This spring, the Charta XXI movement asked its supporters, or rather the signatories of Charta XXI, to put forwards the names of persons they felt suitable for the RECONCILIATION AND COOPERATION AWARD. Recommendations arrived for 25 persons and organizations. Perhaps they could all be the symbol of reconciliation. Among the proposed were persons from Hungary, Hungarians from outside Hungary but there are non-Hungarian co-workers of the reconciliation, interestingly most from Slovakia but there were also Romanian, Serbian and Croatian nominees. Nominations also came from several countries. The organizers of our movement, forming a jury, decided to honor one from among the many worthy nominees. It is with pleasure that I announce this, the first award, going to Štefan Hríb, a reporter from Slovakia.
Štefan Hríb was born on January 9, 1965 in Bratislava, in the old suburb of Petržalka. It was after the changes that took place in 1989 that he began to work as a newspaper reporter. It is not a job without danger; tempers occasionally know no bounds. It happened in 1994, at a demonstration against President Meciar in front of the presidential palace, that members and supporters of the HZDS party recognized Štefan Hríb, present in his capacity as a reporter, and beat him up. This did not stop him from continuing to take a principled stand behind ideals and facts he held to be true. His writings and his personality greatly differs from the false stereotype we Hungarians hold of Slovaks. This, of itself, gives an impetus for a Slovak-Hungarian rapprochement.
We feel confident that this first RECONCILIATION AND COOPERATION AWARD goes to a worthy person.