On 7 May 2012, the Treaties of Nijmegen Medal was presented to Umberto Eco. The award served as a tribute to the Italian author and scientist for his contribution to the thinking and the debate on the past and future of Europe. Umberto Eco’s contribution consists of influential literary works which were published in almost every European language, and in which he searched for a single European language.
In his contribution to the project ‘Old Europe, New Europe, Core Europe’, Umberto Eco argued that the unification of Europe is inevitable. In his speech, Mayor Dijkstra called Umberto Eco ‘a true European’, while Minister of European Affairs Ben Knapen singled out Umberto Eco in his laudatory speech as a ‘a source of hope – hope for the future of a united and prosperous Europe’.