Timeline:

5 September 2018
' Nominations Open '
20 November 2018
' Judging panel announced '
27 November 2018
' MEP Host announced '
7 December 2018
' Nominations Close '
30 January 2019
' Shortlist Announced '
18 February 2019
' Judges Deliberation Day '
20 March 2019
' Award Ceremony '

Shortlist

The Agriculture, Rural Development & Fisheries Award

Sponsored By

The Nominees

Marijana Petir MEP

Marijana Petir MEP

EPP, Croatia

Marijana Petir has been a member of Parliament’s AGRI committee since her election in 2014.

Her activities as Rapporteur of the AGRI opinion on the Directive on the promotion of renewable energy (RED2) ensured that the interests of the farming and forest sectors were considered when developing EU energy and climate policies. In her role as an Opinion Rapporteur on the Regulation on minimum requirements for water reuse, she contributed strongly to the creation of a new regulation that will ensure safe use of reused water in agriculture.

Petir has pursued farming interests throughout her political service, helping empower women in rural areas through her FEMM committee report on women and their roles in rural areas.

She also works to help keep young people in rural areas and to make farming more appealing to them. She organises an annual contest to find the best Croatian young farmer.

Petir is also a co-organiser of the European Week of Bees and Pollinators, an event that seeks to protect bees by establishing partnerships between farmers and beekeepers.

Ricardo Serrão Santos MEP

Ricardo Serrão Santos MEP

S&D, Portugal

Elected to Parliament in 2014, Ricardo Serrão Santos coordinates the S&D Group’s activities in the PECH committee. He is also a member of the AGRI committee.

Recognised for his work in promoting the sustainable governance of resources and ecosystems, as well as on the future of food security, Serrão Santos has worked on fisheries and maritime reports relating to the EU’s external dimension policies. This includes the Regulation on the external dimension of the CFP and the multi-annual plan for fisheries in Western Atlantic waters.

Within the AGRI committee, he has been involved in the process of shaping Parliament’s reaction to the milk crisis. He was also Shadow Rapporteur on the milk report. Currently, he is Shadow Rapporteur on the CAP Horizontal regulation.

Serrão Santos is a vice president of two Intergroups where he promotes dialogue on emergent thematics between MEPs, governing officers, scientists, industry and civil society.

In December 2018, he was one of 18 world personalities selected for the Executive Planning Group of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Tibor Szanyi

Tibor Szanyi MEP

S&D, Hungary

A former Hungarian MP and State Secretary of Agriculture and Economy, Tibor Szanyi brought decades of experience to the European Parliament when he was elected in 2014.

A member of Parliament’s AGRI and ECON committees, Szanyi is driven by a determination to reduce the growing social and technological gap that divides urban and rural areas. In 2015, he submitted the “Smart Eco Social Villages” project which serves as a basis for developing the concept of “Smart Villages”. Together with an EPP group colleague, they successfully forged cross-party support and inter-institutional cooperation behind the concept.

In 2017, this approach saw the launch of the European Commission’s EU Action for Smart Villages. The MEPs’ initiative has also been embraced by several members of the European Commission and was rewarded with further financial support in 2018.

Politically, smart villages offer a tangible perspective of innovative, viable projects for tackling rural inequalities and social deprivation. The project is also a clear illustration of how the EU can genuinely make a difference in improving people’s lives.

The Development Award

Sponsored By

The Nominees

Eleni Theocharous MEP

Eleni Theocharous MEP

ECR, Cyprus

Paediatric surgeon Eleni Theocharous has been actively involved in the work of the Parliament’s DEVE committee for almost a decade. Her activities centre around the respect of fundamental rights and delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the aim of reducing poverty, particularly through education.

She has participated in numerous DEVE committee and EU-ACP JPA missions with a specific focus on human rights, enforcement of labour laws, food security, nutrition and agriculture, migration, EU humanitarian and development aid programmes for refugees, justice reform and the fight against corruption and illicit drugs.

Theocharous is also a Co-Rapporteur for the strategic report concerning the implementation of the SDGs that will be presented at the UN High Level Political Forum in July this year.

She has extensive humanitarian/development assistance experience, working voluntarily from the early 1980s with several large NGOs as a surgeon in war zones around the world and in areas affected by natural disasters.

She has taught surgical paediatric surgery and traumatology as well as health education in many universities and hospitals of the world.

Enrique Guerrero Salom MEP

Enrique Guerrero Salom MEP

S&D, Spain

An MEP since 2009, Enrique Guerrero Salom is a key figure on EU humanitarian, human rights and development issues and a strong advocate of prevention, effectiveness and rapid response mechanisms. He is currently the Parliament’s Standing Rapporteur for humanitarian affairs, elected by his DEVE committee colleagues to influence and monitor EU humanitarian aid policy, financing and operations.

His first action as Standing Rapporteur was to establish a financing mechanism to provide access to safe, quality and accredited primary and secondary education in emergencies for over four million children in 52 countries.

Guerrero Salom has overseen several key reforms of EU humanitarian policy and has helped reinforce the EU’s capacity for responding to recent displacement crises. He led Parliament’s position at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul and on Disaster Risk Reduction. He also represented the Parliament at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction meeting in Cancun.

Guerrero Salom also campaigns on poverty and inequality, innovation for development and supports strong civil society involvement in humanitarian action.

Maurice Ponga MEP

Maurice Ponga MEP

EPP, France

Maurice Ponga is the first Vice-Chair of Parliament’s DEVE committee. An MEP since 2009, he has helped steer several key dossiers through the institutions, including the EU-ACP partnership post-2020, the European Fund for Sustainable Development and the Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace (ICSP).

