious German award

Peter Eigen awarded Gustav-Heinemann Citizen Award 2007

Peter Eigen, founder of Transparency International, has been honoured with the Gustav-Heinemann Citizen Award 2007, a prestigious recognition awarded yearly to individuals or organisations that, out of their own initiative, have made significant contributions towards a free and just society.

The laudatory speech by Kofi A. Annan, former United Nations Secretary General, summarised Eigen’s anti-corruption work and its importance, while citing corruption as a basic problem for good governance and sustainable development.

Referring to Eigen as a global citizen, Annan said he had served his country and served the world. Annan also made special mention of the UN Global Compact, a programme designed to engage business in addressing social issues, Annan said that Eigen had fought for a tenth principle to address corruption. As a result, Annan calls it, “the Peter Principle”.

“This award is a very special honour. We are proud of Peter and thankful for his vision, his leadership and his inspiring spirit that has led to Transparency International being the worldwide movement that it is today and to corruption not being a dirty word whispered in corridors but a recognised problem that we all have to fight”, said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International.

The ceremony, held Monday 17 December at the party headquarters of Germany’s social-democratic party (SPD), also included a speech by Germany’s Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück who emphasised that governments and businesses have to work harder at fighting corruption and thanked Eigen for pointing out the problems while providing solutions. Welcome remarks were made by Christina Rau, widow of Federal President Johannes Rau and Dr. Henning Scherf, former First Mayor of Bremen. Both are on the board of trustees that decides on the award.

Peter Eigen is Chairman of Transparency International’s Advisory Council and Chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Gustav Heinemann, a leading politician from West Germany, with a strong record on reunification and anti-militarism, was President of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1969 to 1974. The Award is granted by the presidency of the Social Democratic Party of Germany and the board of trustees of the Gustav-Heinemann Bürgerpreis.


Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption.

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