March 22nd 2017 | Concert Noble, Brussels

Timeline:

26 September 2016
' Nominations Open '
18 November 2016
' Nominations Closed '
23 January 2017
' Shortlist Announced '
22 March 2017
' Award Ceremony '

Shortlist

The Agriculture and Rural Development Award 2017

Sponsored By

The Agriculture and Rural Development Award recognises excellence of an MEP working within the agricultural and rural development policy area, including the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP); animal health and welfare; plant health; agricultural products quality; forestry and agroforestry. It commends an individual who has demonstrated considerable skill in advancing policy and dialogue towards elevating and resolving agricultural issues. Nominations in this category should make reference to one of the following criteria:

• A considerable contribution in improving the operation and development of the common agricultural policy through effective oversight.

• A demonstrated commitment to promoting rural development, including the activities of the relevant financial instruments.

• Substantial involvement in legislation advancing matters related to veterinary and plant-health, animal husbandry and welfare; and food security.

The Nominees

Julie Girling

Julie GIRLING

 ECR, United Kingdom

Julie Girling has been praised for her longstanding support for the promotion of better animal welfare. Girling has worked on several key dossiers since becoming an MEP in 2009. She successfully managed the parliament’s position on National Emissions Ceilings, helping to deliver tough new targets aimed at reducing air pollution and cutting premature deaths from poor air quality. An active member of the intergroup on the welfare and conservation of animals, she recently co-sponsored a resolution on the introduction of compatible systems for the registration of pets across member states. A keen rider, she also chairs the MEP horse group and is rapporteur on an own-initiative report on guidelines to improve the welfare of the EU’s seven million horses and donkeys.

Marlene Mizzi

Marlene MIZZI

S&D, Malta

A Vice-President of the Animal Welfare Intergroup, Marlene Mizzi has been nominated for her work on animal welfare issues. The Maltese MEP has played a leading role in gathering political support around demands for the European Commission to develop a new EU five-year animal welfare strategy and was instrumental, through her role as a Vice-Chair of Parliament’s petitions committee, in commissioning an independent report tasked with analysing animal welfare across the EU. Mizzi last year co-hosted an event on the welfare of ducks in foie gras production which highlighted several novel approaches to ending the controversial farming practice. She also recently hosted an event in Malta aimed at putting animal welfare on the Maltese EU Council presidency agenda.

Nicola Caputo

Nicola CAPUTO

S&D, Italy

An active and, at 1m 96 tall, one of Parliament’s most recognisable MEPs, Nicola Caputo is well-known for his strong commitment to rural development. Last year’s winner in the agriculture category, his support for measures to aid farming communities and to tackle rural youth drain were key factors in his shortlisting for this year’s award. Caputo has played a key role in supporting young farmers, calling on national governments to implement a generational renewal strategy in rural areas by making use of the possibilities provided under the current CAP to support young and newly established farmers. Caputo has also worked on reducing crop price volatility and has worked extensively on enhancing the competitiveness of EU agriculture.

The Culture, Education and Sport Award 2017

The Culture, Education and Sport Award recognises excellence in the work of an MEP in the dissemination of culture, the advancement of education and youth policies, and promoting sport across the Union. It commends an MEP for their commitment to promote and uphold the cultural aspects of the European Union. Nominations in this category should make reference to one of the following criteria:

• A demonstrated commitment to improve the knowledge and dissemination of culture, including the protection and promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity, and a commitment to safeguarding cultural heritage.

• Substantial evidence of advancing youth and education best practices and recommendations across the EU and a clear commitment to the development of a sports and leisure policy across the Union.

• The promotion of audio-visual policy and the cultural and educational aspects of the information society.

The Nominees

Kinga Gal

Kinga GÁL

EPP, Hungary

Kinga Gál has been an MEP since 2004. She is a vocal advocate of talent support across Europe, submitting a written declaration on the topic in 2012. The document points out that, “talent and creativity are the basis for innovation and competitiveness” and “each European citizen may possess a hidden form of talent and that there is no age limit to discovering talents”. The written declaration was signed by over 200 MEPs. This led to the organisation of high level international conference, with the participation of the European Council for High Ability, the Commission, as well as various academics and NGOs. She also hosted the launch of the European talent support network. Gál is a mother of four.

Olga Sehnalova

Olga SEHNALOVÁ

S&D, Czech Republic

Olga Sehnalová was elected to the European Parliament in 2009. Since 2010, she has organised the European Days, in Kroměříž in the Czech Republic. The week-long festival takes place every six months, to coincide with rotating EU Council presidency. It is dedicated to introducing the culture of the country taking on the mandate. The European Days typically kick off with a debate between a Czech national living in the country taking on the presidency, and a national of that country living in the Czech Republic, so that they can compare differences between the culture and daily life of EU member states. The festival also features performances, activities for children and film screenings.

Lidia Joanna

Lidia Joanna GERINGER de OEDENBERG

S&D, Poland

Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg was born in Wroclaw, where she studied economics. Before becoming an MEP in 2004, she directed the Wratislavia Cantans international festival. She also sat on the board of the European festivals association and was general director of the Wrocław Philharmonic. Geringer de Oedenberg was a quaestor from 2009 to 2014 and in this role, helped organise exhibitions and concerts in the European Parliament to showcase local talent from her region. She was rapporteur on permitted use of orphan works, a file that was passed in plenary and allows public institutions to publish orphan and semi-orphan works without concern for litigation. In addition to her work on culture, Geringer de Oedenberg is passionate about gender equality and defending the rights of the Roma community.

The Development Award 2017

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The Development award recognises an MEP that has consistently worked towards the promotion, implementation and monitoring of the development and cooperation policy of the Union. In particular, this award commends an MEP who has made a substantial contribution in fostering political dialogue with developing countries, both bilaterally and through international organisational channels. Nominations in this category should make reference to one of the following criteria:

• A considerable contribution in advancing aid to, and cooperation agreements with, developing countries, with an emphasis on oversight of effective aid funding and evaluating aid effectiveness.

