Announcement: MEP Awards to be postponed

We must regrettably announce that we have decided to postpone the MEP Awards due to take place in Brussels on March 25th until later in 2020. The health and safety of our delegates, guests, clients and staff is our number one priority and after monitoring the situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) closely, carefully and regularly we have concluded that it would not be possible to deliver this event as planned.

We have always determined to act in line with guidance provided by the local Health Authorities leading the response and with the National and EU Authorities advising against travel at peak times, discouraging public assemblies and encouraging working from home, we are aware this will affect many of our delegates and Award Nominees wanting to attend the event.

As soon as we are able to confirm a new date for the event, we will share that with you.


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


The Agriculture, Rural Development & Fisheries Award

To view the members of the AGRI Committee, please click 

Sponsored By

The Nominees

Grace O'Sullivan

Grace O'Sullivan MEP

Greens/European Free Alliance (EFA), Ireland Grace O’Sullivan is a newly-elected MEP, representing the Ireland South constituency. She is the Greens/EFA group coordinator on the Parliament’s Fisheries (PECH) Committee, and a full member of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee. She previously served for three years as a Senator in the upper house of the Irish Parliament, the Seanad, where her work focused on oceans governance and marine protection, housing, climate action and environmental protection. She has also worked as ecological educator, and spent over two decades with Greenpeace, sailing on such ships as the Rainbow Warrior. Grace is a native of Tramore, Co Waterford, and has also previously lived in Amsterdam, and spent many years on Greenpeace vessels in her time as an environmental activist.
Jeremy Decerle

Jérémy Décerle MEP

Renew Europe, France Jérémy Décerle was newly elected to the European Parliament in 2019. He is a full member of the Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) Committee as well as a substitute member of the International Trade (INTA) Committee. A beef producer, his long-standing career in the agricultural sector and considerable achievements in France have seen him appointed Renew Europe group rapporteur for two of the three regulatory proposals of the ongoing CAP reform (Common Market Organisation and Strategic Plans). His nomination for the Award comes only a few months into his mandate. He is currently in charge of relaunching negotiations on the CAP reform in Parliament as well as creating political positions on agriculture issues within the Renew group. As soon as Parliament’s position is established, he will be part of the EP’s negotiating team for the CAP reform trilogues. He has already distinguished himself in France where he started his career as an agricultural unionist at 16 years old, becoming President of the 50,000-strong Young Farmers Organisation in 2016. It was that achievement that led to him being identified and chosen by French President, Emmanuel Macron to be fourth on the Renaissance list for the European elections in 2019. Décerle has a particular interest in restoring ambition to agriculture and ensuring it is recognised as a strategic sector for the EU as well as seeking to address the demographic challenges facing farming and rural areas.
Niclas Herbst

Niclas Herbst MEP

European People's Party (EPP), Germany Niclas Herbst is MEP for Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany, a region shaped by lakes, rivers and extensive coastlines. Originally, from Kiel, a town by the Baltic Sea, Herbst has always felt connected to the sea and all activities linked to water. He was elected to the European Parliament for the first time in July 2019 and is a member of the Fisheries (PECH) and Budgets (BUDG) Committees. Given his personal connection as a resident of the Baltic coast, he is highly active on fisheries policy issues and has had an open ear for the European fisheries sector since early in his mandate. Directly following his election, Herbst initiated several activities in the PECH Committee. He was appointed rapporteur on the important legislative proposal on the Baltic Sea and was elected Chair of the RecFishing Forum. A true European, Herbst also retains strong locally connections. He is convinced that maritime cooperation and common fisheries policies are essential cornerstones of the European Union. Fisheries are, for Herbst, an area where social, economic and sustainable positions can be closely interlinked for the wellbeing of all citizens living on Europe’s coastlines.

The Digital Single Market Award

It may be a single digital market but the issues cross multiple MEP portfolios.

Sponsored By

The Nominees

Axel Voss

Axel Voss MEP

European People's Party (EPP), Germany Axel Voss first became a member of the European Parliament in 2009. Since then, he has been particularly active and vocal on digital issues. He was once dubbed “the Man in the eye of Europe’s copyright storm” during the deliberations around the Copyright Directive. Originally, Voss had cut his legislative teeth in Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee. However, in 2014, he joined the Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee as vice-Chair, making his input into digital issues much more high profile. He sought to balance the diverging public interests on copyright by implementing a considered approach to the much-needed reform. He focused on ensuring fair remuneration for both content producers and those that secure the distribution of work protected by copyright. Previously, Voss was Shadow Rapporteur on the General Data Protection Regulation, where he pressed for a balanced legal framework. This would help protect personal data while ensuring that Europe’s efforts to benefit from the digital transformation would not be unduly hindered.
Maria da Graca Carvalho

Maria da Graça Carvalho MEP

European People's Party (EPP), Portugal  The Digital Single Market touches several Parliamentary committees and Graça Carvalho has been active in two of the most important; the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee where she is deputy-coordinator for the EPP, and the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee. She is also responsible for the report on “Closing the Digital Gender Gap: Women’s Participation in the Digital Economy” and for the opinion on the use of “Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Education, Culture and the Audio-visual” in the Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) Committee. Graça Carvalho champions the further development of new technologies, the internal market and the role of women in ICT. She is Chair of the Knowledge for Innovation platform and co-Chair of the Competitive European Industry: long-term and sustainable investment intergroup. She has just published a book on knowledge and innovation and has co-coordinated two publications on ethics in new technologies and scientific research, both of which focus on data, ICT and AI. Both a politician and a professor of engineering at the University of Lisbon, Maria da Graça Carvalho was twice Portugal’s Minister of Science and Higher Education. She was also an adviser to the Commissioner for Research and Innovation and Principal Adviser to the President of the European Commission.
Martina Dlabajova

