The islands have become the first stop for thousands of people who have come as refugees over the Mediterranean. The two mayors Spyridon Galinos from Lesbos and Giusi Nicolino from Lampedusa and Linosa are awarded the Prize "for their inspiring leadership in one of the most difficult periods of our time".
"Together with their citizens Spyridon Galinos and Giusi Nicolini opened their minds and societies for fellow human beings fleeing from war, terror, and misery. In an increasingly dangerous and cruel world they have stressed the humanistic imperative that it is more important to protect people than borders," the Olof Palme Memorial Fund writes in a press statement.
The Prize is awarded every yearn on, or as close to the 30th of January as possible, which was the birthday of the former Swedish prime minister, Olof Palme. In a ceremony at the Swedish parliament, the laureates receive the prize and a joint sum of US$100,000.