• Ensuring the implementation, monitoring and advancement of policy coherence with regard to development policy.

• Consistently promoting democratic values, good governance and human rights in developing countries.

• Substantial input into legislation, programming, and scrutiny of actions carried out under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), the European Development Fund (EDF), and the Humanitarian Aid Instrument.

The Nominees

Ignazio Corrao

Ignazio CORRAO

EFDD, Italy

Born in Rome, Ignazio Corrao has been an MEP since 2014. He is a member of many committees, including development, civil liberties and human rights, as well as several delegations. A lawyer by trade, Corrao is Parliament’s rapporteur on corporate liability for serious human rights abuses in third countries and the EU trust fund for Africa: the implications for development and humanitarian aid. He has also served as his group’s shadow rapporteur on several crucial dossiers, such as the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration. Corrao is passionate about defending the rights of indigenous peoples. On the topic of the refugee crisis, he has been vocal about the need to address the root causes of the situation.

Elly Schlein

Elly SCHLEIN

S&D, Italy

One of Parliament’s younger members, Elly Schlein was elected in 2014. She worked on both of Barack Obama’s presidential election campaigns, which fuelled her passion for grassroots activism. She is very active on issues relating to immigration and tax avoidance and is rapporteur on tax avoidance and tax evasion as challenges for governance, social protection and development in developing countries. Schlein has also worked extensively on helping find solutions to tackle the refugee crisis, and has personally assessed the situation on the ground in Lampedusa and Trapani. The Italian deputy is Parliament’s development committee shadow opinion rapporteur on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration.

Bogdan Brunon Wenta

Bogdan Brunon WENTA

EPP, Poland

Bogdan Wenta became an MEP in 2014, following a long career as a professional handball player. He is his group’s coordinator on the development committee. Wenta is co-rapporteur on the revision of the European consensus on development, a common statement by the Parliament, European Council, Commission and EEAS outlining principles and objectives of development policy for the EU and member states until 2030. He was the development committee opinion rapporteur on conflict minerals, a report that was approved in plenary last year. He was the EPP group’s shadow rapporteur on the EU trust fund for Africa: the implications for development and humanitarian aid. He has given countless speeches in Parliament on the situation in many African states, including Rwanda, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Digital Single Market Award 2017

Sponsored By

This award recognises an MEP who has demonstrated a substantial commitment towards realising the Digital Single Market, as a core tenet of the Europe 2020 agenda, in order to foster innovation, economic growth, and economic competitiveness. It commends an individual who has worked on one or more of the 16 actions of the Strategy, trying to advance the pillars of the Digital Single Market Strategy. Nominations in this category should make reference to one of the following criteria:

• Promoting better access for consumers and businesses to online digital goods and services across Europe by breaking down barriers to cross-border online activity.

• Creating the right environment and a level playing field for digital networks and innovative services to flourish by providing high-speed, secure and trustworthy infrastructures and services supported by the right regulatory conditions.

• Maximising the potential of the digital economy and its society to drive economic growth. This includes the right of EU citizens to acquire digital skills, and promoting the free movement of data in the European Union.

The Nominees

Dita Charanzova

Dita CHARANZOVÁ

ALDE, Czech Republic

Dita Charanzová has a played leading role on Digital Single Market issues since becoming an MEP in 2014, and has received praise for her work on guaranteeing that the interests of citizens and companies are included. She came to attention during her role as rapporteur on Web Accessibility where she successfully lead the adoption of laws ensuring that all public websites and mobile apps must be accessible to all persons with disabilities. As a coordinator in parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, Charanzová has worked on several key Digital Single Market dossiers. Recognised as a voice for Central and Eastern European inclusion she was described last year by the Financial Times as a “digital challenger” for the region.

Virginie Roziere

Virginie ROZIÈRE

S&D, France

Since her election to the European Parliament in 2014, Virginie Rozière has been heavily involved in the field of copyright law and in addressing the impact of digitalisation on culture. Indeed, as shadow rapporteur on the geoblocking regulation she has been a key figure in the Parliamentary debate surrounding the Digital Single Market strategy, and has regularly expressed her views on the matter, most notably with regards to social issues. Rozière is also vice-chair of the Sport intergroup of the European Parliament and holds a black belt in judo. As a feminist she is very much committed to ensuring that girls and women are properly represented in sport.

Carlos Zorrinho

Carlos ZORRINHO

S&D, Portugal

Carlos Zorrinho is a passionate advocate of using digital innovation to enhance public services and education. He has consistently pushed for the establishment of a more balanced and inclusive digital market, and believes that online public digital services can help drive innovation, kick-start economic development and benefit the lives of EU citizens. He was rapporteur on the proposal to establish a programme on interoperability solutions for European public administrations, businesses and citizens as a means for modernising the public sector and on the proposal for a regulation on ensuring cross-border portability of online content services. Zorrinho is Vice-Chair of the Delegation for relations with Brazil and a member of the committee on Industry, Research and Energy.

The Economic and Monetary Affairs Award 2017

Sponsored By

The Economic and Monetary Affairs Award recognises excellence in the work of an MEP in advancing and promoting investment and economic growth in the EU. It commends the efforts of an MEP in implementing Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), the regulation of financial services, the free movement of capital and payments, taxation and competition policies, and the international financial system. Nominations in this category should make reference to at least one of the following criteria:

• A demonstrated contribution to advancing and implementing the economic and monetary policies of the Union; the democratic and legitimate functioning of Economic and Monetary Union; and the European monetary and financial system. This includes the free movement of capital and payments.

• Ensuring the regulation and supervision of financial services, institutions and markets including financial reporting, auditing, accounting rules, and corporate governance.

• Contributing to legislation on banking reform, ensuring the efficient functioning of capital markets, and advancing the fight against tax evasion and tax avoidance.