Martina Dlabajová MEP

Renew Europe, Czech Republic Following her election to the European Parliament in 2014, Martina Dlabajová, a successful former businesswoman, rapidly established herself as an expert on digitisation and its impact on labour market. In 2015, the European Parliament adopted her own-initiative report on matching skills and jobs. This focused on the need to develop those skills, including the digital skills, required for future employment on the labour market. As a member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL), Dlabajová was rapporteur for the report on New Skills Agenda for Europe adopted by the European Parliament in September 2017. The report calls for improvements to digital skills in the EU. Dlabajová is also widely-recognised for her work in supporting SMEs and family businesses and their capacity to adapt to the ongoing digital revolution in the economy and society. She believes that breakthrough technologies can open opportunities to grow new businesses across the economy. Dlabajová is also regular keynote speaker at the highly-respected International Conference Digital Czech Republic, organised by the European Liberal Forum. This event has taken place in the Czech Republic since 2016. As a current member of the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee, she is ready to continue in her work and to shape the debate about digitisation in EU economy and society. As a Renew Europe Group coordinator in ITRE, she is a key player in all digital issues discussed in the committee.

The Economic & Monetary Affairs, Taxation & Budgets Award

To view the members of the ECON Committee, please click 

The Nominees

Angelika Winzig

Angelika Winzig MEP

Euopean People's Party (EPP), Austria Angelika Winzig is a member of Parliament's Budgets (BUDG) and Budgetary Control (CONT) Committees. She believes that the EU must be ready to tackle the major challenges of our time. The new European Green Deal presented by the Commission is an ambitious step in the right direction to a sustainable future. However, Winzig believes that it is essential to connect the Green Deal with a strong industrial and SME strategy. This is because only competitive and profitable companies will bring the appropriate technological solutions, sustain jobs and generate wealth. As an entrepreneur, Winzig understands the struggles that face SMEs. Therefore, re-establishing the SME Intergroup as a substitute for an SME Committee was a personal crusade. As the Intergroup’s chair, she wants to make sure that the concerns of Europe’s SMEs are not only heard but addressed. She believes that the Intergroup should serve as a joint platform for MEPs and stakeholders and a driver for improvement and progress to foster a business-friendly environment in which SMEs can thrive. This is vitally important, as SMEs in the global economy are crucial role in constructing a thriving society that safeguards our success as an economic force for the future.
Ernest Urtasun

Ernest Urtasun MEP

Greens/European Free Alliance (EFA), Spain Ernest Urtasun has been a MEP since 2014 and is a member of Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and a vice-President of the Greens/EFA Group. He has been working to improve consumer protection for retail investors to avoid the future mis-selling of financial products. He succeeded in building a strong Parliamentary consensus to ban the selling of new financial products - specifically created to ensure the bail-in of financial institutions under new banking rules - to retail investors. As part of the ongoing discussion of the Non-Performing Loans Directive, he has also been pushing the Parliament to shield mortgage credit consumers, in particular vulnerable borrowers. He seeks the introduction of common European standards against widespread harmful practices in the credit servicing industry. As a co-rapporteur of the 2018 report on gender equality and taxation policies in the EU, he drew attention to - for the first time - the issue of gender in taxation policies. The report was a critical milestone for gender equality, as it highlighted joint taxation schemes of adult couples and families where women may end up paying more tax than their male partners, even when on lower incomes. The report calls for an end to these unequal fiscal rules. In monetary dialogues with the ECB, together with the Greens/EFA Group and civil society, he has defended the need for a shift to a new, climate-responsible monetary policy that is fully compliant with the Paris Agreement. He has also engaged with European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde in these crucial efforts.  
Paul Tang

Paul Tang MEP

S&D, Netherlands Paul Tang has been an MEP since 2014. He has a strong background and experience in monetary and economic affairs. Tang is a member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee  and was a member of the Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance. He has served as rapporteur on the Disclosure Regulation and shadow rapporteur for the S&D Group on Taxonomy.

The Employment, Social Affairs & Regions Award

To view the members of the EMPL Committee, please click here.

The Nominees

Dragos Pislaru

Dragoş Pîslaru MEP

Renew Europe, Romania Trained as an economist, successful as an entrepreneur and a former Romanian Minister of Labour Dragoș Pîslaru is a firm believer that social affairs can, and should be, mutually beneficial with healthy and prosperous markets. He was elected as Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) Committee coordinator of the Renew Europe Group and has forged a strong and cohesive team made up of 16 MEPs from a variety of backgrounds and political perspectives. This has made Renew a key player in the drive for a Social Europe. He is the shadow rapporteur for his group on the vital coordination of social security systems file. Here, Dragos managed to open a new dimension in a seemingly-closed file, by convincing other groups and permanent representations of the need for a digital revolution. In addition, Pîslaru is a full member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee and was also appointed rapporteur of the Reform Investment Support Programme, where he is driving the debate on supporting structural reforms and genuine upwards social convergence investment, building a economy that genuinely works for the people. Dragoș aims to become a champion of children’s rights, which as a father of four is something he feels personally motivated to do. As vice-chair of the Intergroup for Children, he intends to be the leading voice in designing and implementing an ambitious Child Guarantee.
Romana Tomc

