In this increasingly interconnected and globalised world, digital technology remains at the forefront of EU policy and is a key driver of economic recovery and in the promotion of growth and jobs in Europe. With increased focus placed on cyber security and data protection, this award aims to recognise excellence in completing Europe's digital agenda and in promoting a return to growth for Europe
Amalia Sartori – EPP, Italy
Amalia Sartori, born in 1947, in Valdastico, Italy, was elected to the European parliament in 1999. As chair of the industry, research and energy committee, the Italian deputy has been a dedicated advocate of promoting the European digital agenda's goals. Moreover, Sartori has worked continuously to promote the participation of women in the information and communications technology sector, saying "Europe can't afford to waste women's talents". The EPP politician has produced important work on major pieces of legislation, such as the security of gas supply in times of international crisis and ensuring greater protection for vulnerable consumers. She has remained highly active in the areas of internet governance, broadband and roaming. As a previous winner in this category, Sartori has once again been recognised for her intense work in this area.
Seán Kelly – EPP, Ireland
Born on 26 April 1952 in Killarney, Ireland, Seán Kelly has long championed digital rights and data protection regulation, with particular attention paid to protecting the rights of children in the online environment and guaranteeing the rights of data subjects. Kelly, elected to the European parliament in 2009, served as rapporteur for the industry, research and energy committee on justice commissioner Viviane Reding's proposals for the overhaul of the data protection regime across the EU in 2013. The Irish deputy has also highlighted the rise of cyber bullying by hosting a number of events in parliament campaigning “vigorously” against this issue. He has been dedicated to promoting digital skills in Europe including organising in the parliament the first EU CoderDojo, an open source, volunteer-led, global movement of free coding clubs for young people. He remains dedicated to promoting an online digital single market that breaks down barriers between member states, encouraging innovation and enterprise..
Marielle Gallo – EPP, France
Since her election in 2009, Marielle Gallo has worked relentlessly on a single digital agenda for Europe. Gallo, born in 1949 in Lons-le-Saunier, France, has furthered digital rights specifically in the field of intellectual property rights. In using her expertise as a qualified lawyer, Gallo has led the way in providing a balanced approach between copyright holders and consumers in the EU digital market. In November 2011, the French politician also championed the creation of a new platform in the European parliament –the intellectual property forum. This platform aims to trigger a dialogue among the different parties, experts and policymakers in the areas of copyright and industrial property. In 2013, her proposal on a directive on collective management of copyright and related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online uses was unanimously adopted in first reading by the commission, parliament and council