The Nominees

Sven Giegold

Sven GIEGOLD

Greens/EFA, Germany

Sven Giegold has been speaking up for consumer interests in financial services for a number of years. A landmark project of his has been the strengthening of financial supervision, and Giegold has been a prominent supporter of giving more powers and resources to the European Supervisory Authorities. He also wants to simplify EU financial services legislation in order to remove loopholes. In recent months Giegold has been instrumental in organising debates about how the financial industry can better serve citizens, and he has worked with civil society organisations over the years to find practical solutions. His key objective, he says, is to ensure that a strong single market in financial services can develop in which all providers are equally well supervised.

Alain Lamassourc

Alain LAMASSOURE

EPP, France

Alain Lamassoure is an experienced parliamentarian who has contributed significantly to advancing – and indeed implementing – the economic and monetary policies of the EU. He is currently a member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee of Inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in relation to money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion, as well as the Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia. From 1999 to 2014, Lamassoure was chairman of Parliament’s Committee on Budgets, and contributed towards the drafting of the Lisbon Treaty. He has given numerous speeches in plenary on budgetary issues and is a well-respected advocate of a strong united Europe.

Michael Theurer

Michael THEURER

ALDE, Germany

Michael Theurer is a leading parliamentary expert on all things financial. He is a member of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, and also ALDE coordinator of the Committee of Inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion. Prior to this, Theurer was co-rapporteur for the two special committees investigating the Lux Leaks revelations on tax avoidance and evasion. He is head of the FDP's regional branch in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and is also a council member in his home town of Horb and the city of Freudenstadt.

The Employment and Social Affairs Award 2017

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The Employment and Social Affairs Award recognises an MEP for their considerable work in promoting employment and all aspects of social policy within the EU, including working conditions, the Skills Agenda, and the free movement of workers. It commends an MEP who has worked consistently to reduce unemployment and precarious jobs, ensure workers’ rights, and improve occupational health and safety legislation, including the promotion of work-life balance. Nominations in this category should make reference to at least one of the following criteria:

• A demonstrable contribution to legislation on employment and social policy, including working conditions, social security, active inclusion and social protection.

• A commitment to protecting workers’ rights and the free movement of workers, utilising and promoting social dialogue.

• Substantial work undertaken to prevent all forms of discrimination at the workplace and in the labour market.

The Nominees

Brando Benifei

Brando BENIFEI

S&D, Italy

At 31, Brando Benifei brings youthful vigour to the European Parliament.  His main fields of legislative work are in employment and social affairs and foreign affairs, and he is co-chair of the Youth Intergroup and vice-chair of the Disability Intergroup. In the Committee of Employment and Social Affairs, Benifei has been responsible for key legislative and non-legislative reports on youth employment policy such as the Youth Guarantee and on the integration of refugees into the EU labour market. Benifei is also passionate about innovation, digitalisation and its impact on skills and employment.  Prior to his election to Parliament, he was chair of European affairs for the Young Democrats and Vice-President of ECOSY (the youth organisation of PES) for four years. 

Marju Lauristin

Marju LAURISTIN

S&D, Estonia

Marju Lauristin's main focus in the European Parliament has been data protection, and in this field she has consistently highlighted the impact of digitalisation on employment and social policies. She has raised this issue in numerous seminars and panels and has helped to put employment on the digital agenda when planning S&D events in her role as Vice Chair. In the Employment and Social Affairs committee, Lauristin is currently rapporteur of an opinion on Digitising European Industry. She was Minister of Social Affairs in the first elected government of Estonia after the fall of the Soviet Union, and in 1988 was one of the founding members of 'Rahvarinne', the first major independent political movement in Estonia since the Soviet occupation. 

Emilian Pavel

Emilian PAVEL

S&D, Romania

Emilian Pavel is committed to ensuring that Europe remains focused on addressing the needs of future generations. He has actively campaigned for the rights of young people, their right to decent work and to have opportunities in the labour market both at the European and local level. For example, Pavel recently arranged a stakeholder debate in his own constituency of Oradea on Youth Entrepreneurship and Opportunities, the first time that such an event had taken place in the region. This helped to raise the profile of European policy and enabled young people to have their voices heard. Pavel has also been vocal in his support for establishing a Skills Guarantee and was rapporteur on the recent opinion on the Erasmus + implementation report.

The Energy Award 2017

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The Energy Award recognises an MEP who has demonstrated excellence in advancing the objectives of the EU’s common energy policy, namely to ensure secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy. Nominations in this category should make reference to at least one of the following criteria:

• A demonstrable input into Union measures relating to the establishment of a competitive and functioning internal energy market, which puts consumers on the heart of the system and reduces energy prices in the long term.

• A substantial commitment in promoting the EU decarbonisation goals, supporting the development of new and renewable forms of energy as well as the application of the “energy efficiency first” principle.

• Supporting solidarity among the member states in the energy area, to ensure safe and secure energy supplies that flow freely across the EU.

The Nominees

Jerzy Buzek

Jerzy BUZEK

EPP, Poland

Former European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek chairs the energy, research and industry committee. In this role, he has worked extensively on achieving energy union and ensuring Europe’s energy security. Buzek’s wife, Ludgarda, is a graduate of chemical engineering and his daughter, Agata, is a successful model and actress. The family are very active and enjoy active holidays, spent canoeing, skiing or sailing. Buzek was elected Parliament President with the largest majority ever – 555 votes out of 644 cast – and was the first person from the former eastern bloc to be elected in the post. He was Prime Minister of Poland from 1997 to 2001 and became an MEP in 2004. Before launching his political career, Buzek was a professor of technical science.

Theresa Griffin

Theresa GRIFFIN

S&D, United Kingdom

Theresa Griffin is a vocal advocate for consumer rights and protection in energy markets, and has been particularly active on highlighting the social dimension of the energy union. She has been praised for giving special attention to the concerns of vulnerable consumers who have difficulties paying their energy bills and how to help them deal with the energy transition. Griffin has also worked to find solutions enabling consumers to engage in electricity production from renewables and becoming more energy efficient. A committed trade union activist, she is a member of several parliamentary intergroups, focusing on disability rights, children’s rights and urban policy, among other topics. Griffin was born in Coventry and before joining the European Parliament, she was regional organiser for the public services union, UNISON.