Ponga was also Rapporteur for the own-initiative report on the EU-Africa strategy, a major report adopted ahead of the last EU-AU Summit in Abidjan in November 2017. This report stressed the importance of further enhancing the EU’s partnership with Africa to tackle common challenges such as migration, climate change, and sustainable development.

A French MEP for New Caledonia in the South Pacific, Ponga is Parliament’s only deputy from one of the EU’s overseas countries and territories (OCTs).

He is currently rapporteur for the EU-OCTs instrument – a new mechanism proposed by the European Commission following calls from Parliament to have a dedicated financial instrument for these territories. This can foster cooperation between the EU and OCTs and contribute to the implementation of the SDGs.

The Digital Single Market Award

Sponsored By

The Nominees

Axel Voss MEP

Axel Voss MEP

EPP, Germany

Recently dubbed “the Man in the eye of Europe’s copyright storm”, Axel Voss has actively shaped the debate around Europe’s digital landscape since becoming an MEP in 2009.

Voss cut his legislative teeth in Parliament’s LIBE committee, however, he decisively raised his profile on digitisation by joining the JURI committee as a Vice-Chair in 2014. He has also acted as the committee’s spokesperson since 2017.

Voss aimed at balancing the diverging public interests by implementing a thoughtful strategy for addressing the much-needed reform of copyright. Irrespective of recent setbacks on the dossier, he says that his underlying aims on the directive remain unchanged. To safeguard the fair remuneration of content producers in the digital age and the fair remuneration for those that economically and structurally secure the distribution of work protected by copyright.

Voss was also Shadow Rapporteur on the General Data Protection Regulation where he pushed for a balanced legal framework. This not only improves the protection of personal data, but also at the same time does not hamper Europe from benefitting from the digital transformation.

Daniel Dalton MEP

Daniel Dalton MEP

ECR, United Kingdom

Daniel Dalton is the ECR Group’s Coordinator for the Parliament’s IMCO committee. He has been deeply involved in negotiations on digital single market-related legislation throughout this legislature, championing the empowerment of consumers and focusing on the opportunities that EU legislation should be helping to unlock.

His work as Rapporteur on non-tariff barriers in the single market identified ways to deepen the common digital market to the benefit of consumers and SMEs. His rapporteurship of the Digital Trade Strategy opinion sought to broaden these benefits beyond Europe's borders.

Dalton has continued to champion this cause while shadowing a range of files in the IMCO and LIBE committees. These include the Copyright Directive, the Free Flow of Data proposal, the European Electronic Communications Code and the Digital Contracts Directive.

One of his key priorities has been to raise the de minimis threshold for ecommerce goods. He believes that allowing consumers to feel the benefits of a Digital Single Market is the best route to secure political support for abolishing digital protectionism in the internal market.

Mady Delvaux MEP

Mady Delvaux MEP

S&D, Luxembourg

Mady Delvaux is a Vice-Chair of the Parliament’s JURI committee and a Substitute member of the ECON committee. She initiated and chairs the Parliament’s working group on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and was Rapporteur for the 2017 report on Civil law rules of robotics. This report highlighted Delvaux as a leading EU specialist on AI and robotics and helped propel the debate at an EU level.

Since then, she has taken every opportunity as an MEP to advance this issue: via Initiative reports, opinions, amendments, parliamentary questions, intergroups, EU events and interventions. Delvaux wants to see a common EU approach on AI and robotics: one that will address the consequences on liability, employment, education, security and ethics.

She has also called for the development of AI that respects human values, leaves no one behind and can promote the EU as a centre of ethical AI activity. This she says, must include the respect of diversity and gender balance, a smooth transition for workers, study of a potential universal basic income and taxation of robots.

The Economic & Monetary Affairs, Taxation & Budgets Award

The Nominees

Danuta Hübner MEP

Danuta Hübner MEP

EPP, Poland

Danuta Hübner has been an MEP since 2009. She is Chair of Parliament’s AFCO committee and a member of the ECON committee.

She was, among others, a Rapporteur on the amendment of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) on the supervision of Central Clearing Counterparties (CCPs), on the amendment to the ECB’s powers over CCPs and on the 2016 annual Banking Union report.

She was also Shadow Rapporteur on the Securities Financing transactions regulation (SFTR) and on the proposal for establishing a regime for the recovery and resolution of CCPs.

She was also rapporteur within AFCO on various opinions on ECON files, notably on the European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS), the review of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), the establishment of the European Monetary Fund (EMF) and the adjustment of the statute of the EIB to Brexit.

As a member of the Brexit Steering Group, Hübner has been at the centre of the Brexit debate and has been integral to the debate on the impact of Brexit on financial services.

Isabelle Thomas MEP

Isabelle Thomas MEP

S&D, France

A member of Parliament’s BUDG committee and S&D group Vice-President in charge of budgetary questions, Isabelle Thomas was the Parliament’s Rapporteur on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the EU budget for 2021-2027. She succeeded in building a strong Parliamentary consensus on the MFF for Europe and its citizens.

She fought to increase the budget in the face of new challenges, staunchly refusing to accept austerity proposals or budget reductions in all the texts concerning the MFF. She helped in strengthening the budget - reaching 1.3 per cent of the EU’s gross income - and in maintaining CAP and cohesion policies and support for Erasmus+ and Youth Employment. She also championed the introduction of new own resources to rebalance EU financing, including the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) and the tax on multinationals. In the current negotiations with the Council, she has advocated that Parliament use the power offered by the consent procedure.

Thomas also ensured that the MFF integrated the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, climate ambitions, gender equality ambitions and policies in the fight against child poverty.

