The Parliament Magazine
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Anna Lisa Boni
Anna Lisa Boni has been secretary general of EUROCITIES since June 2014. Before joining EUROCITIES, she was director of the Brussels office of the French region Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur. She has 20 years of professional experience in EU public affairs in the field of local and regional government. She has worked for the city of Bologna in Italy, and with European and international networks and the European Parliament. Anna Lisa has masters degrees from the University of Bologna, in political science, and from the University of Leuven, in European studies. She is of Italian nationality and speaks four European languages.
“Bringing the EU closer to citizens and ensure that what is done in Brussels reflects their needs is really urgent. MEPs are a crucial bridge in this respect and their good work should be awarded as a precious contribution to move the European project forward”.
Andrew Duff is President of the Spinelli Group and a Visiting Fellow at the European Policy Centre. He was a Liberal MEP from 1999-2014.
“The European Parliament does not always live up to the expectations placed in it by its electorate. I am looking for MEPs who strengthen the democratic legitimacy of the House by engaging in serious political and constitutional reform. Tinkering at the edges of the EU, nostalgia for the nation states, fear of national political parties are all fairly useless. This is a time for non-conformity”.
Human Rights Without Frontiers Int'l
Willy Fautré is co-founder and director of the Brussels-based NGO Human Rights Without Frontiers Int’l (http://www.hrwf.eu) registered in 1989. He was appointed chargé de mission at the Cabinet of the Belgian Ministry of Education and at the Belgian Federal Parliament to promote a better understanding between the various linguistic communities in Belgium. He started defending human rights in communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe during the Cold War. He has carried out fact-finding missions in over 25 countries. His main areas of expertise are human rights in China and North Korea, Ukraine and Russia, the Middle East, and, more particularly, freedom of religion or belief. He has published multiple articles and book chapters on these issues. He is regularly invited as a panelist to international conferences. He advocates at the UN in Geneva, the OSCE in Warsaw as well as in EU institutions.
"Members of the European Parliament have a major role to play in the promotion of all human rights worldwide and in the dialogue with civil societies of the EU member states. Their daily commitment to the defense of the fundamental freedoms, the rule of law and democracy deserves to be highlighted and rewarded by a special award because they continuously keep the EU flame burning day and night, as a beacon of hope"
James Holtum first began working in the European Parliament in 2005, as a press officer to Conservative MEPs, sitting in the EPP-ED Group. After a few years in private business, he returned as Head of Media to the UK Conservative delegation in 2008. He served as Spokesman and Head of Media to the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group until March 2017. He now serves as Media Director at political consultancy Rasmussen Global.
“MEPs can effect positive change in many different ways. Sometimes that may be through the legislative process, but equally many MEPs use their mandate to shine a spotlight on an injustice or a specific issue. MEPs are often ranked on the number of resolutions they submit or questions they ask, but rarely on the positive change they bring about. These awards are one of the few opportunities to recognise the many different ways MEPs serve their constituents.”
Friends of Europe
Shada Islam is Director of Europe and Geopolitics at Friends of Europe, an independent think tank based in Brussels. She works on issues related to the future of Europe, minority and integration challenges as well as on Europe’s relations with emerging nations. She set up the Asia Programme for Friends of Europe in 2011 and also leads its work on global trade and development issues. Shada is actively engaged in FoE's new "Migration Action" initiative aimed at encouraging reflection and discussion on Europe's challenge of developing new policies and actions to deal with refugees and migrants. She has done extensive work on the challenges facing European Muslims as regards perceptions, discrimination and marginalisation.
“The European Parliament and its members have a key role to play in developing and communicating a new and more energising narrative on the European Union and its relevance in today’s turbulent and troubled world. It’s time to celebrate and honour the work being done by MEPs”.
Brussels Writing Bureau
Colin Mackay is the Managing Director of the Brussels Writing Bureau, an independent editorial consultancy for Brussels-based companies and trade associations. He has lived and worked in Brussels since 2003. Before founding the Bureau in 2012, Colin was Director of Communications for EFPIA, the pharmaceutical industry association and for Cosmetics Europe, the Personal Care association. He also held senior roles in two international PR consultancies. He is a native of Scotland and is a graduate of the University of Stirling.
“The European Parliament, with its directly elected deputies, is the most accessible of the EU institutions. Yet much of the hard work that our MEPs undertake is done out of sight of the constituency, in Brussels and Strasbourg. Although the electorate may not see the work, it must not be undervalued. The MEP Awards provide the opportunity redress this and provide deserved recognition of their efforts.”
EPP Group in the European Committee of the Regions
Katie Owens has been working in communication at the European Committee of the Regions since 2007. After spending the last year working in the cabinet of the President, she is back with the CoR's EPP Group advising on the communication, events and media strategy. She is a member of the EuroPCom advisory board and the European Association of Communication Directors, as well as an #EUTweetUp organiser.
“2017 was a year of celebration, but also of unprecedented challenges. With the 2019 European Parliament elections just around the corner, what better time is there to take stock of the MEPs' achievements over the past year and to reward those who have gone the extra mile and taken risks to prove the added-value of the EU and to make people's lives that little bit better?"