In the run-up to the celebrations connected with the Karlspreis, the Médaille Charlemagne honours a European personality who has made a unique contribution, within the field of the media, to the process of European unification and the development of a European identity. "He or she can be a journalist, printer, producer, publisher, director, web designer, or any person connected with the media who has not only excelled through his work but has also contributed towards bridging the gap between cultures while being an exceptional champion of the European idea." (Jo Groebel, Europäisches Medieninstitut).
The publisher, Lord Weidenfeld (GB) in the year 2000, the author Cees Nooteboom (NL) in 2001, the producer Jan Mojto (D) in 2003, the director Jean-Jacques Annaud (F) in 2004 and Reporters without Borders in 2009 are previous prizewinners.
The prize is not endowed. It is awarded and organized by the North-Rhine-Westphalian Broadcasting Corporation (Landesanstalt für Rundfunk Nordrhein-Westfalen (LfR)), the European Media Institute (das Europäische Medieninstitut), the city of Aachen an further more institutions.