Marian Harkin MEP

Marian Harkin MEP

ALDE, Ireland

First elected to the European Parliament in 2004, Marian Harkin’s Parliamentary activities have centred around her twin passions: helping to ensure that citizens have the opportunity to influence EU policy and that EU economic policy benefits citizens. As a strong advocate of tax justice, she was a member of Parliament’s special TAXE committee.

Much of Harkin’s legislative work has centred on significant economic and financial issues. These include her current rapporteurship of the Annual Growth Survey, where she has focused on ensuring parity between social and economic indicators with the aim of delivering social benefits from economic policy at a strategic level.

She has worked on many key reports and opinions, including the European Globalisation Fund, the European Labour Authority, the Social Entrepreneurship file, as well as proposals for a European Services e-card and recommendations on TTIP.

Harkin’s advocacy work covers six separate Interest and Intergroups and ranges from promoting the employability of persons with disabilities to supporting family carers, thus helping ease the increasing financial pressure on hospitals and care homes.

The Education, Culture & Media Award

The Nominees

Francis Zammit Dimech MEP

Francis Zammit Dimech MEP

EPP, Malta

A former Communications Minister and lecturer in European Media Law, Francis Zammit Dimech has been an MEP since June 2017. During that short period, he has served as Shadow Rapporteur of an own initiative report on a New European Agenda for Culture and was a Shadow Rapporteur on the Press Freedom and Pluralism and protection of whistle-blowers reports.

He has also called for less political interference in the cultural sector and has worked to safeguard media freedom.

Having launched Valletta’s application as European Capital of Culture 2018 when Minister for Culture in 2008, he seeks to bring the voice of Maltese artists and organisations closer to the EU. Zammit Dimech strongly supported the need for fair remuneration of artists and has also campaigned for Maltese YouTubers to be paid for content generated online.

He has called for the modernisation of education systems, including the introduction of visual literacy in curricula. This, he believes, is fundamental to adapting to the enormous transformational changes occurring in society.

Krystyna Łybacka MEP

Krystyna Łybacka MEP

S&D, Poland

A former Polish Education, Culture and Sport Minister, Krystyna Łybacka has been active in education for almost three decades. Among her many parliamentary activities, she oversaw the CULT committee’s report on the Modernisation of Education in the European Union. That report was prepared in response to seven European Commission communications on education; it deals with all levels of education and lays the groundwork for the creation of the European Education Area.

Łybacka believes that the role of education systems is to mould a well-rounded person, capable of fully realising their professional, social, cultural and civic life in a diverse, global environment.

She is also the European Parliament’s representative at the École Nationale d'Administration (ENA), the S&D group’s standing Rapporteur for Erasmus+ and the Vice President of the European Parliament’s Platform on Lifelong learning. 

Łybacka is also active in the fields of culture and media. Her ‘uniting generations’ project, where seniors and children learn together about the EU through cultural and creative activities, has been a huge success.

Petra Kammerevert MEP

Petra Kammerevert MEP

S&D, Germany

An MEP since 2009, Petra Kammerevert has taken the opportunities provided by her position as Chair of the Parliament’s CULT committee to advocate for stronger European commitment across educational, cultural and media policies.

During the many events organised within the framework of last year’s European Year of Cultural Heritage, she underlined the important role culture plays in European integration and social cohesion. She was instrumental in delivering the call to national governments to increase their efforts and give culture a more prominent role in policymaking.

As Co-Rapporteur on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, Kammerevert helped lay the ground for future-proofing Europe’s legal framework for the audiovisual sector.

Her motivation as Shadow Rapporteur for the future Erasmus programme and Rapporteur for the European Social Fund Plus was to make the most out of European funding schemes, directly investing in people, their education, competences and skills.

As CULT Opinion Rapporteur on the situation of fundamental rights in Hungary, Kammerevert’s robust defence of media and educational freedom helped trigger the Article 7 procedure.

The Employment, Social Affairs & Regions Award

The Nominees

Ivan Jakovčić MEP

Ivan Jakovčić MEP

ALDE, Croatia

A former Croatian Minister of European Integration, Ivan Jakovčić became an MEP in 2014. He is the ALDE group’s coordinator of Parliament’s REGI committee, a member of the AGRI committee, Vice-Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Albania Parliamentary Committee and a substitute member of the Delegation to the EU-Serbia parliamentary committee. Jakovčić also established and chairs the Parliament’s informal 'Friends of Montenegro' group.

He has been a co-signatory to 55 written declarations, has tabled more than 1500 amendments and has delivered more than 1600 speeches.

Jakovčić’s parliamentary activities include regional and local development issues, European funds, cooperation and promotion of regions and cities, organic agriculture and geographical indicators, tourism, the promotion of European values and support for European integration of the Western Balkan.

He was also Rapporteur for the report on the EU’s strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region, Rapporteur for the opinion on the Future of Europe, the 2015 EIB annual report and the 2014 European Investment Bank Report.

Marek Plura MEP

Marek Plura MEP

EPP, Poland

Widely acknowledged for his work promoting UNCRPD implementation and for his commitment to an inclusive society, Marek Plura has played an active role in politics despite disability and a serious degenerative illness. He is a member of Parliament’s EMPL and TRAN committees and Vice-President of the Disability Intergroup.

Plura was Rapporteur on the report on Skills policies to fight youth unemployment. He takes an active part in improving the labour market and creating conditions to tap into the potential of young people from underprivileged backgrounds. He also organises annual internship contests and supports Parliamentary traineeships for students with disabilities.

Plura is very active in areas where he believes action at European level is crucial, such as rare diseases and brain disorders. He is involved in numerous campaigns and events on these topics.