Romana Tomc MEP

European People's Party (EPP), Slovenia Widely acknowledged for her work -on demographic issues in both Slovenia and at European Union level - addressing brain drain from Eastern European countries, Romana Tomc is a member of Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) and Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO)  Committees. Tomc is working hard to improve the labour market and create conditions that are able to tap into, and realise, the potential of young people. She was Rapporteur on the Youth Employment Initiative report. During her term in the office, she has given traineeship opportunities to more than 50 young people. Along with her counterparts from several other countries, she has been active in promoting equal treatment in the field of child benefits in the Single European market. With the support of other MEPs, she has also played a leading role in the fight to end discriminatory practices within the EU. Currently co-chair of the Intergroup on Demographic challenges, Family-Work-life Balance and Youth Transitions, Tomc is deeply convinced that demographic challenge is one of the most serious issues facing the EU in the near future. She is determined to bring all her energy on this field, together with stakeholders on EU and national levels.
Rosa Estaras Ferragut

Rosa Estaràs Ferragut MEP

European People's Party (EPP), Spain A Spanish qualified lawyer, and an MEP since 2009, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut is also a member of Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) and Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) Committees.  She is also a member of the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and substitute on the Committee on Development, as well as part of the Delegation to the UE-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee and the Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly.   Since the beginning, she has been fighting for the rights of people with disabilities, that is why, throughout all her time as a Member of the European Parliament she has been trying to reinforce the importance to legislate in favour of them. Right now, as an EMPL member and shadow rapporteur on multiples files, she endeavours to improve the legislation, and improve the conditions of women and people with disabilities. She is truly determined to pursue the sustainable development goals within all the sectors of her committees and try’s to fight towards a Europe, where the role of the woman and the rights of people with disabilities are reinforced and  the regions (specially the islands) are taken always into consideration.  

The Energy Award

To view the members of the ITRE Committee, please click here.

Sponsored By

The Nominees

Henna Virkkunen

Henna Virkkunen MEP

European People's Party (EPP), Finland Henna Virkkunen has been a member of the European Parliament since 2014. Her primary Committee is Industry, Research and Energy and she is a substitute member of the Transport and Tourism Committee. Previously, Virkkunen has held various ministerial positions in the Finnish government (Transport and Local Government, Public Administration and Local Government, Education). Virkkunen is a keen advocate of European Energy Union, sustainable transport and digitisation. She works ceaselessly in the Parliament to champion the smarter use of energy and responsible measures to fight climate change. As the ITRE EPP rapporteur on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for 2021-2027, She has contributed to making the EU a smarter, sustainable and competitive economy. The CEF is accelerating investments in trans-European networks. Cross-border connections are crucial for completing the Energy Union, enabling the shift to clean, secure and affordable energy for Europe’s citizens. The effective use of EU funding can be greatly improved via CEF by making better use of synergies between the transport, energy and digital infrastructures. Improvements to EU energy efficiency are difficult to achieve without a strong contribution from the transport sector. As the ITRE EPP rapporteur on the Tyre Labelling Regulation, Virkkunen has contributed to increasing consumer awareness on information on tyres’ fuel efficiency, which can deliver reductions of up to 10 million tonnes in CO2 emissions.  
Jerzy Buzek

Jerzy Buzek MEP

European People's Party (EPP), Poland Jerzy Buzek is the European Parliament’s ‘Energy Man’. A member of the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee since 2004, he has been engaged in energy issues for many years, be it the launch of a European Energy Community in 2009, work on the Internal Energy Market Report in 2013, the Security of Gas Supply Regulation in 2016 or the Gas Directive in 2019. “It’s President Buzek’s idea and we worked on this”, admitted First Vice-President Frans Timmermans when presenting the Just Transition Fund proposal. Indeed, Buzek’s initiative to create a new fund to support the EU coal regions in clean energy transition has now become key part of the new European Green Deal proposal. Buzek was also described as a “Battle horse for energy independence” when nominated for the Energy Award in 2013. Then in 2019, he concluded the difficult negotiations as rapporteur on the Gas Directive bringing Nord Stream 2 under the EU law. A skilful negotiator, over his five years as ITRE chair he led and successfully concluded dozens of energy trilogues, including on the Clean Energy Package, which took the EU closer towards meeting its Paris Agreement commitments. In 2019, Jerzy Buzek was re-elected as President of the European Energy Forum, a unique platform for debate for all energy stakeholders.  
Tonino Picula

Tonino Picula MEP

Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), Croatia Tonino Picula has served as an MEP since Croatia’s accession to the EU in 2013. He was twice elected with the highest number of preferential votes. Currently, he serves as Foreign Affairs (AFET) Committee coordinator and president of the European Parliament’s 114-strong Intergroup on Seas, Rivers, Islands & Coastal Areas (SEARICA). His current main priority is to include geographically-disadvantaged areas within European policies. This is why, four years ago, he proposed a preparatory action plan that ensured €2m from the EU budget and resulted in the ‘Clean Energy for EU islands Initiative’. Through this initiative, an Island secretariat has been established and over 40 island communities have been included in the process of clean energy transition. Picula subsequently ensured an additional €1m from the 2020 EU budget to continue these activities. The work in creating and sustaining this initiative was recognised by its inclusion in the European Green Deal communication. Seeing the positive outcomes of the initiative for EU islands in practice, Picula proposed a further successful initiative, extending a similar concept to the clean energy transition for rural areas. A further €1m was approved for this from this year’s EU budget. Picula will continue working on achieving his goal of delivering Europe’s clean energy transition, creating benefits for its citizens in a just manner.

