The Dutch Machiavelli Prize 2023 has been awarded to Mayor Jaap Velema of Ter Apel. This announcement was made today by the board of the Machiavelli Foundation. The prize is awarded annually for a remarkable achievement in the field of public communication in the Netherlands. The award also recognizes the entire community in Ter Apel.
“Mayor Velema communicates clearly and sharply, yet not polarizing despite the highly sensitive subject. He employs various communication tools to bring the story of his municipality and the interests of its residents to the agenda. At the same time, he manages to draw attention to the problems in the asylum shelter,” according to the jury report.
“Velema continues to tirelessly advocate for the interests of everyone in his municipality, including those who had to literally sleep outside due to the gridlocked policy in The Hague. He is entangled with a problem from his position of responsibility, one that he cannot solve on his own. Nevertheless, Velema manages to keep the spirits in his community reasonably under control.”
“Despite sometimes escalating tensions, Ter Apel has been living with the registration center in the municipality for years. The way the community in Ter Apel has been carrying this for years is exemplary for many other, much larger municipalities,” the jury report continues.
The prize will be presented on Wednesday, February 14th at 17:00 CET by Marja Wagenaar, chair of the Machiavelli Foundation, at Perscentrum Nieuwspoort. This marks the 35th time the prize has been awarded. Femke Halsema, Mayor of Amsterdam, will deliver the annual Machiavelli Lecture prior to the award ceremony. The ceremony this year is open to everyone who registers via this link and can also be followed live via NPO Politiek and the Youtube channel of Nieuwspoort.
Previous winners include Johan Remkes, Gerrit Hiemstra, Marion Koopmans, Diederik Gommers, journalistic collective Bellingcat, She Decides, Mayor Eberhard van der Laan, H.R.H. Princess Máxima, and national coach Bert van Marwijk.
The Machiavelli Foundation is dedicated to public communication. Public Matters has been the main sponsor of the Machiavelli Foundation since 2010.