He is currently engaged in promoting the participation of persons with disabilities in the upcoming European elections, including a seminar on political participation in the European Parliament, as well as taking part in information campaigns and events.

Yana	Toom MEP

Yana Toom MEP

ALDE, Estonia

Yana Toom was elected to Parliament in 2014 and is an active member of three committees: EMPL, CULT and PETI.

Known for her activities in supporting the establishment of common social standards in Europe, Toom has actively worked on issues dealing with the European semester, employment and social aspects in the Annual Growth Survey and the economic policies of the euro area.

As Rapporteur on Education in the Digital Era, she advocated for digital skills and media literacy, the need to reform education to meet current technological developments and the importance of lifelong learning and matching skills and jobs.

The protection of fundamental rights and freedoms permeates all of Toom’s parliamentary activities. At both EU and national levels, she has consistently raised the issue of protecting stateless persons, calling for regularisation of their status, as well as respect for their political, economic and cultural rights.

Coming from a minority origin background, Toom says she appreciates the value of diversity and sees it as a guarantee of further progressive development of the European project.

 

The Energy Award

The Nominees

Henna Virkkunen MEP

Henna Virkkunen MEP

EPP, Finland

Henna Virkkunen has been an MEP since 2014 and is a member of Parliament’s ITRE committee and a substitute member of the TRAN committee.

She is a keen advocate of the European Energy Union, the decarbonisation of transport and Europe’s bioeconomy. Her activities in the European Parliament focus on the smarter use of energy and responsible measures for fighting climate change. She is currently working on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) 2021-2027 as the EPP Group’s ITRE rapporteur. The aim of the CEF is to accelerate investments in trans-European networks. Virkkunen believes cross-border connections are crucial to completing Europe’s Energy Union.

Before her election to the European Parliament, Virkkunen served as a Minister of Transport and in local government in Finland. During her two terms as a Member of the Finnish Parliament, she has also been a Minister of Public Administration and Local Government and a Minister of Education and Research.

Rebecca Harms MEP

Rebecca Harms MEP

Greens/EFA, Germany

Rebecca Harms was first elected as an MEP in 2004 and is a member of the Parliament’s ITRE committee and a substitute in the ENVI committee, allowing her to place energy policies firmly into the context of climate protection. Limiting global warming to well below 2°C has, she says, been both a guiding principle in her approach to energy strategies and has also helped reducing risks while increasing the sustainable security of supply.

Harms is widely recognised as an expert on nuclear policies, advocating for an EU-wide phase out of its use. Issues of particular interest to her are safe and responsible methods of handling the risks connected to the end of life of nuclear power generation created by the decommissioning of reactors and the storage of nuclear waste.

She was ITRE Rapporteur on the decommissioning funds for the Ignalina nuclear power plant in Lithuania, on which she secured a strong cross-party majority to increase EU support aimed at ensuring that the decommissioning of the plant’s two reactors can progress safely and without further delay.

Vladimir Urutchev MEP

Vladimir Urutchev MEP

EPP, Bulgaria

As an MEP since Bulgaria’s accession in 2007, Vladimir Urutchev is his country’s longest serving EU deputy. He worked for 25 years as a nuclear engineer and has largely devoted his time in Parliament to nuclear safety, including the safe decommissioning of nuclear power plants as well as fostering research, innovation and training in nuclear matters.

Urutchev is a member of Parliament’s ITRE and AGRI committees and Vice-President of the European Energy Forum.

He was EPP Shadow Rapporteur on the 2019-2020 Euratom Research and Training Programme, supporting the €770m financial envelope for nuclear research and training activities. His extensive expertise also led to his appointment as ITRE Rapporteur on establishing a European Instrument for Nuclear Safety.

Urutchev believes that Europe must embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution and make the (r)evolutionary energy transition towards clean energy. He supports completion of the European Energy Union and is a strong proponent of an integrated internal energy market aimed at reducing Europe’s dependency on energy imports.

The Environment Award

Sponsored By

The Nominees

Benedek Jávor MEP

Benedek Jávor MEP

Greens, Hungary

Benedek Jávor is first Vice-Chair of the ENVI committee and is a member of the delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly.

He has shown an outstanding commitment in driving forward environmental issues in the EU. His active involvement in issues such as Natura 2000, LIFE and the next MFF has helped to deliver stronger and improved EU legislation with better implementation. He has contributed to numerous reports, opinions and resolutions: the action plan for nature, various elements of the circular economy package, energy efficiency, whistle-blower protection, implementation of EU environmental policy and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Jávor was the Greens/EFA Shadow Rapporteur on the energy efficiency directive where he called, during recent trialogue negotiations, for more ambitious targets in the final draft, arguing that energy efficiency measures were the most cost-effective tool in reducing energy poverty.

He has also been pushing for sustainable forest management, for phasing out palm oil and for putting an end to deforestation. He fought for ensuring safe drinking water is available for all, including the vulnerable groups.

Catherine Bearder MEP

Catherine Bearder MEP

ALDE, United Kingdom

Catherine Bearder has used her 10 years as an MEP to fight to protect biodiversity, and in particular to combat the illegal wildlife trade. She established the cross-party MEPs4Wildlife group to help ensure the European Commission delivered a robust EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking.

In 2016, as Rapporteur on the Action Plan, she called on EU Member States to improve resources for training to enforce the plan, as well as arguing for a Europe-wide ban on ivory. She is currently working with Commissioners Karmenu Vella and Jyrki Katainen on delivering this ban.