The Environment Award

To view the members of the ENVI Committee, please click 

Sponsored By

The Nominees

Anja Hazekamp

Anja Hazekamp MEP

European United Left-Nordic Green Left Confederal Group (GUE-NGL), Netherlands   
Bas Eikhout

Bas Eickhout MEP

Greens/European Free Alliance (EFA), Netherlands Bas Eickhout (1976, Groesbeek) studied Chemistry and Environmental Science at the Radboud University in Nijmegen and lives in Utrecht. Since 2000, he worked as a researcher at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving). He worked on several projects which had to do with international environmental problems, such as climate change, agriculture, land-use and biofuels. He co-authored the IPCC report on climate change which received the 2007 Nobel Peace Price. Bas Eickhout is a member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and a substitute member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on Budgetary Control  He is also a member of the Delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China and a substitute member of the Delegation for relations with the United States. Eickhout is delegation leader of the Dutch Greens in the Parliament.
Simona Bonafe

Simona Bonafè MEP

Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), Italy Simona Bonafè’s political career has always been characterised by a specific focus on environmental issues. She worked as a Municipal Council member for environment in Tuscany for almost 10 years. A full member of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee since her first mandate and a current vice-President of the S&D group with the role of Parliamentary Secretary, Bonafè advocates for a more sustainable Europe and fully supports the Agenda for the Green New Deal. In the previous legislature, she was rapporteur for the four Directives of the Circular Economy package. Her work on the sustainable use of resources continues into this mandate; she has recently concluded - as rapporteur - the negotiations for the Regulation on minimum requirements for water reuse. Significantly, this is the first environmental legislative act approved in the current legislature. Fully aware that the transition to a sustainable model requires a new economic paradigm, she is also keen to understand how to combine sustainability with industrial innovation and competitiveness. On this topic, she is the S&D group’s shadow rapporteur for the Regulation on establishing a framework to facilitate sustainable investment (Taxonomy). She will also soon be appointed Co-chair of the Sustainable, Long-term Investments & Competitive European Industry Intergroup. Outside the fields of circular economy and sustainable investment, she is especially active on sustainable agriculture and was a member of the PEST Special Committee and shadow rapporteur on the EU’s authorisation procedure for pesticides and energy (effort sharing, energy labelling, efficiency and renewables).

The Food Safety Award

To view the members of the ENVI Committee, please click here.

Sponsored By

The Nominees

Irene Tolleret

Irène Tolleret MEP

Renew Europe, France As a new member of the European Parliament, Irène Tolleret has already shown an energetic and strong commitment in her participation in numerous debates and decision-making processes on the future of EU agricultural and food policies. She has been particularly active with the ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy and with reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. A wine grower and former mayor of Fontanès, Tolleret has always championed bottom-up strategies, such as the territorial food project that she put in place in her region to promote agricultural practices. This delivers safer and higher-quality products from an environmental and food safety perspective, as well as initiatives to improve consumer’s habits and reduce food waste. In the early months since the beginning of this legislature, she has contributed to the setting up the new European Food Forum, of which she is cofounder. This platform addresses both the current and future challenges of agri-food sectors with the involvement of stakeholders and MEPs. In addition, she has successfully promoted the reestablishment of the Intergroup on Wine, Spirits and Foodstuffs, which she will co-chair.
Pierre Karleskind

Pierre Karleskind MEP

Renew Europe, France In his first mandate, Pierre Karleskind is one the most active members of the Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries (PECH). As an oceanographer, he is committed to enhancing the role of marine knowledge into the political decision-making process. Karleskind was appointed shadow rapporteur on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. His priority throughout his mandate is to reconcile fishermen with EU, and the Maritime and Fisheries Fund is a key tool for this. By working together, the fishing industry, scientists, NGOs and European institutions can achieve the objective of sustainable fisheries management. Sustainable management of fisheries and aquaculture are vital to ensuring food safety in Europe. Currently, the EU relies too heavily on imports - more than 60 percent of fisheries products consumed in the EU are imported. This amount could increase further if we carry on fishing in an unsustainable way. In fact, it is pressing that we act to preserve fish stocks by fishing sustainably: it is essential to ensure food security for all Europeans.
Sarah Wiener

Sarah Wiener MEP

Greens/European Free Alliance (EFA), Austria Greens/European Free Alliance deputy Sarah Wiener was born in Halle, Germany and grew up in Vienna, Austria. She returned to Germany in the 1980s and worked in Berlin, where she enjoyed success as a TV cook, author and entrepreneur. She became known to a wider audience through numerous TV series such as ”The culinary adventures of Sarah Wiener”; on the cultural TV channel Arte. In 2007, she established the Sarah Wiener Foundation, whose main activity is to teach healthy eating habits to children and adolescents. Wiener has been a member of the European Parliament since 2019 and focuses her efforts on healthy nutrition and sustainable agriculture. In 2011, she became a German ambassador for the UN Decade for Biodiversity. Since 2013, she has been a patron of the & ”Save Our Soil“-campaign of the United Nations and is the patron of the German emergency telephone for women. In 2013, she was awarded the Knight of the Ordre national du Mérite in France.

