Right after the end of the Second World War Dr. Kurt Theobald Pfeiffer, a trader in Aachen, founded the reading circle "Corona Legentium Aquensis". On the basis of discussions, exhibitions and courses of lectures the members occupied with the question, how the peace in Europe can be secured for the future. Especially the unity of Europe seemed to them a possibility, how a military conflict can be avoided. Out of these considerations, in December 1949 "The International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen" has been proclaimed. With this award persons and institutions who campaigned for Europe ? its peace and freedom ? and for European integration are honoured. Due to its geographical location and its historical importance as former imperial residence of Charlemagne, Aachen feels itself also nowadays qualified to overcome national differences and to support the European integration. Already in the interwar period the idea of a peaceful European federation was lively discussed. After the Second World War these thoughts were realized in the western part of Europe. By founding the "European Coal and Steel Community" (ECSC) in April 1951, the cornerstone for the European federation was initiated. Afterwards the "European Economic Community" (EEC) and "European Atomic Energy Community" (EAEC) were founded. With the Merger Agreement of 1965 a common tribunal and a parliament for ECSC, EEC and EAEC as well as the remaining institutions were unified. Because of their personal effort and commitment of the Charlemagne Prize Winners from the years 1950 to 1989, they have significantly contributed to the development of the western part of Europe.