The EPhESO Award

The EPhESO Award is a prestigious prize conferred by the Institute for Mediterranean Studies of the National Research Council and the Cisalpino Monduzzi publishing house, to personalities who have distinguished themselves for their cultural, political, social or economic contribution to the development of relations in the Euro-Mediterranean area.  It was created in 2016 as part of the EPHESO – Euromediterranean Phenomena. An Economic and Social Observatory, to which it has been linked since its inception.

Nominations for the Prize are proposed each year by the Chair or members of the Jury. If there are several nominations, they are submitted to a vote of the jury and, in the event of a tie, the President’s vote decrees the final nomination.

Purposes and values

EPHESUS: as the Greek city that later became the capital of the Roman province in Asia Minor, which was the home of Heraclitus and was a key trading point on the border between West and East. Its splendour belongs to centuries that are at once distant but bear many similarities to our own times. Remote and recent times of contrasts and relationships, of competition and alliances. Times in which culture formed the cement for the development of trade, industry, relationships. And by culture we do not simply mean the knowledge of data and disciplines, but rather the synthesis of knowledge, desires, initiatives, actions: those that the peoples overlooking the Mediterranean share and that have allowed the birth of the Euro-Mediterranean community.

There are distant and deep roots at stake, uniting individuals and peoples in a topicality that drives towards union. They are the same ones that drive Europe, the Middle East and all the countries bordering the Mediterranean towards the thousands of opportunities that arise when working towards a common goal.

The EPhESO Award and the series aim to enhance all this. Not only from a descriptive point of view, but also from the point of view of collaboration between culture and business, so as to provoke, and not just recount, social, economic, cultural and scientific initiatives and actions that have relations in the Euro-Mediterranean area as their main theme. The Award, in particular, aims to give due recognition to personalities who have worked or are working in this ideal order of ideas and actions, offering concrete example and testimony. Such as Senator Liliana Segre, who received the EPhESO 2020 Award in a ceremony held at the European Commission Representation in Italy (Rome).

The Jury

In 2021, the EPhESO Award is renewed and strengthened, together with the publishing series ‘EPHESO – Euromediterranean Phenomena. An Economic and Social Observatory’. One of the driving forces behind this change is the important annexation of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies of the National Research Council (CNR-ISMed), of which the series and the Prize are an expression.

The Award has a high quality Jury, composed, in addition to the President, of distinguished representatives of the economic world, academia and diplomacy of countries belonging to the Euro-Mediterranean area.

Members in office:

  • Ambassador Mario Boffo, President of EPhESO Award, Rome (Italy)
  • Prof. Salvatore Capasso, Direttore dell’Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR-ISMed), Professore di Economia, Università degli Studi Parthenope di Napoli (Italia)
  • Mister Domenico Contessa, Imprenditore turistico
  • Amb. Enrico Granara, Già Vice Direttore per il Mediterraneo e il Medio Oriente del Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale
  • Prof. Françoise Graziani, Professore di Letterattura Mediterranea Comparata presso l’Università della Corsica
  • Amb. Fayiz Khouri, Ambasciatore del Regno Hascemita di Giordania in Italia
  • Dr. Nadia Majoul, Vice Presidente dell’Unione tunisina di Industria, Commercio e Artigianato
  • Dr. Mario Mattioli, Presidente della Confederazione Italiana degli Armatori
  • Amb. Laura Mirachian, già  Ambasciatore d’Italia in Siria, e presso le Nazioni Unite a Ginevra.
  • Mons. Giovanni Roncari, Vescovo di Pitigliano-Sovana-Orbetello e Grosseto.
  • Arch. Fiona Sartoretto Verna, Titolare della Sartoretto Verna – Pharmacy Project
  • Amb. Moez Sinaoui, Ambasciatore di Tunisia in Italia
  • Prof. Myriam Swennen Ruthenberg, Professore di Letteratura Italiana presso la Florida Atlantic University


EPhESO Awards from previous editions:

  • 2022: Izzeddin Elzir, Imam di Firenze e Vicepresidente della Scuola di studi avanzati per il dialogo interreligioso e interculturale dello stesso capoluogo toscano, per il suo contributo alla costruzione di ponti ed alla comprensione reciproca tra comunità religiose
  • 2021: Sua Beatitudine Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Patriarca Latino di Gerusalemme, per le relazioni euro-mediterranee
  • 2020Liliana Segre, for the initiatives taken as Senator of the Italian Republic against the phenomena of intolerance, racism, anti-Semitism and incitement to hatred and violence
  • 2018: M’Barka Ben Taleb, or the artistic career, carried out in the wake of Euro-Mediterranean culture
  • 2017Giovanni Tumbiolo, for his role as President of the Mazara del Vallo Fishing District
  • 2016: Enrico Granara, for his role as head of Euro-Mediterranean relations at MAECI