The Health Award

To view the members of the ENVI Committee, please click here

Sponsored By

The Nominees

Cristian-Silviu Busoi

Cristian-Silviu Buşoi MEP

European People's Party (EPP), Romania  
Loucas Fourlash

Loucas Fourlas MEP

European People's Party (EPP), Cyprus Loucas Fourlas is a co-Chair of the MEPs Against Cancer (MAC) interest group. MAC aims to reduce inequalities in access to cancer prevention and treatment and to encourage EU Member States to work together in areas where a single country’s actions are insufficient. Fourlas is equally dedicated to the aims of the European Commission’s European plan to improve cancer control and care. Through his parliamentary work, Fourlas promotes research and exploitation of new technologies as well as the development of new therapies to combat childhood cancers. He is shadow rapporteur on the Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) Committee’s opinion on “Strengthening Europe against Cancer” and has taken part in numerous campaigns and events on cancer, rare diseases and disabilities issues. As a member of EMPL, he actively addresses the issue of long-term absence from work due to illnesses and in providing better protection for workers from harmful substances in the workplace. He has pledged to support the strengthening of cross-border cancer research and care. He is also a member of the Disability Intergroup, fully supporting the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Fourlas is recognised for his charity work. He initiatiated othe non-profit organisation ‘Mikroi Irwes’ (‘Little Heroes’), financially supporting the families of children at the Paediatric Oncology Unit of the Makarios Children's Hospital. He is also an ambassador of the charitable foundation ‘Elpida’ for children with cancer and was founder of the initiative “I swim with Cyprus Navy Seals (OYK) for our own Mikroi Irwes”.
Sara Cerdas

Sara Cerdas MEP

Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), Portugal  Sara Cerdas has been a member of the European Parliament since July 2019. A medical doctor from an outermost region, Madeira, she is a member of Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI). She is also the co-chair in the Parliament's Working Group on Health, which creates discussion on European health issues with stakeholders and experts. Her aim is to bring health to all policies and contribute to healthier and safer environments where people can enjoy better lifestyles. Her priorities are health accessibility, tackling the threat posed by non-communicable diseases and antimicrobial resistance as well as improving health literacy and education. She believes it is essential to share scientific evidence and good practices in order to create policies that improve health outcomes. Cerdas holds a master's degree in Medicine from the University of Lisbon, a postgraduate degree in travel medicine from Universidade Nova de Lisboa, a master's degree in Public Health from the University of Umeå and is a doctoral student in Public Health Sciences from the University of Stockholm. During her career, she was elected for representative positions in the health field, such as the International Federation of Medical Students 'Associations, the Portuguese Medical Student's Association and Students Association of the Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon.

The Industry, Research & Innovation Award

To view the members of the ITRE Committee, please click here.

Sponsored By

The Nominees

Marisa Matias

Marisa Matias MEP

European United Left - Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL), Portugal Marisa Matias has been engaged in the Industry, Research and Innovation Committee (ITRE), since she was first elected to the European Parliament in 2009, both as member and as a coordinator. She has primarily devoted her time to the digital agenda and research and innovation files. As main rapporteur, she was responsible for the ‘From challenges to opportunities: towards a common strategic framework for EU research and innovation funding’ Green Paper in 2011 and for the ‘Strategic Innovation’ Agenda of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which negotiations were finished in 2013. As shadow rapporteur, she followed the mid-term review of the seventh Research Framework Programme, Horizon 2020, the midterm review of Horizon 2020 and the Horizon Europe programme, a task that has been developed over the past two terms. Just ahead of the last elections, she was part of the negotiations on Horizon Europe and was recently nominated as the rapporteur for the EIT regulation, for which the report is currently under elaboration. She has been closely following the files on copyright and the entire Digital Agenda package. Over the last ten years, Matias has organised several events, notably the gathering of former Nobel Prizes at the European Parliament.
Massimiliano Salini

Massimiliano Salini MEP

Euopean People's Party (EPP), Italy Since he was first elected to the European Parliament in 2014, Massimiliano Salini has believed that the Industry, Research and Innovation Committee (ITRE), plays a fundamental role shaping the Europe of tomorrow. This fuelled his desire to be an active member of the Committee. During the previous parliamentary term, he was the EPP group’s representative for negotiations relating to the EU’s industrial strategy. In addition, he was EPP shadow rapporteur for a number of files linked to decarbonisation, particularly relating to the automotive sector. He was also the rapporteur for the Space Programme, the first EU regulation on space, which aimed at improving European leadership in space in both upstream r and downstream sectors. Throughout the last mandate he also supported and promoted many successful pilot projects in the field of industry and research. One of the most prominent was: “Digital enablers in SMEs: support digitalisation to enhance SMEs' capacity to go international and innovate”.
Sean Kelly

Seán Kelly MEP

European People's Party (EPP), Ireland An MEP since 2009 and an active member of the Parliament’s Industry, Research and Innovation Committee (ITRE), Seán Kelly is a champion of research and development, technology and skills, and has been at the centre of a series of initiatives aimed at driving the industrial competitiveness and innovative potential of the EU. In the last 12 months alone, he has been successful in ensuring agreement on the €650bn InvestEU Programme, for which he was ITRE rapporteur. This would place a particular emphasis on driving investments into innovative EU businesses and aims to boost competitiveness. Kelly has also worked hard to ensure that the Horizon Europe programme ensured adequate research in key areas, such as renewable energy and agricultural production. He campaigned for due recognition of the role that technology and innovation platforms can play in setting out the research agenda, enabling industry, research and policy makers to work together effectively in identifying key strategic priorities. Finally, Kelly tirelessly promotes the importance of innovation in his constituency, collaborating continuously with important initiatives such as CoderDojo, the Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, the Ludgate Hub and many others, all aimed at boosting the EU’s innovative leadership.

