The Schuman Trophy Gala, the official hand-over ceremony for funds raised at the annual staff football tournament, has taken place in the Berlaymont on 17th January 2018.

The Gala gathered 23 humanitarian associations, which were selected by the Schuman Trophy committee for having the greatest potential to help deprived children in Belgium and overseas. This year, the total amount raised by the tournament was €43,150. Each association received between €1,000 and €3,500, to help them make a difference in the lives of children living in extreme poverty and neglect.

In total, about 100 people attended the ceremony, including senior managers from the Commission such as Director-General Luis Romero from the Legal Service, Director-General Johannes Laitenberger from DG COMP, and the former Director of PMO, Dominique Deshayes.

Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, a keen supporter of the Schuman Trophy, was kept away from the gala by other commitments but was represented by a member of his Cabinet. He nevertheless had the chance to meet the Schuman Trophy committee a few days later to congratulate them personally.

Highlighting solidarity and generosity as key drivers of the Schuman Trophy, he said: « The Schuman Trophy perfectly exemplifies these values of fair play and working together. Football also teaches us how to be magnanimous in victory and how to accept defeat gracefully. Football helps to build international friendship. »

The Schuman Trophy perfectly exemplifies the values of fair play and working together.

An exceptional Gala

Usually, the Gala is held in the autumn, following the Schuman Trophy tournament in June. But this time, exceptionally, the Gala was organised at the beginning of the 2018 in memory of the former President of the Schuman Trophy committee, Philippe Keraudren, who passed away in September 2017.

Joël le Quément, one of the founders of the Schuman Trophy and now a retiree and active member of the committee, spoke movingly about his lost friend at the Gala: « Philippe’s commitment to use the Schuman Trophy to benefit humanitarian causes was heartfelt and admirable, and this commitment is something the committee of the Schuman Trophy fully supports, as we face our first year, and the future, without Philippe. »

Joëlle Moraïtis (RTD), a new recruit to the committee attending her first Gala, summed up the feelings of many of her colleagues when she said: « My first participation in the Gala was quite a moving experience. Knowing that this association contributes to helping children is highly motivating. »

The 22nd edition of the Schuman Trophy tournament will take place on 19-21 May this year. Save the date to play football, to support your colleagues, and to help deprived children!

Article written by Ciprian Begu, CEND, European Commission