The Sophie Prize 2001:
The Jury's Decision

ATTAC is the winner of the Sophie Prize 2001

The jury and board of the Sophie Foundation have the great pleasure of announcing that the Sophie Prize 2001 is awarded to the international movement ATTAC (Association for the Taxation of financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens). This year's Sophie Prize Winner has managed to mobilise and engage people all over the world for solidarity and justice, in an era otherwise dominated by passivity and greed. They are a natural choice for this year’s Prize.

In the 90`s we have witnessed a rapidly growing concentration of global financial control. Neo-liberalism is undermining democratic structures internationally and nationally, fuelling inequity and marginalization of the poorest and rapidly destroying the environment.  

We have seen that globalisation without social and environmental responsibility and common rules and regulations allow the powerful to exploit the weak. Unregulated financial globalisation causes economic crises to hit harder and faster and creates serious instability. 

In spite of this, the dominant litany of the 90`s has been that this development is unavoidable and even desirable as it was projected to eventually benefit all. The power to dictate this development lies in the hands of the multinational corporations and those that control the financial markets and institutions.   

But as we entered the new millennium the call for social justice, equity and democracy has gained momentum, bringing people world-wide together in the struggle against the adverse effects of globalisation. We have witnessed a growing popular opposition against neo-liberalism, putting a halt to the MAI and to the WTO negotiations, in Seattle 1999 and voicing strong protests against the policies of the IMF and challenging the World Bank to rethink its direction.   

The winner of the Sophie Prize 2001 has in the course of two years managed to launch and build a worldwide movement that challenges the uncritical growth and globalisation of the economic forces.  

The Jury of the Sophie Foundation has decided to grant the Sophie Prize 2001 to ATTAC, on account of the ATTAC`s success in:

  • mobilising thousands of people worldwide in a powerful counter attack on neo-liberalism, calling for international control of the financial markets.
  • effectively working together with other network's and social movements, thus building strong alliances that can change development thinking radically and give hope to millions of people that suffer from the adverse effects of globalisation.
  • managing to kindle a vision of a people centred development and  to replace apathy with enthusiasm. Through the mobilisation efforts of ATTAC, people have again started to believe that values such as solidarity and environmental justice, might prevail in an era when the financial marked has become all dominating.