The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Award

To view the members of the IMCO Committee, please click 

The Nominees

Alex Agius Saliba

Alex Agius Saliba MEP

Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrat (S&D), Malta In her political guidelines, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, committed to upgrading the Union's liability and safety rules for digital platforms, services and products, with a new Digital Services Act. Alex Agius Saliba is in charge of the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO). report on the Digital Services Act and was listed by POLITICO Europe as one of the 20 MEPs to watch in 2020. This new act will be published at the end of 2020 and its purpose will be to reinforce the single market for digital services. The Digital Service Act will deliver the Parliament's position and contributions to the future legislation expected from the new European Commission. Agius Saliba will work on what is already one of this mandate’s most high-profile technology files while navigating a new digital environment for the future. In addition, as the S&D IMCO Radio Equipment ‘Suiveur’, Agius Saliba led the negotiations on behalf of his political group on the recently-adopted European Parliament's resolution on a common mobile phone charger. This called on the European Commission to use all its legislative power to push the industry to adopt a common charger for mobile phones and for small and medium electronic devices.
Antonius Manders

Antonius Manders MEP

European People's Party (EPP), Netherlands Toine Manders has been a member of the European Parliament since 1999 and is known as the arch-defender of the Single Market. He was a member of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) from 1999-2014 and is again serving in it in the new legislature. A barrister and entrepreneur, he is an advocate of fully-harmonised EU Regulations to help prevent fragmentation and gold-plating, often caused by the transposition of Directives into national law. Avoiding gold-plating would greatly improve the Single Market for consumers and businesses alike. For consumers, he proposed introducing a common smartphone charger in 2009, only to discover that, in 2019, nothing had happened. In January 2020, Parliament finally adopted his Resolution to get this done; it is now included in this year’s Commission Work Programme. It is a small thing, but one with an enormous benefit for consumers. It shows citizens that Europe works for them. For businesses, he has been supportive of SMEs, 80 percent of which do not take part in the Single Market. Therefore, in cases of cross-border disputes, he has called for the introduction of a legally-binding arbitration procedure for SMEs through a cooperation between SOLVIT branches in all Member States and the ECJ. This approach will help avoid long and costly expensive legal procedures.
Dita Charanzová MEP

Dita Charanzová MEP

Renew Europe, Czech Republic Elected as an MEP in 2014, Dita Charanzová is an active member of the of Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO), acting as the Renew Europe 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, which 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 has fought for, and won, numerous other new practical rights for consumers, including those with disabilities. She also led the Free Flow of Data Regulation, pushing the Commission for its original proposal from and supporting the Rapporteur in its final reading. Since the new term, she has been a leading voice on the Digital Services Act and the AI framework in the Parliament and has led the Parliament's efforts to revise the Motor Insurance Directive. Here, she is seeking greater rights for persons moving between Member States while avoiding a spike in car insurance premiums. Charnazová was elected as a Vice President of the European Parliament in July.

The International Trade Award

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The Nominees

Anna-Michelle Kopoulou

Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou MEP

European People's Party (EPP), Greece A lawyer and former Greek MP, Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou is a vice-Chair of the International Trade Committee (INTA) and a member of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and Petitions (PETI) Committees. First elected to the European Parliament in July 2019, she quickly drew praise for her precise and outspoken interventions. She is already widely acknowledged for advocating a strong transatlantic relationship and a bold EU industrial strategy, urging the EU to step up its efforts. She has championed the reform of the WTO and a geopolitical trade strategy as well as the protection of the EU aluminium and steel industries. In addition, she has raised the profile of several strategic issues, including resource sovereignty and e-commerce. High on her agenda are EU and international legal frameworks for geographical indications and trademarks. Her engagement in this dialogue promises to strengthen the legal protection of EU products as well as the enforcement of EU trade policy. Asimakopoulou is also instrumental in the Parliament’s relations with Israel. As Chair of the Israel and Palestine Trade Monitoring Group and member of the delegation to Israel, she is at the forefront of the fight against anti-Semitism and the development of the EastMed pipeline project.
Inma Rodriguez-Pinero

Inma Rodríguez-Piñero MEP

Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), Spain A member of the International Trade Committee (INTA) since July 2014, Rodríguez-Piñero was Parliament’s rapporteur for the modernisation and ratification of a number of important trade agreements. These include Mexico and Chile, which – for the first time - included a specific chapter dedicated to commerce and gender in a trade agreement. Indeed, one of her main achievements has been to ensure that gender perspective could be integrated into trade policy to facilitate women's access to the benefits of trade. Not only within the EU but also in the WTO. A convinced “Europhile” and a firm advocate of multilateralism, rules-based fair trade based and the importance of trade policy as an instrument for promoting sustainable development. This is against a background where nationalist and protectionist interests growing. In addition, this needed more than ever to fight climate change. Rodríguez-Piñero also defends the important role of trade policy in human rights. She was S&D rapporteur for the regulation of trade against torture and the death penalty. In addition, she has worked in defence of European industry and to modernise trade instruments to avoid unfair competition from third countries and to open new markets. She has chaired the Parliamentary Forum of Ceramics for three year, a discussion forum for analysing problems, proposing solutions and publicising the added value, quality and high social relevance of European products. She considers it essential to increase the global influence and weight of the EU by acting with one voice in defence of Europe's interests, something she feels all MEPs should commit to.
Kathleen Van Brempt

Kathleen Van Brempt MEP

Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), Belgium Kathleen Van Brempt began her career in the European Parliament in 2000 and despite an absence to serve in the Belgian and Flemish governments, the EU has remained her ‘great love’. Returning to the EP in 2009, she has primarily focused on energy, climate and social issues. In 2014, she became the S&D group’s Vice-President responsible for sustainability and served as Chair of the Inquiry Committee on Emission Measurements in the automotive sector (EMIS). In 2019, she sought to bring her expertise on climate issues and social justice into the International Trade Committee (INTA). She believes that if Europe wants to take the lead on climate action and protect fundamental values, it must be more active at an international level, using trade policy as a lever for geopolitical change. As the S&D group coordinator for international trade, she wants to ensure Europe’s ambitions on the new European Green Deal are reflected in its trade policy. In her opinion, if we wish to be partners in trade, we also have to be partners in climate action.

