Timeline:

5 November 2019
' Nominations Open '
17 January 2020
' Nominations Close '
29 January 2020
' Shortlist Announced '
17 February 2020
' Judges Deliberation Day '
25 March 2020
' Award Ceremony '

Shortlist

The Agriculture, Rural Development & Fisheries Award

Sponsored By

The Digital Single Market Award

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 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 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

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 Transport & Tourism Award

The Best Assistant Award

The Best Newcomer Award

The Best Social Media User Award