Open Society Prize

The CEU Open Society Prize is awarded annually to an outstanding individual or organization whose achievements have contributed substantially to the creation of an open society. The prize was first awarded in 1994, to philosopher Sir Karl Popper, whose book The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945) presented a philosophy of tolerance, openness and democratic values.

For a list of winners, click here.

Budapest, June 14 2018 –Central European University is awarding its highest honor, the Open Society Prize, to the distinguished Hungarian economist Janos Kornai in recognition of his work in inspiring economic transition in former communist societies. Created in 1994, the award has been given to Karl Popper, Vaclav Havel, Arpad Goncz, Tom Lantos, Bronislaw Geremek, Ricardo Lagos, Carla Del Ponte, Kofi Annan, Richard C. Holbrooke, Joachim Gauck and Kristalina Georgieva, among others. The Prize will be presented to Kornai at CEU's commencement ceremony in Budapest on June 22.  

Budapest, May 30, 2017 – Mr. Joachim Gauck has been awarded the 2017 Open Society Prize in recognition of his courageous defense of human rights and his distinguished record in the service of free societies. Mr. Gauck, called “a true teacher of democracy” by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, served as president of Germany from 2012 to 2017.

Budapest, May 26, 2016 – Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, known as Doctors Without Borders in English) has been named the winner of the 2016 CEU Open Society Prize in recognition of the courageous humanitarian leadership the organization has shown throughout the world. The award, given annually, was first presented to Sir Karl Popper in 1994. Subsequent winners include Vaclav Havel, Arpad Goncz, Ricardo Lagos, Carla Del Ponte, Kofi Annan, Javier Solana, Kristalina Georgieva and Richard C. Holbrooke.

The International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) has been named the winner of the 2015 CEU Open Society Prize in recognition of its contribution to efforts toward the creation of an open society in Ukraine. Created in 1994, the award was first given to Sir Karl Popper, the eminent philosopher and distinguished proponent of the concept of open society. In subsequent years the award was given to Vaclav Havel, Arpad Goncz, Ricardo Lagos, Carla Del Ponte, Kofi Annan, Richard C. Holbrooke and Kristalina Georgieva, among  others.

Budapest, June 10, 2014 –European Commissioner of International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva has been named the 2014 CEU Open Society Prize winner. The CEU Open Society Prize is awarded to an outstanding individual whose achievements have contributed substantially to the creation of an open society. Sir Karl Popper received the first prize in 1994, followed by Vaclav Havel, Arpad Goncz, Ricardo Lagos, Carla Del Ponte, Kofi Annan, Javier Solana, Richard C. Holbrooke and others.