Bearder led an advocacy campaign in 2017 to make environmental crime one of the EU's ten priorities in its fight against serious and organised crime during the 2018-2021 policy cycle. This successful prioritisation amounted to two extra Europol officers and additional EU funding for the secretariat of the main international wildlife convention, CITES. She was also instrumental as Co-Rapporteur in ensuring that the External Dimension of Wildlife Trafficking in ACP countries passed unanimously in Benin last December.

Mark Demesmaeker MEP

Mark Demesmaeker MEP

ECR, Belgium

Mark Demesmaeker has been an MEP since 2013. He is a member of Parliament’s ENVI committee and heads the Flemish N-VA delegation.

Demesmaeker was Rapporteur on the landmark 2016 report on biodiversity and is a passionate defender of the transition to a circular economy. He played an influential role as Shadow Rapporteur for the circular economy package.

For Demesmaeker, a circular economy requires much more than simply increasing recycling rates – it means smart and innovative business, production and consumption models covering the entire value chain.

Demesmaeker was also Rapporteur on the Plastics Strategy which was adopted almost unanimously in September 2018. He continued his circular economy work as a Shadow Rapporteur on the Single-use plastics directive. Throughout his circular economy activities, Demesmaeker has emphasised the importance of reclaiming as many resources as possible within the EU. The shift towards a circular economy is, for him, an economic necessity, essential for ensuring the EU’s long-term competitiveness and creating local jobs.

He also sits as a substitute in the TRAN committee where he focuses on sustainable transport.

The Health Award

The Nominees

José Inácio Faria MEP

José Inácio Faria MEP

EPP, Portugal

José Inácio Faria is one of the ENVI committee’s most active members. A leading environmentalist voice within the EPP group, he has dedicated himself to public health issues, in line with the “One Health” concept. He is a member of the Intergroup for Disabilities, Access to Medicines, MEPs Against Cancer, the Working Group on eHealth and a number of other informal groups that help bring policymakers closer to civil society.

He was EPP Shadow Rapporteur on EU options for improving access to medicines and is a Co-Rapporteur on the upcoming resolution on enabling the digital transformation of health and care.

Faria’s parliamentary workload often surpasses what would be ‘normal’: voicing concerns, proposing amendments or working with colleagues on big ticket issues such as health technology assessments, antimicrobial resistance and rare diseases, as well as upcoming files, such as: the SPC waiver and implementation of the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive. He has participated in several health-related events throughout 2018, in line with his aim of bringing policymakers closer to civil society.

Lieve Wierinck MEP

Lieve Wierinck MEP

ALDE, Belgium

In May 2016, Lieve Wierinck replaced Philippe De Backer as an MEP. She is a member of the ITRE committee and a substitute member of the ECON committee. Although not a member of the ENVI committee, she has a passion for health matters and is committed to delivering progressive and affordable healthcare across Europe.

As a former cancer patient, caregiver and now policymaker, she understands how important recent medical breakthroughs have been for changing health outcomes. She is an active member of the MEPs Against Cancer Group and Co-Chair to the Interest Group on Access to Healthcare.

She is currently Shadow Rapporteur in the ITRE committee for Horizon Europe. She describes her goal as one to ensure that research and innovation continue in a competitive atmosphere. She was also Rapporteur for the opinion on Health Technology Assessments and the European One Health Action Plan against Antimicrobial Resistance.

Wierinck holds a pharmacy degree and a post-graduate degree in pharmaceutical management. She owned and managed a pharmacy for almost 30 years.

Pavel Poc MEP

Pavel Poc MEP

S&D, Czech Republic

Pavel Poc has been an MEP since 2009 and is a Vice-Chair of the Parliament’s ENVI committee. Whether the air we breathe, the soil our food grows in or the water we drink, Poc believes his mission as an MEP is to help identify those major health threats that are often not in plain sight.

Widely known for his fight against the authorisation of potentially carcinogenic compounds such as DEHP, sodium dichromate and glyphosate, he pushed for EU-wide toxic contaminant limits in EU soil; on the General Food Law revision, he fought for transparency on GMOs, pesticides, additives, flavourings, enzymes and novel foods.

As S&D group coordinator in the PEST special committee and author of the PPPs Regulation Implementation Report, he recommended improvements in the authorisation process. He pushed for a new EDCs strategy and is campaigning for the same on antimicrobial resistance.

Poc also works on smoke toxicity standards for construction materials and believes that firefighters’ work-related cancers caused by toxic substances should be treated as occupational diseases.

The Industry, Research & Innovation Award

Sponsored By

The Nominees

Christian Ehler MEP

Christian Ehler MEP

EPP, Germany

Christian Ehler has been an MEP since 2004 and has been a member of Parliament’s ITRE committee for over a decade. He has been one of the leading figures in the design and implementation of the EU’s research and innovation programmes, both as Rapporteur for Horizon 2020 and its €80bn successor, Horizon Europe.

Ehler fought to ensure Europe’s excellence in research and innovation, putting forward a number of schemes aimed at reducing the administrative burden for researchers, speeding up innovation-driven growth and job creation. He has been particularly active in the R&I sectors of health, energy, digitalisation, civil security, defence and climate, where he would like to see Europe established as a global R&I leader.

As Chair of Parliament’s US Delegation, Ehler has played a major role in maintaining one of the EU’s oldest relationships.

A former biotech company CEO, Ehler co-founded the Cultural and Creative Industries Intergroup and was Rapporteur on developing an EU policy for the cultural and creative industries, the first joint report by the ITRE and CULT committees.

Maria Spyraki MEP

Maria Spyraki MEP

EPP, Greece

An MEP since 2014, Maria Spyraki is a firm believer in the transformative power of research and innovation. During this legislative period, with the support of the European Ideas Network, she hosted a two-day seminar followed by a school competition on the topic of “Investing in Education and Innovation” in Thessaloniki.