Morten Helveg Petersen

Morten Helveg PETERSEN

ALDE, Denmark

Morten Helveg Petersen was elected to the European Parliament in 2014. Since then, he has been very active on the energy, research and industry committee. He is his group’s shadow rapporteur on several crucial dossiers, such as energy union, the energy efficiency directive and energy security. Petersen has worked tirelessly to push member states to increase their use of renewables. Before he became an MEP, he headed up the association of Danish media. Petersen is a published author, having written three books. He comes from a family of politicians; his grandfather and father have both served as ministers in Denmark, his grandmother was mayor of Copenhagen and his brother is a former minister for climate and energy.

The Environment Award 2017

The Environment Award recognises an MEP who has demonstrated excellence in promoting environmental policy towards achieving a resource-efficient and sustainable Europe. This includes measures on air, soil and water pollution, waste management and recycling, dangerous substances and preparations, noise levels and the protection of biodiversity. Nominations in this category should make reference to at least one of the following criteria:

• A dedication to promoting a resource-efficient sustainable Europe and championing measures to prevent and manage the causes and effects of climate change.

• Evidence of work towards advancing international and regional measures and agreements aimed at protecting the environment.

• Contributing to the efforts to improve air quality, waste management and biodiversity

The Nominees

Bas Eickhout

Bas EICKHOUT

Greens/EFA, Netherlands

A former researcher, the popular Bas Eijkhout has been particularly active since his election to parliament in 2009. This includes his strenuous efforts to ensure there is no repeat of the emissions testing scandal that beset VW, the German carmaker. Since his election, he has worked on everything from climate change and clean energy to tax evasion and emissions trading. A member of the environment committee, he has constantly been putting pressure on the airline and maritime industry to start contributing to less or zero CO2 emissions. Born in Groesbeek in 1976, he grew up in Brabant and studied in Nijmegen. He’s also a member of the delegation of the United States and participated in the negotiations on the TTIP trade agreement.

Giovanni La Via

Giovanni LA VIA

EPP, Italy

Giovanni  La Via has been at the forefront of environment-related files in the first half of the legislature. Chair of the committee on environment, public health and food safety, he headed up the parliament’s delegation to the COP 21 conference in Paris, showing a strong commitment for the climate agreement itself and, as the institution’s rapporteur on ratification, made a big push for its swift implementation. The deputy, a former university professor, has also championed the fight against climate change and, in the National Emissions Ceilings negotiations, on air quality. Waste management and the circular economy package have also featured in his daily parliamentary work, with his overarching goal being a more resource-efficient, sustainable and competitive Europe. 

Miriam Dalli

Miriam DALLI

Elected in 2014, Miriam Dalli has made a name for herself for her professionalism and hard work, in championing environmental causes across the EU. A qualified, lawyer she is the S&D group’s coordinator for the environment, public health and food safety committee and is widely acknowledged as one of Parliament’s leading MEPs on environmental affairs. As part of her work on reducing greenhouse gas emissions she has been actively involved in both the Emissions Trading Scheme and non-ETS legislation. She is strongly in favour of reducing emissions from cars through legislation such as the approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles and the reduction of pollutant emissions from road vehicles. She was also an instrumental force behind the Maltese government’s position on Glyphosate.

The Foreign Affairs Award 2017

The Foreign Affairs Award looks to recognise a MEP that has made a substantial contribution towards promoting the interests and values of the European Union through Foreign Policy, including the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), and the European External Action Service (EEAS). This award commends a resolute dedication to the development of global norms and rules, ensuring that EU legislation is constructed in a manner that fosters international relationships and understanding. Nominations in this category should make reference to at least one of the following criteria:

• Consistently raising awareness on issues concerning democracy, the rule of law, human rights, including the rights of minorities, in third countries and the principles of international law.

• A sustained contribution towards strengthening political relations with third countries by means of comprehensive cooperation and assistance programmes, or international agreements such as association and partnership agreements. Advancing relations with other Union institutions and bodies, international organisations, and assemblies.

• Significant involvement towards opening, monitoring and concluding negotiations concerning European Enlargement, and improving relations and the progress of European Neighbourhood Policy.

The Nominees

Eduard Kukan

Eduard KUKAN

EPP, Slovakia

Kukan is a veteran of the foreign affairs dossier having been active in the field for decades. He is credited with being a key influence on Slovakia’s EU integration path and, as a prominent supporter of the EU enlargement process, to also contributing to shaping EU foreign policy. Known for his diplomatic skills and consensual approach, he’s won many friends for promoting European values and defending the rule of law and democracy, not least in countries where such things are still absent, and is the lead MEP on Western Balkans and neighbourhood policy. Building on his previous experience as Slovakia’s longest serving foreign minister (1994 and 1998-2006) and his role as the UN’s secretary general’s special envoy to the Balkans (1999-2001), he also chaired the delegation to Southeast Europe for five years. 

Urmas Paet

Urmas PAET

ALDE, Estonia

Paet has been an active member of three committees (foreign affairs,  budgets and regional development)  and is also rapporteur of two key reports: the European Defence Union and EU arctic policy. The Tallinn-born deputy was minister of foreign affairs of Estonia from 2005 to 2014 is a member of the Estonian Reform Party. He was the longest serving minister since the re-establishment of Estonian independence. Having enjoyed a career in journalism, he entered politics as an advisor and was elected and MEP in 2014. Since then he authored a 2016 parliamentary resolution in favour of plans to increase European spending on military missions and is an advocate of the necessity of Europe to build up more military power to be able to defend itself properly.

