The Charlemagne Prize is a citizens’ prize, in the best sense of the word. Anyone can submit nominations for laureates, and the selection is made by the Board of the ‘Society for the Conferring of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen.’ By virtue of their offices, the Lord Mayor, the Cathedral provost and the principal of RWTH Aachen University all belong to this board. In addition, there are seven elected members and five additional members representing the parties of the City Council. Moreover, the Board nominates two so-called ‘citizens of the world’ who are interested in European issues but do not come from Aachen. Two other members represent the Charlemagne Prize Foundation.
The Board of Directors holds confidential discussions about the nominees. Once it has chosen a candidate, the candidate is offered the prize. Once the prize has been accepted, the decision is announced publicly and an explanation is given. The Board of Directors then organizes the award ceremony and chooses a speaker.
The Society for the Conferring of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen, headed by the Board of Directors, includes a maximum of 165 members, representing the intellectual and economic life of the city.