The Justice & Gender Equality Award

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The Nominees

Assita Kanko MEP

Assita Kanko MEP

European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), Belgium Assita Kanko’s party and voters call her “ontembaar en vrij” – “untameable and free”. A lifelong and passionate campaigner and writer on the empowerment of women, she has been determined to put the issue of ending the practice of FGM (female genital mutilation) at the top of the political agenda. As a survivor of FGM herself, she wants to help the millions of women around the world affected by this practice, including the 500, 000 living here in Europe. Kanko has gained support across the political spectrum for a resolution to update its strategy on this issue, and successfully nominated and campaigned on behalf of the Sakharov Prize finalists "The Restorers". This is a group of five teenage girls from Kenya who created an App to sound the alarm on this awful crime. Kanko also works extensively on issues such as cyberbullying, victims' rights and migration and she has played a central role on the debate around the rule of law. She believes that only by truly listening to the hopes and concerns of voters can the EU hope to gain the trust and support of its citizens.
Petra De Sutter

Petra De Sutter MEP

Greens/European Free Alliance (EFA), Belgium Petra De Sutter is a well-known gynaecologist and fertility expert who decided to enter politics in 2014. As an experienced clinician and green politician, it is clear where her strong vision for human rights and gender equality comes from. Her political career started in the Belgian Senate and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, where she dealt with human rights, democracy and the rule of law. She also chaired the Rules of Procedure Committee. Five years on, she is continuing her fight for equal opportunities in the European Parliament. As the first green chairwoman of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Affairs (IMCO) and a substitute member in the Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) and Environment (ENVI) Committees, she is a trusted and highly-respected MEP across the political spectrum. As Chair of the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), the co-chair of the MEPs for SRHR and the vice-Chair of the MEPs against Cancer group, her daily work focuses on defending the rights, and protecting the health, of vulnerable people. Her hard work, in-depth knowledge and authenticity are appreciated by many NGOs working on SRHR and health.
Roberta Metsola

Roberta Metsola MEP

European People's Party (EPP), Malta Roberta Metsola was first elected to the European Parliament in 2013 and was one of Malta’s first female MEPs. She has been in charge of one of Parliament’s most important dossiers, serving as co-rapporteur on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration. A leader in the field of justice and home affairs, she is the EPP group’s Coordinator within the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE). Her term has been characterised by her commitment to reaching across the political divide to establish a common European way forward on sensitive issues such as migration, security, the rule of law, data protection, fundamental rights and border management. Proudly Maltese and passionately European, Metsola has been one of the leading voices calling for strengthened European mechanisms to protect the rule of law in Member States. Following the assassination of anti-corruption journalist, and mother of three, Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta, she has led efforts for justice, truth and accountability and has been a clear and consistent voice on the need to fight corruption. She led efforts for EU legislation to protect journalists and to help media houses fight SLAPP lawsuits. In 2019, she joined forces with a Green MEP to establish the European Parliament’s Anti-Corruption Inter-Group, where she serves as co-Chair. She served as the Parliament’s rapporteur on the new European Border and Coast Guard legislation in 2019 and led successful cross-party, inter-institutional negotiations to ensure the passing of the law. Metsola has been vocal in her calls for stronger measures to fight against domestic violence, arguing that Member States need to improve their systems to help protect victims.

The Transport & Tourism Award

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The Nominees

Andrey Novakov

Andrey Novakov MEP

European People's Party (EPP), Bulgaria Andrey Novakov became a member of the European Parliament in 2014 and was one of the youngest MEPs to ever serve the Institution. He also featured in the Politics category of the Forbes “30 under 30” list of the most successful young people in 2016. Novakov is a railway enthusiast and is passionate about aviation, thus transport and mobility issues have always been an essential part of his work. He was strongly committed to these topics even before his formal attachment to the Parliament’s Transport and Tourism (TRAN) Committee. He currently serves as President of Rail Forum Europe, an association that brings together experts from the rail sector with policy makers, helping to make transport more competitive and sustainable. In the past, he has been a strong supporter of road safety in the EU and reducing injuries and deaths on the roads. He remains a strong defender of the rights and interests of Central and Eastern European drivers. Novakov is also an EPP coordinator in the Committee on Regional Development (REGI), a full member in the Committee on Budgets (BUDG) and a substitute in the Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT).
 Dominique Riquet