Spyraki also conceived and launched the single-use plastics awareness-raising campaign “Fish or Plastic,” with the support and participation of Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen and fellow MEPs Henna Virkkunen and Sofia Ribeiro.

Tackling climate change through innovation with a focus on lagging regions is high on Spyraki's priorities. She hosted in November the Annual Global Gas Centre Conference in the European Parliament and presented in the European Utility Week on the needs of diversification of the energy portfolio and the security of supply. In cooperation with the Technical Chamber of Central Macedonia she is hosting in March a debate on: ”Clean Energy Package: An opportunity for jobs and growth.”

She is a strong proponent of the transformation to a circular industry and of tackling climate change through innovation. Included in the many events that she hosts, organises or participates in are the EU Energy Day at COP24 Katowice, where she supported regions transitioning from coal, and in both 2018 conferences on "Clean Energy for EU Islands."

She also strives to take citizens on board to harness the digital revolution. Commissioner Gabriel engaged with the people in Thessaloniki and presented the digital agenda in an event hosted by Spyraki, in cooperation with the Cyber Security International Institute, where she is hosting on February 22 the workshop: “Digital Life safety and security for young people.”

Patrizia Toia MEP

Patrizia Toia MEP

S&D, Italy

A former Italian Minister for European Affairs, Patrizia Toia was first elected as an MEP in 2004 and has been a Vice-Chair of the ITRE committee for a decade. She is also head of the S&D Group’s Italian delegation.

Toia has been active across many issues relating to Industrial policy and Europe’s manufacturing sector and is the ITRE rapporteur for the SMEs window included in the proposal on the Single Market programme. She was also Rapporteur on the use of the frequency band and radio spectrum which helped pave the way for 5G roll out. Toia was also Shadow Rapporteur on the digitalisation of European industry and on the definition of SMEs. Recently, she contributed to the Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programmes.

Toia has worked to increase the numbers of women within the digital sector and has promoted the Social Market Economy as member of the Social Economy Intergroup. She is also strongly committed to the promotion of Research and Innovation, particularly for SMEs. As a convinced pro-European, she believes in a citizen-centred EU.

The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Award

The Nominees

Dita Charanzová MEP

Dita Charanzová MEP

ALDE, Czech Republic

Elected as an MEP in 2014, Dita Charanzová is an active member of Parliament’s IMCO committee, acting as both a Vice Chair and the ALDE Group coordinator. Throughout this legislature, she has worked tirelessly to deliver tangible results aimed at improving the lives of EU citizens.

She led the Parliament as IMCO Rapporteur on the Telecoms Code and is the reason why, from May 2018, the cost of all intra-EU calls will be limited to a maximum of 19 cents. This has been called the “second roaming”. The code is seen as a win for both businesses and consumers.

Charanzová was also the driving force behind the introduction of a mobile phone public warning system and on legislation ensuring that every EU citizen has a right to affordable broadband internet access. She fought for and won countless other new practical rights for consumers, including those with disabilities.

Charnazová was also the force behind the Free Flow of Data Regulation, pushing for its original proposal from the Commission and supporting the Rapporteur in its final reading.

Lara Comi MEP

Lara Comi MEP

EPP, Italy

Lara Comi was elected to the European Parliament in 2009 and is the EPP group’s Vice President in charge of youth policy, communication strategy and relations with the Americas and China.

Comi is a member of the Parliament’s IMCO committee and the Delegation for relations with the United States. She is also a substitute member of the ECON, ITRE and TAX3 committees and a former substitute on the committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector.

She was appointed Rapporteur for the Internal Market Strategy and the Opinion on European Union Defence. Recently, she promoted a plenary debate and a related oral question on stalking and the protection for victims of stalking in the EU. Comi herself has been forced to move house and has lived under guard for more than two years.

She is currently Rapporteur on the implementation of the late payment directive and is Shadow Rapporteur for the opinion on the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre and Network of National Coordination Centres.

Maria Grapini MEP

Maria Grapini MEP

S&D, Romania

As a former Romanian Minister responsible for SMEs, business and tourism and as a Vice-President of Parliament’s SME Intergroup, Maria Grapini is an acknowledged expert on measures to support and encourage the development of Europe’s small businesses.

As an IMCO committee member, she has worked to achieve legislative changes that eliminate administrative barriers and improve the functioning of the Internal Market. Grapini was Shadow Rapporteur on the late payments directive, IMCO opinion Rapporteur on the cross-border healthcare directive, Shadow Rapporteur on the Euro 5 step to type-approval of two- or three wheels and quadricycles and was Rapporteur on the regulation establishing the VAMA Customs Cooperation Programme.

Grapini has drafted more than 2499 amendments in support of SMEs, and within the SME Intergroup, she has been involved in numerous debates on topics including package services, business platforms, public procurement and late payments. This has seen the development of several important position papers, many of which have been further considered by the European Commission and a number of European Parliament committees.

The International Trade Award

The Nominees

Iuliu Winkler MEP

Iuliu Winkler MEP

EPP, Romania

Iuliu Winkler became an MEP in 2007 and has been a Vice-Chair of the INTA committee since 2014. He is the EPP group’s standing Rapporteur for China and Taiwan and, from this position, has coordinated the committee’ stance on EU-China trade and investment relations.

In the current geopolitical context, his main objectives are to maintain a cooperative stance with China, building where possible, while standing true to the interests of European businesses, SMEs, and consumers and working towards a level playing field.

Winkler has also maintained a focus nearer to home, working on relations with the EU’s Eastern Partners, primarily Georgia and Moldova. He has worked to evaluate the impact of the DCFTAs in the implementation of the overall Association Agenda, and specifically trade.