Hilde Vautmans

Hilde VAUTMANS

ALDE, Belgium

Vautmans has spent much of the last year highlighting the plight of unaccompanied minor refugees. More than 100,000 of these entered the EU in 2016 with about 10,000 subsequently going missing. Elected in January 2015, she has organised seminars, both inside and outside parliament, to raise awareness of the issue and also visited the notorious refugee camp in Calais, dubbed the “Jungle”, where 1,022 unaccompanied children were found. The deputy, a former aide to ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt during his time as prime minister  of Belgium, has also tabled numerous amendments and reports highlighting the migrants’ situation and, as an Alderwoman in her home town in Flanders, assisted at her local refugee centre.  Her aim is to stem the tide of unaccompanied minors fleeing to Europe. 

The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Award 2017

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The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Award recognises the work of an MEP who has demonstrated excellence in furthering the operation of the Single Market towards unlocking prosperity, innovation, and enhancing competitiveness within the Union. It commends an MEP who has worked to reduce barriers to economic trade and simplify legislation to enhance competitiveness within the Union. Nominations in this category should make reference to at least one of the following criteria:

• Legislative involvement towards the internal market and for the customs union, including on the free movement of goods; the right of establishment; and the freedom to provide services except in the financial and postal sectors.

• Considerable work on advocating for measures aimed at the identification and removal of potential obstacles to the implementation of the Single Market.

• A proven commitment to the promotion and protection of the economic interests of consumers, except for public health and food safety issues and substantial evidence of policy and legislation regarding the enforcement of Single Market rules and consumer rights.

The Nominees

Lara Comi

Lara COMI

EPP, Italy 

Lara Comi has made excellent political and policy contributions in the current debate to shape the future of the Single Market in relation to the needs of the small and medium enterprises. In particular her work as rapporteur for the Single Market Strategy has been noticed. She called for a new strategy for the Single Market, guarantees for a highly competitive social market economy,  ensuring that the single market is a common asset of all citizens, workers, economic operators and Member States, and also part of the digital market. Comi is known for her support for Italian industry and commerce, particular in relation to ensure legislation to strength product safety, the campaign for geographical indicators - "Made In" label for products, and fighting against counterfeiting of products. 

Róża Gräfin von

Róża Gräfin von THUN UND HOHENSTEIN

EPP, Poland

Róża Thun has done an outstanding job as a member of the IMCO committee, advocating the removing obstacles for the establishment of the single market and empowering consumers. She has particularly focused on the digital single market, including looking at issues concerning roaming, net neutrality, e-commerce rules and deployment of e-call in vehicle systems. She has also called for reform of the EU postal and parcel delivery market, which has not been adapted to the expanding e-commerce market.  She is also noted for her work on trying to reduce pollutant emissions from road vehicles, well before the VW 'diesel-gate' scandal came out, and for stand her stand against manufactures who mislead consumers based on inaccurate data.

Christel Schaldemose

Christel SCHALDEMOSE

S&D, Denmark

Christel Schaldemose has for years worked on enhancing consumer protection rules, as well for creating a level playing field for businesses trading in the internal market. In particular her work as rapporteur for the revision of the General Product Safety Directive report has in particular drawn attention. The report had three main aims; calling on the EU to play a more active role in coordinating the activities of the European market surveillance authorities, to establish a public Consumer Product Safety Information Database, and to intensify international cooperation in the international Consumer Product Safety Caucus. Currently she pushing hard for the adoption of the Consumer Product Safety and Market Surveillance package.

The International Trade Award 2017

Sponsored By

The International Trade Award recognises excellence in the work of an MEP towards establishing, defining, and implementing EU trade policy. It commends an MEP who has worked to advance and monitor the Union’s common commercial policy and its’ economic and trade relations with third countries and regional organisations. Nominations in this category should make reference to at least one of the following criteria:

• Evidence of substantial involvement in opening, monitoring, conclusion and follow-up of bilateral, multilateral and plurilateral trade agreements governing economic, trade and investment relations.

• A sustained contribution towards progressing the Common Customs Tariff and trade facilitation, in addition to the external aspects of customs provisions and management.

• A commitment to advancing relations with the relevant international organisations and international fora on trade-related matters, and with organisations promoting regional economic and commercial integration outside the union, including the WTO.

The Nominees

Jude Kirton-Darling

Jude KIRTON-DARLING

S&D, United Kingdom

Jude Kirton-Darling is a relatively new MEP, but has a long-standing reputation for workers’ rights advocacy having previously been elected Confederal Secretary at the European Trade Union Confederation. Kirton-Darling is currently leading Labour efforts in the European Parliament to make trade deals such as CETA and TTIP as fair and as transparent as possible. She is also fighting to ensure that the deal excludes public services such as the UK’s NHS, and that worker rights and environmental standards are strengthened rather than reduced. Kirton-Darling grew up in Middlesbrough and is passionate about England’s North East, its social and industrial heritage and future. This is reflected in her work to create a strong and sustainable industrial policy fit for the 21st century. 

Franck Proust

Franck PROUST

EPP, France

Franck Proust has been an influential member of the European Parliament’s Committee on International trade, bringing to the fore critical issues and urging the EU to take a more decisive role in international organisations. Proust has consistently emphasised the need to protect Europe’s credibility in global trade negotiations and has striven to ensure that Europe retains an influential voice in all future discussions.  He was appointed rapporteur on the proposal for a directive on a legal framework for customs infringements and sanctions, and shadow rapporteur on the EU strategy towards Iran after the nuclear agreement. Proust, who holds a degree in marketing and a Masters in management sciences, is the father of two children.

Luliu Winkler

Iuliu WINKLER

EPP, Romania

Iuliu Winkler has played a vital role in helping to ensure that SMEs have a voice in the European Parliament and has consistently championed their causes. In the International Trade Committee for example he has argued that small importers ought not to be obliged to comply with certain due diligence schemes in order to avoid unnecessary bureaucratic burdens. His experience as former Minister for Trade in Romania has proved invaluable in such discussions, where he has sought to achieve the right balance between public and private interests. Winkler also put forward the pioneering proposal for a State-of-Trade Day, where trade experts and policymakers can meet under the auspices of the European Parliament to discuss ongoing trends in EU and global trade. 

