Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) on Saturday received the Theodor Heuss Medal in recognition of its work for freedom in the information society. The medal is awarded once a year in Stuttgart by a non-partisan foundation named for West Germany's first president.
"We will not gain our freedom in the information society without effort," says Karsten Gerloff, FSFE's President. "Software is a central tool of our society. We need to make sure that we ourselves control this tool, so we are able to adapt it to our needs."
Ludwig Theodor Heuss, chairman of the Heuss Foundation, highlighted the fact that software is a cultural technique. "Free Software Foundation Europe is making a highly competent contribution to the effort of building a new framework for digital freedom using Free Software."
Since its founding in 2001, FSFE works to put the control of software into the hands of everyone. "This award for us is a very special recognition of our work, and a great encouragement to push even harder for the interests of users and developers," says Gerloff. "For this, we will need a lot of support from many individuals."
During the ceremony in Stuttgart a wide range of prominent figures from politics and business were present. Among them were the former German president Richard von Weizsäcker and Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the minister of justice. In his award speech, Ludwig Heuss referred to organisations like FSFE as "the yeast in society's dough".