He coordinated a common position on Trade and Sustainable Development chapters in FTAs, saying that that trade ought to be sustainable. It should not simply be rules-based, but also value-based. This will create trade that leaves a positive impact both at home and in partner countries. Winkler has also contributed to DG Trade´s efforts to reform the WTO.

Nadja Hirsch MEP

Nadja Hirsch MEP

ALDE, Germany

Nadja Hirsch had already been active in shaping European policy during her previous time as an MEP in 2009-2014. She returned to the Parliament in 2017 to continue her work and has positioned herself as a leading advocate of a fair and rule-based free trade system.

In her capacity as ALDE group Shadow Rapporteur on the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement, she contributed substantially to drawing up one of the most advanced trade agreements to date, thus creating the largest free trade area in the world in the process. At the same time, it clearly signalled the risk of irrational protectionism and harmful isolation. As Shadow, Hirsch has also championed a comprehensive report on the application of blockchain technology in trade matters.

In promoting Europe's role in the current digital economy, Hirsch - who founded her own start-up in 2017 - draws on her extensive knowledge of the economic and social aspects of the digitisation, as well as her strong commitment to the protection of citizens' rights. In addition, she worked extensively on the data protection deal with Japan.

Sajjad Karim MEP

Sajjad Karim MEP

ECR, United Kingdom

Following his election to Parliament in 2004, Sajjad Karim quickly established himself as a defender of free and values-based trade. He is widely recognised for his work in championing trade between the EU and the wider world, and on trade enhancing internal EU reform. He is a leading proponent of human rights conditions in trade agreements.

As Chair of the South Asia Trade Monitoring Group, spokesperson to the WTO and Rapporteur on numerous policy- setting files, including audit reform, the issue of Parliamentary reform has always been at the forefront of Karim's trade focus.

Whether as the Parliament’s original Rapporteur for EU-India FTA, on the reinstatement of GSP for Sri Lanka, on Bangladesh’s garments industry safety reforms, or by guiding the INTA committee towards the adoption of a preferential trade package for Pakistan, his contribution to EU-South Asia trade has been long-recognised both in and outside Europe.

Karim has also steered Parliament’s relations with the South Caucasus. As Chair of the region’s delegation he is helping finalise the negotiations on a new comprehensive agreement with Azerbaijan.

The Justice & Gender Equality Award

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The Nominees

Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz MEP

Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz MEP

EPP, Poland

Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz is a former member of the Polish Parliament and minister for equal opportunities. She was responsible for introducing legislation on electoral list quotas for women and men and also signed the Istanbul Convention in 2012 on behalf of the Polish government.

As the EPP Group’s Coordinator in Parliament’s FEMM committee and an active member of the EMPL committee, Kozłowska-Rajewicz tries to create bridges between her main activities in and around gender equality, equal and competitive labour markets, digitalisation, the promotion of e-skills and combatting violence against women.

She is FEMM lead negotiator for the directive on work-life balance for parents and carers in the ongoing trialogue negotiations. A strong advocate on the reconciliation of family and professional life, she champions equal, non-transferable, parental leave for both mothers and fathers.

Kozłowska-Rajewicz initiated a plenary debate on the gender pension gap and is an active supporter and collaborator of grassroot activist movements that promote women’s rights and mentor and train women activists for politics.

Heinz K. Becker MEP

Heinz K. Becker MEP

EPP, Austria

As Chair of Parliament’s Working Group on Anti-Semitism, Heinz K. Becker is dedicated to combatting the rising threats to Jews in Europe.

Together with parliamentary colleagues, he raised the issue of rising anti-Semitism in a successful resolution aimed at recognising and fighting it in all forms. The resolution called for concrete measures in education, establishing national coordinators in EU member states and the EU-wide adoption of a common definition that would enable the police and courts to prosecute anti-Semitism more effectively.

Thanks to Becker’s initiative, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance‘s definition of anti-Semitism was translated into all 24 official EU languages by the translation service of the European Parliament. To date, seven Member States have implemented the IHRA definition. More reluctant Member States have been called to use the IHRA definition as a guidance tool which would be an important step in the fight against anti-Semitism.

Becker is in constant contact with Jewish communities, stakeholders and particularly youth organisations and young people.

Pina Picierno MEP

Pina Picierno MEP

S&D, Italy

Pina Picierno was elected to the Italian parliament’s lower Chamber when she was just 27 years old and was a member of both the Justice and the anti-Mafia special committees.

Elected as an MEP in 2014, her parliamentary work primarily focusses on her activities in the FEMM committee.

She was S&D Group’s Shadow Rapporteur on the resolution on equality between women and men. She has also been at the forefront of the fight against violence and harassment against women and girls which gained widespread media attention through the #MeToo movement. Picierno was also Rapporteur on a report on mobbing and harassment. She has also focused on sexual harassment perpetrated online, such as on social media, blogs and chats.

Picierno is also a member of the BUDG committee, where she has insisted - in line with FEMM priorities - on a separate budget line for the Daphne programme on preventing gender-based violence and discrimination. Recently, she has worked on opinions on the Justice programme and on the Annual Growth Survey 2019.

The Security & Defence Award

The Nominees

Anna Elżbieta Fotyga MEP

Anna Elżbieta Fotyga MEP

ECR, Poland

Anna Fotyga is Chair of Parliament’s SEDE subcommittee and a member of the AFET committee.

As chair of SEDE, she has worked to build a platform for a less-politicised, higher-yielding committee for European policy making. By involving experts from both sides of the Atlantic, she demonstrated that the challenges facing Europe are increasingly intertwined.