The Justice and Civil Liberties Award 2017

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The Justice and Civil Liberties award recognises an MEP that has made a substantial commitment in promoting and defending Justice and Civil Liberties within the EU, protecting human rights and developing European solutions to the challenges of migration and terrorism. Nominations in this category should make reference to at least one of the following criteria:

• Supporting measures to combat all forms of discrimination, other than those based on sex or occurring at the workplace and in the labour market.

• Promoting legislation in the areas of transparency or the protection of personal data.

• Noteworthy efforts in developing a European response to the challenges of migration, including measures in the fields of, asylum, labour migration and management of the external borders.

• A substantial commitment towards the establishment and development of an area of freedom, security and justice in tackling crime and terrorism, while respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

The Nominees

Gerard Deprez

Gérard DEPREZ

ALDE, Belgium

Gérard Deprez is known to be strongly committed to understanding and addressing the rising threat of radicalisation and terrorism. As a MEP he has worked closely with civil society and stakeholders in dealing with fighting against terrorism and understanding the importance of prevention of radicalisation and the need to support and empower individuals and groups actively engaged in these efforts. He has highlighted to the Commission the growing problem of terrorists' camps in the Balkans, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. He called on the Commission to engage with applicant countries such as Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, to combat Islamic fundamentalism in their countries.

 Monica Macovei

Monica MACOVEI

ECR, Romania

Monica Macovei before becoming a MEP was a minister for justice in Romania from 2005 to 2007 where her work against corruption helped her country's membership to the EU. When voted to the European parliament she has continued her work against corruption.  She has worked on a report concerning the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. As rapporteur she called for the agency to fight against fraud to the Union’s financial interests by means of criminal law, as well as organised crime, corruption, and money laundering, she also recommending actions and initiatives. Finally she ensured that the EPPO should be fully independent of national-governments , EU institutions by protecting from any political influence or pressure.

Sophia in 't Veld

Sophia in 't VELD

ALDE, Netherlands

Sophia in't Veld who is noted for her unique, strong and humane opinions but also for being tough, principled and not compromising on her principles. These include defending human rights, especially in terms of data protection data and privacy. Even when there was immense pressure to collect data as part of the PNR system, following the terrorist attacks and the refugee crisis, she retained her critical perspective. Recently in a speech in plenary she highlighted how an information leak at Europol on terrorist suspects, made her concerned about the big gaps in the security system, while the leak could have a devastating impact on the trust between Member States., and called for more transparency on the leak. 

The New Technologies Award 2017

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The ICT Award recognises an MEP who has proved excellence in encouraging the development and application of new technologies so as to advance EU innovation, industry and competitiveness. It commends someone who believes in the importance of developing e-skills in order for the EU to become an e-inclusive society. Nominations in this category should make reference to at least one of the following criteria:

• A dedicated approach towards digitising industry and society by stressing the importance of deploying good telecom infrastructures across the EU, including in rural areas.

• A commitment towards supporting and promoting high tech developments such as quantum technologies and high performance computing.

• Encouraging the development of e-skills in education and training.

The Nominees

Eva Kaili

Eva KAILI

S&D, Greece

Eva Kaili is a member of Parliament’s industry, research and energy committee and chairs the delegation for relations with the Nato parliamentary assembly. She is also a Vice-Chair of Parliament’s science and technology options assessment panel, which works to provide MEPs with impact assessments of new technologies and organises meetings with politicians and representatives of the scientific community. Last year, the Greek deputy was nominated for the research and innovation MEP award. Kaili studied architecture, engineering and politics. Before being elected to the Hellenic Parliament in 2009 as her party’s youngest MP, she worked as a journalist and anchor for major Greek television network Mega Channel. Kaili is passionate about helping SMEs adapt to new technologies and the digital single market.

Miapetra Kumpula - Natri

Miapetra KUMPULA-NATRI

S&D, Finland

Miapetra Kumpula-Natri has been praised for advocating for consumer rights in discussions on the digital single market. She has been a strong defender of the importance of addressing market failures that affect consumers directly, such as prohibitive prices when making mobile calls within the EU. Kumpula-Natri is a member of Parliament’s industry, research and energy committee and is rapporteur on rules for wholesale roaming markets. The file is currently being discussed in trilogues. Roaming charges within the EU are expected to be abolished by the summer. The mother of two is a frequent participant at events on digital literacy and eSkills. Before becoming an MEP, Kumpula-Natri was an MP in her native Finland.

Eva Paunova

Eva MAYDELL (PAUNOVA)

EPP, Bulgaria

Eva Maydell became an MEP in 2014, and in 2015 she won the MEP award for best newcomer. A member of the internal market and consumer protection committee, Maydell is strongly committed to supporting SMEs, start-ups and digital innovation across Europe. The Bulgarian deputy is particularly active on eSkills and is very involved in EU code week, a yearly event held across Europe to teach children and young people about coding. When she is not participating in debates on the digital single market, Maydell is a frequent speaker at events on digital literacy, innovation and the importance of education. She is Parliament’s internal market committee opinion rapporteur on the European cloud initiative. Maydell is Vice-President of the European Movement International (EMI) and chairs its political committee on jobs, competitiveness and sustainable growth.

The Public Health Award 2017

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The Public Health Award recognises excellence in promoting and implementing solutions to public health issues within the Union. It commends an MEP who has actively worked to improve food safety issues; to better regulate consumer labelling; and to regulate product placement on the market. Nominations in this category should make reference to at least one of the following criteria:

• Ensuring the implementation of programmes and specific actions in the field of public health.

• A commitment to the effective regulation of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

• Improving Union preparedness on the health aspects of bioterrorism.

The Nominees

Miriam Dalli

Miriam DALLI.

