Every year since 1995, the North-South Prize of the Council of Europe recognizes initiatives that defend causes related human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Citing the importance of partnership and cooperation between states and societies to face common global challenges, the 2020 North-South Prize of the Council of Europe was awarded to the network of Mediterranean Experts Climate and environmental Change (MedECC) for the elaboration of the first ever scientific assessment on the impact of climate and environmental change in the Mediterranean Basin. The jury stated that the MedECC constitutes a concrete example of the vision of the Mediterranean Sea as a shared space of peace, development and human rights, which led to the creation, twenty-five years ago, of the Barcelona Process.
The ceremony took place on 9 December 2021 in Lisbon (Portugal). The Prize was conferred by the Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on the MedECC coordinators, Professor Wolfgang Cramer and Dr Joël Guiot. The President of the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic, the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, as well as the President of the Executive Committee of the North-South Centre were also part of the event. The prize was also awarded to the International Commission against the Death Penalty (ICDP).
MedECC Lead Science Officer Kasia Marini and several Lead Authors of the Assessment Report were also present for this prestigious occasion.