Fotyga has led missions to places including Mali, DRC, CAR, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Ukraine to assess contagious conflict and instability. The missions witnessed how explosions of tension play out in real time, forcing SEDE to diversify its focus on issues such as tensions in the South China Sea, terrorism or an upsurge of refugees fleeing Africa and the MENA region.

She pays particular attention to Russian aggression towards Ukraine and Georgia, co-organising events featuring leading policymakers along with victims of hostile aggression. Her latest initiative was a successful ECR Africa Summit.

Fotyga also supports expanding EU-NATO cooperation, advancing military mobility and other timely initiatives, all of which ensure greater security and prosperity for Europe’s citizens.

Monika Hohlmeier MEP

Monika Hohlmeier MEP

EPP, Germany

Following a long political career in her German home state of Bavaria, including eight years as Bavarian State Minister for Education and Cultural Affairs, Monika Hohlmeier became an MEP in 2009. Having been personally affected and threatened by the left-wing terrorism of the Red Army Faction in the 1970s as the daughter of former Minister-President of Bavaria Franz-Josef Strauß, Hohlmeier has always held a particular interest in the fight against terrorism.

She was the Parliament’s Rapporteur on the ground-breaking directive on Combating Terrorism and served as Co-Rapporteur for the recently-adopted report of the TERR Special committee, which made concrete recommendations on strengthening awareness, preparedness and resilience to terrorist threats in the EU and Member States.

Between 2012 and 2013, Hohlmeier was a member of the CRIM Special committee. In 2014, she joined the LIBE committee, serving as Rapporteur or Shadow Rapporteur on several security-related files and was the EPP group's spokesperson for several years. She is currently Rapporteur for the Internal Security Fund on the next MFF.

Urmas Paet MEP

Urmas Paet MEP

ALDE, Estonia

Before becoming an MEP in 2014, Urmas Paet served as Estonia’s Foreign Minister for almost a decade. His main focus since being elected to Parliament remains foreign affairs, particularly strengthening Europe’s online and offline defences.

As Rapporteur on both the European Defence Union and Cyber Defence reports, he has contributed to strengthening Europe’s defence and enhancing defence cooperation in the EU.

In his recent Cyber Defence report, Paet focused on six main areas: capability development, cyber defence of CSDP missions and operations, education and training, EU-NATO cooperation, international norms applicable to cyber space and civil-military cooperation.

He has also worked on human rights issues such as the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar where he negotiated Parliament’s resolution for the ALDE Group. He continues to demand that the organisers of the genocide against the Rohingya must be brought to the International Criminal Court.

As Co-Rapporteur on the EU Arctic policy, he highlighted the geopolitical importance of the region and emphasised the need to keep the Arctic a low-tension area.

The Transport & Tourism Award

The Nominees

Ana Claudia Tapardel

Claudia Țapardel MEP

S&D, Romania

Since her election in 2014, Claudia Țapardel has worked on numerous legislative reports and events and conferences, all aimed at improving the transport sector’s regulatory framework.

During the recent negotiations on the Mobility Package, Țapardel advocated for a balanced approach between social rights and the interests of hauliers. She argued that policymakers needed to ensure they did not end up imposing unnecessary administrative burdens on the road transport sector.

She believes that high-quality transport links are fundamental for Europe’s future economic success and for the quality of life of citizens. In addition, she is an ardent supporter of improving cohesion policy, particularly around border regions. She has also worked to improve gender balance in the transport industry - a sector traditionally dominated by men - promoting her ideas at a highly successful ‘Women in Transport’ event that she organised.

Țapardel is a Co-Chair of Parliament’s European Tourism and Cultural Heritage Intergroup which was successful in designating 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

EPP, France  Maurice Ponga is the first Vice-Chair of Parliament’s DEVE committee. An MEP since 2009, he has helped steer several key dossiers through the institutions, including the EU-ACP partnership post-2020, the European Fund for Sustainable Developm

Merja Kyllönen MEP

GUE/NGL, Finland

Former Finnish Transport Minister Merja Kyllönen has been an active participant in EU transport policy and its development since her election to Parliament in 2014. Recognised by colleagues for her dedication in finding solutions and delivering workable legislation, Kyllönen is always ready to find compromises.

She has worked as the GUE/NGL group’s coordinator in Parliament’s TRAN committee and took part in the car emissions inquiry. Intelligent transport systems, mobility as a service, the development of public transport and maintaining a level playing field in transport as a whole are some of the issues close to her heart.

As one of the Rapporteurs on the mobility package on the posting of workers, as well as being Shadow Rapporteur on drive and rest times and cabotage, she has worked with her colleagues to find solutions that everybody can accommodate. As a substitute member of the ENVI committee, she has a clear vision of the importance of considering the impact on the climate and the environment when making legislation in the transport sector.

Renaud Muselier MEP

Renaud Muselier MEP

EPP, France

Renaud Muselier is a former French MP, Minister and Deputy Mayor of Marseille. He has been an MEP since 2014. He is also the President of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

His strong involvement in transport and tourism policies encompasses local, national and European level. He was the initiator of Marseille’s new tramway, the special delegate for Marseille during its European Capital of Culture in 2013 and a Rapporteur and member of the TRAN committee.

As the EPP group’s Rapporteur on the Rail passengers’ rights regulation, Muselier played a central role in developing reforms that put passengers at the forefront. His ambition on this file, he says, was to provide European passengers with the best rail service in the world.

Muselier was also Jury President of the European Capital of Smart-Tourism initiative which rewards excellence in sustainable, digital, accessible and cultural heritage policies. He is also involved as EPP Rapporteur in two key ongoing legislative files: on the reform of transport corridors post-Brexit and on the ongoing Mobility package.