S&D, Malta

Miriam Dalli has been an active figure on EU healthcare issues since her election to parliament in 2014, calling for and promoting the need for enhanced EU efforts in tackling breast cancer and in promoting innovative treatments aimed at targeting childhood cancer. Dalli - both at EU level and back in her home country Malta - has also played a major role in highlighting autism, focusing on the need to ensure access to education for children with the condition both. She has also championed issues surrounding mental health and social wellbeing, in particular on the impact of bullying and cyber bullying on adolescents. She chairs the Parliament's Mental Health Coalition and is an ambassador for Maltese mental health group, the Richmond Foundation.

Peter Liese

Peter LIESE

EPP, Germany

Peter Liese is one of Parliament’s most active, “visible” MEPs and indefatigable when it comes to advancing the health agenda. One recent notable achievement was in his role as rapporteur to the In Vitro Diagnostics Regulation which, after a marathon four-year-long negotiation, will define the in vitro diagnostics sector in Europe for years to come. Liese is also credited with being instrumental to progress in key health policy areas, not least the growing threat posed by the spread of anti-microbial resistance. After working as a medical doctor in Central America, in a paediatric clinic and in a group practice, he entered European politics and, having first been elected as far back as 1994, is now one of Parliament’s longest-serving members.

 

The Regional Development Award 2017

The Regional Development Award recognises excellence in the work of an MEP in promoting regional development and advancing cohesion policy within the Union, including an urban dimension. It commends an MEP for their commitment towards re-invigorating the European economy, utilising cohesion policy towards creating employment and growth, and ensuring the competitiveness of the Union. Nominations in this category should make reference to at least one of the following criteria:

• A demonstrable involvement in shaping legislation on the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the other instruments of the Union’s regional policy.

• A substantial commitment to developing the urban dimension of the cohesion policy, recognising cities as a vehicle for economic growth.

• Championing the outermost regions of the Union, as well as trans-frontier and interregional cooperation, and ensuring and assessing the impact of Union policies on economic and social cohesion.

 

The Nominees

Iskra Mihaylova

Iskra MIHAYLOVA

ALDE, Bulgaria

Iskra Mihaylova has made a noticeable impact on EU regional politics since becoming an MEP in 2014. A former Bulgarian deputy minister for regional development and public works, Mihaylova currently chairs parliament’s regional development committee. A strong advocate of developing the urban dimension of cohesion policy she also promotes the simplification of EU cohesion policy. She has championed the benefits and potential of European territorial cooperation and championed the importance of Europe’s outermost regions. She was rapporteur and shadow rapporteur on a number of key reports and opinions, including an own initiative report on best practice and future shaping of the EU’s Interreg programmes and regularly contributes to other reports, opinions by posting amendments.

Andrey Novakov

Andrey NOVAKOV

EPP, Bulgaria

At 28, Andrey Novakov is the youngest MEP in the current parliament legislature. A member of the regional development committee, Novakov, was nominated for his expertise in “bridging the gap between the EU Institutions and the European citizens” through his focus on the 2014-2020 programming period. Since becoming an MEP in 2014, he has worked on the EU Funding simplification initiative has been involved in the review of the Multiannual Financial Framework and the annual budget negotiations and has taken an active role in both the Budgets and Budgetary Control committees. As a substitute member of the CONT committee, he has focussed on youth employment and the improvement of current and future investment projects.

Jan Olbrycht

Jan OLBRYCHT

EPP, Poland

An MEP since 2004, Jan Olbrycht was born in Silesia and retains close regional ties to the region. Olbrycht has been involved in regional politics for more than 40 years and is a member of parliament’s regional development committee and the founder and president of the URBAN Intergroup. Last year EU ministers responsible for urban matters adopted the so-called Pact of Amsterdam which officially set up an EU Urban Agenda. Olbrycht’s nomination for this year’s award states, “As President of the URBAN Intergroup, this is a testimony to the years of work conducted by Jan Olbrycht in the recognition of cities for the EU's development. Furthermore, he underlined the need for partnerships in all levels of governance, between European, national, regional and local authorities and other stakeholders.

The Research & Innovation Award

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The Research & Innovation award recognises an MEP who has demonstrated excellence in championing the Union’s research and innovation policy, including science and technology as well as the dissemination and exploitation of research findings. In particular, it commends a dedication towards advancing Research & Development in implementing the Innovation Union. Nominations in this category should make reference to one the following criteria:

• Consistently advancing the Horizon 2020 agenda, by adapting and mobilizing the EU’s R&D and education programs to effectively promote both the economic and intellectual growth in Europe.

• Effective oversight of the activities of the Joint Research Centre, the European Research Council, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements, as well as JET, ITER and other projects in the same area.

• Championing European space policy.

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The Nominees

Monika Hohlmeier

Monika HOHLMEIER

EPP, Germany

As a member of the Budget committee, she was tireless committed to strengthen the area for research, especially the programmes Horizon 2020, COSME, CEF or Eramus+ which got additional 200 Mio. Euro in the Budget negotiations 2017. These programmes are dedicated to foster industrial leadership as well as excellent science and therefore strengthen Europe’s competitiveness. Furthermore she is also always advocating for innovative programmes in the field of Justice and Home Affairs such as interoperable data bases in the LIBE committee. 

Marian-Jean Marinescu

Marian-Jean MARINESCU

EPP, Romania

Vice-chair of the EPP Group, Marian-Jean Marinescu is a leading Parliamentary advocate of targeted investment in research and has worked continuously to ensure that Europe remains at the cutting edge of global innovation. Marinescu has sought to make access to financing easier through simplified rules with regards to 'Horizon 2020', and recently supported the adoption of a new research programme for the Research Fund for Coal and Steel. Marinescu is a graduate of aerospace engineering from the Bucharest Polytechnic Institute and has years of professional experience in this field. He is a Grand Officer of the Order of the Star of Romania, and is married with three children.

