Michael Dukakis Institute Honors European Commission President von der Leyen for Her Efforts to Strengthen US-European Ties, and Establish Global Standards for AI with Democratic Values

Dec 10, 2020News

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will receive the “World Leader for Peace and Security Award” on Saturday December 12, 2020 from Governor Michael Dukakis. The award honors President von der Leyen for her efforts to rebuild ties between the United States and Europe and to promote a human-centric vision for Artificial Intelligence.

President von der Leyen will deliver remarks virtually at a conference in Boston on the role of artificial intelligence in safeguarding democratic rights sponsored by The Boston Global Forum and the Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation.

Governor Dukakis said, “For the past four years, the White House has strained to the breaking point, our ties with our European allies—relationships that have fostered peace, human rights and defended the Western world from aggression for three-quarters of a century.”

Governor Dukakis praised President von der Leyen for the proposed New Agenda for EU-US relations and for the goal of establishing global Artificial Intelligence standards based on democratic values.

President Von der Leyen said, “Artificial intelligence has a tremendous potential. Medicine, agriculture, transport, science – the areas where AI will make a huge difference are limitless. At the same time, it raises important ethical questions. A bit earlier this afternoon I mentioned digital sovereignty. That this is not only meant economically. Artificial intelligence is a prime example of digital sovereignty. It is an example of our ambition to apply European standards and values to technology deployed in Europe. Europe wants to lead the way on AI, with the individual at the centre.”

President Von der Leyen further said, “The US and the EU should work together on a common approach, based on our shared traditions and our commitment to democratic values. Developing a Transatlantic Agreement on AI is one such goal. We should also strengthen our international organizations and promote peace and security.”

Ursula von der Leyen was elected President of the European Commission in November 1, 2019. She will serve a five-year term as head of the Commission, setting strategy and priorities for EU policy. A prominent political leader, von der Leyen was the first woman to serve as Germany’s Minister of Defense, after having served in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet since 2005.

A new report on AI policy – Artificial Intelligence and Democratic Values – will be released at the December 12 conference. The report was prepared by the Center for AI and Digital Policy at the Dukakis Institute and conducted by a team of international experts.

The Boston Global Forum and The Michael Dukakis Institute presented the first World Leader Peace and Security Award in 2015 to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Other past recipients of the Peace and Security award are Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Kin-moon (2016), Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves (2017), Finnish President Sauli Niinisto (2018), Latvian President and President of World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Vaira Vike-Freiberga (2019).

The Boston Global Forum and The Michael Dukakis Institution have had a leading role in promoting a Social Contract for the AI Age. The Social Contract seeks to promote uses of AI that respect human rights, dignity and democratic values and prevent AI’s harmful uses by government and private parties.



The Michael Dukakis Institute (MDI)‘s initiatives include AI World Society (AIWS), AI-Government, Social Contract for the AI Age, Ethics Code of Conduct for Cyber Peace and Security (ECCC), and Global Cybersecurity Day.

The Boston Global Forum (BGF) brings together world leaders, distinguished thinkers, innovators, and promising young leaders to seek peaceful solutions to the challenges of our times.

The AI World Society (AIWS) City, established in collaboration with the World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid and the United Nations Academic Impact, is a virtual digital city dedicated to the principle of the Social Contract for the AI Age.



  • Further details of BGF and AIWS are available by contacting Tuan Anh Nguyen, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Boston Global Forum, and Director of The Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation: [email protected]
  • Editors and Reporters please contact MDI Press Secretary Dick Pirozzolo: [email protected] / +1 617 959 4613