The Belgian Ark Award for Free Speech (in Dutch: “Ark Prijs van het vrije woord”) was created in 1951 by Flemish intellectuals who were opposing restrictions to freedom of expression. In the past decades, it was awarded to several prominent intellectuals, mainly Flemish writers and artists. On May 25, the 2011 Prize was awarded to Philippe Van Parijs (UCLouvain), one of the most prominent advocates of basic income, and a founder of BIEN. In his “Laudatio”, Professor Rik Coolsaet (Ghent University) mentioned Van Parijs’s defence of basic income as one of the best examples of his lifelong commitment to social justice.

A short version of Coolsaet’s “Laudatio” was published in the Flemish daily ‘De Standaard’:

Van Parijs’s speech (in Dutch) is available at:

The list of past laureates is at:

About Yannick Vanderborght

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