Viorica Dancila

Viorica DĂNCILĂ

S&D, Romania

Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă is a leading equal opportunities campaigner and her hard work has helped to advance the cause of equality in the workplace. As shadow rapporteur of the S&D group for the Report on women’s careers in science and universities, Dăncilă highlighted the discrimination that still exists in this field and called on the Commission to take action. She was also the initiator of a written declaration calling for the introduction of a European guarantee for women from rural areas, modelled on the Commission’s Youth Guarantee programme. As rapporteur on the 2017 EU budget, Dăncilă has consistently stressed the need for sufficient financing to promote and support quality education and job creation for women and girls.

The Transport Award 2017

The Transport and Tourism Award recognises an MEP for their dedication and commitment in championing mobility in the EU, by advancing an effective and reliable infrastructure. It commends excellence of an MEP who has elevated climate concerns whilst advancing an effective and reliable infrastructure across borders, ensuring fair rules for the whole transport sector, the highest standards of safety and binding rights for people travelling in Europe. Nominations in this category should make reference to one of the following criteria:

• A substantial commitment to developing a common policy for rail, road, inland waterway, maritime and air transport, including common rules applicable to transport within the EU.

• Evidence of establishing and developing smart and green trans-European transport and infrastructure networks.

• A consistent and sustainable approach to promoting Tourism within the Union, by contributing to the creation of a stable business environment for the competitive development of the sector, along with efforts to upgrade skills, invest in human capital and tackle unemployment and the better use of ESIF funds to boost growth and support for SMEs.

The Nominees

Istvan Ujhelyi

István UJHELYI

S&D, Hungary

Istvan Ujhelyi has built a strong and well-deserved reputation for promoting tourism and transport at the European level, and is one of Parliament’s most vocal supporters for further integrating tourism into EU transport policies. Vice chair of the Committee on Transport and Tourism, Ujhelyi has consistently been a strong advocate of the Tourism Manifesto for Growth and Jobs, a unique initiative that brings together the most important stakeholders in the industry. A key factor in Ujhelyi’s success has been his ability to position himself as a bridge between the tourism industry, transport infrastructure providers and the European institutions. Ujhelyi was MP in the National Assembly of Hungary between 2002 and 2014. 

Wim van de Camp

Wim van de CAMP

EPP, Netherlands

An experienced parliamentarian, Wim van de Camp has been praised for his important work in highlighting the need for railway infrastructure investment and in ensuring that EFSI funding is devoted to improving transport links. As rapporteur van de Camp has played a critical role in the mid-term review of the Transport White Paper, and as EPP Coordinator of the Parliament’s Transport Committee has played a significant contribution to the conclusion of the Fourth Railway Package. Before entering the European Parliament, van de Camp was a member of the Dutch House of Representatives, where he developed a reputation for promoting honest and meaningful debate. He has acted as a mentor to young parliamentarians and is a regular fixture on Dutch current affairs programmes.  

Claudia Tapardel

Claudia ȚAPARDEL

S&D, Romania

Claudia Țapardel has worked tirelessly to promote sustainable transport systems and encourage the completion of a fully integrated European transport network. She has been particularly active in the European inland navigation sector, connecting issues related to environment, regional development and the EU skills agenda. As shadow rapporteur on the Commission’s legislative proposal on professional qualifications in inland navigation, Tapardel has called for a unified and simple system that would encourage more and more European citizens to pursue a career in inland waterways navigation. She has also been a vocal supporter of the Green Deal, an initiative put together by major transport operators and authorities along the Danube River, which aims to reinvigorate the waterway transport sector and protect the environment. 

The Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Award 2017

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The Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Award looks to recognise an MEP who has made a substantial contribution in advocating and securing the rights of women, both within the Union and in third countries. Nominations in this category should make reference to one of the following criteria:

• Consistently working to advance equal opportunities policy, including the promotion of equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities and treatment at work, as well as the promotion of work-life balance.

• A sustained contribution towards the removal of all forms of violence and discrimination based on sex.

• Advocating for the implementation and further development of gender mainstreaming in all policy sectors.

• Significant involvement in the oversight and implementation of international agreements and conventions involving the rights of women.

The Nominees

Emilian Pavel

Emilian PAVEL

S&D, Romania

Emilian Pavel is committed to ensuring that Europe remains focused on addressing the needs of future generations. He has actively campaigned for the rights of young people, their right to decent work and to have opportunities in the labour market both at the European and local level. For example, Pavel recently arranged a stakeholder debate in his own constituency of Oradea on Youth Entrepreneurship and Opportunities, the first time that such an event had taken place in the region. This helped to raise the profile of European policy and enabled young people to have their voices heard. Pavel has also been vocal in his support for establishing a Skills Guarantee and was rapporteur on the recent opinion on the Erasmus + implementation report.

Viorica Dancila

Viorica DĂNCILĂ

S&D, Romania

Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă is a leading equal opportunities campaigner and her hard work has helped to advance the cause of equality in the workplace. As shadow rapporteur of the S&D group for the Report on women’s careers in science and universities, Dăncilă highlighted the discrimination that still exists in this field and called on the Commission to take action. She was also the initiator of a written declaration calling for the introduction of a European guarantee for women from rural areas, modelled on the Commission’s Youth Guarantee programme. As rapporteur on the 2017 EU budget, Dăncilă has consistently stressed the need for sufficient financing to promote and support quality education and job creation for women and girls.

Barbara Matera

Barbara MATERA

EPP, Italy 

Barbara Matera has been an MEP since 2009 and is currently the Vice-Chair of Parliament’s women’s rights and gender equality committee. A former television presenter and actress, Matera had to fight off negative perceptions about her political career, saying she hoped to challenge the “prejudicial dichotomy about women of intellect versus beauty.” She was Parliament’s rapporteur on external factors that represent hurdles to European female entrepreneurship and now mainly works on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of women and children refugees entering Europe. She is Parliament’s EPP group shadow rapporteur on the issue. Matera has signed her name to a number of written declarations on women’s rights, including the prevention of commercial sexism against women, promoting inclusive education systems and establishing a European year of combatting violence against women.