The prime minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, has been awarded the gold medal of the Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe in Lausanne.
At a ceremony on Friday in the western Swiss city, this year's Swiss president, Pascal Couchepin, described Juncker as a "perfect example of soft power", who knew how to replace force with intelligence, conviction and patience.
In his speech, Juncker underlined European values, in particular that of peace. He described war and peace as "the eternal drama of Europe" and made a call for people to be proud of what had been achieved in the construction of Europe.
Couchepin stressed in his remarks that Switzerland, which is not a member of the European Union, would continue to be "a trustworthy partner sharing its responsibilities in Europe".
The Monnet Foundation for Europe, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, is named after the Frenchman who made his reputation as an architect of European unity. The foundation has its headquarters at Dorigny in the heart of the Lausanne University campus.