Dominique Riquet MEP

Renew Europe, France Deeply pro-European, Dominique Riquet has long been a resolute advocate for a more united and stronger Europe. Since first being elected in 2009, Riquet has sought to play a strong role in developing and connecting transports market in Europe, with a special focus on infrastructure investment. First in the Budgets Committee (BUDG) and then the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE), he also has been an active member of THE ransport and Tourism Committee (TRAN). Riquet has been involved in a number of important transport files. He was one of the rapporteurs for the Connecting Europe Facility (both 1 and 2), shadow rapporteur for the fourth Railway Package and as rapporteur for the Smart TEN-T file. He fought for the participation of the EU in the Canal Seine-Nord project, embodying his efforts as an MEP in working to complete a soft mobility transport network. His work continues through the Intergroup on Long Term Investment, of which he is the founder. This allowed him to back the Juncker Plan as well as innovative financing instruments (such as blending) and to advocate for greater investment in infrastructures. To him, such expenditure is paid back twice; by the economic benefits it brings and by the links it creates between Europeans. Fully dedicated to his mandate, he was the French MEP with the highest attendance rate (98 percent) in committees during the eighth legislature.
Marian-Jean Marinescu

Marian-Jean Marinescu MEP

European People's Party (EPP), Romania One of the European Parliament’s most respected voices for more than 13 years on transport policy, Marian-Jean Marinescu is currently coordinator of the EPP Group in the Transport and Tourism (TRAN) committee. Well known for his negotiating skills, Marinescu is Parliament’s rapporteur for the Connecting Europe Facility as well as for the SES 2 + Regulation, where he will continue his work as promoter of European Airspace Architecture study and as member of the Wise Persons Group. He negotiated, as follow-up to the EASA Regulation, the secondary legislation for unmanned aircraft. He also promoted the PILOT PROJECT “Quality service in Tourism”, implementation of which started last year. IN addition, several of his proposals for pilot projects in the field of aviation and space were approved in 2019. He also hosted a range of events with aviation and space content. As a result of his valuable initiatives, he was recently confirmed as the Chair of the Sky and Space Intergroup.

The Best Social Media User Award

Social Media has given a great platform to MEPs to engage directly with the people. But who is the best ‘influencer’?

The Nominees

Anna Julia Donath

Anna Júlia Donáth MEP

Renew Europe, Hungary Vice-President of the Momentum Movement founded in March 2017, Anna Donáth was elected as one of the party’s first representatives in the 2019 European Parliamentary elections after becoming one of the symbols of the large anti-government demonstrations of late 2018. She became a member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) committees, focusing on the dismantling of the rule of law in countries like Hungary. Anna is not only the voice of Hungary in Europe, but the voice of Europe in Hungary. The main channel for this is her social media pages. She regularly holds Q&A sessions on various platforms, where her followers can ask anything about the EU and the European Parliament. As an MEP, Donáth considers it a priority to act as a catalyst for the flow of information between Brussels and her own constituency. This is why she puts such emphasis on using innovative communication techniques and platforms, engaging a constituency that is eager to learn more about, and comment on, EU-level debates and processes as well as providing them with a conduit to channel their messages to Brussels. She focuses all of her social accounts on reaching the younger community. She is probably the only MEP currently using the fun and easy-to-understand way of communication – memes. This has allowed her to collect a large and active online following. Her live action reaction GIFs have accumulated more than two million views and have gone viral since she introduced them.
Karen Melchior

Karen Melchior MEP

Renew Europe, Denmark One of Karen Melchior's ongoing priorities as a member of the European Parliament has been to bring the EU closer to Europe’s citizens. She has been an active user of social media since before her time as a politician and uses the platforms for dialogue, not just broadcasting. She sees the use of social media as a great assert in listening to Europeans. Since being elected in June 2019 for her first term as an MEP, she has regularly used Instagram to allow a wide audience to follow her in her everyday work within the Parliament. Her Twitter account allows her to remain updated on a range of specialist subjects from experts around Europe as well as to engage with a broad audience. Melchior's political work centres around tech, and here social media is an important channel of communicating with the community on policy issues. In her role as coordinator for the Renew group in the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI)) She fights for the better regulation of the very platforms she uses to engage with her constituents. She believes that social media is one of the best available tools to help citizens connect with their MEPs and burst out of the EU-bubble.
Lukas Mandl

Lukas Mandl MEP

European People's Party (EPP), Austria Lukas Mandl has been a member of the European Parliament since November 2017. He is a full member of the Foreign Affairs (AFET) and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) committees as well as substitute member on the Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) committee. In addition, he serves as vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE). He is convinced that Europe must speak externally with a stronger and more coherent voice while giving greater freedom internally to its citizens. Mandl sees direct contact with citizens as crucial in increasing trust in the European Union and its institutions. To engage with young people in particular, MEPs need to actively engage more through social media channels. This will allow relevant EU topics to be communicated in the broadest possible way on a daily basis to the widest possible audience.

The Best Assistant Award

The Nominees

Benjamin Feyen

Benjamin Feyen

Assistant to MEP Niklas Nienass, Greens/European Free Alliance, Germany Benjamin Feyen Heads the office of German Greens/EFA MEP Niklas Nienass. As Cultural Policy Advisor, he contributes to the Culture and Education (CULT) committee work, where his MEP has already been Shadow Rapporteur for five dossiers. These include ongoing trilogues for the European Solidarity Corps and the Creative Europe programme. Feyen played a crucial role in founding the “Cultural Creators Friendship Group”, supporting Nienass’ advocacy of the Cultural and Creative Sectors. Moreover, he is involved in the “Young Europeans” initiative and other topics addressing the future of Europe. Prior to his current position, he gained experience as an APA to former MEPs Helga Trüpel and Elmar Brok.
Carmen Dinu

Carmen Dinu

Assistant to MEP Claudiu Manda, Romania Carmen Dinu is a chemical engineer by education, who likes sciences, literature and adventures. Having worked for the EU Parliament for more than 10 years, her network and credibility are well known in her political group but also across Parliament. Her knowledge and expertise on current affairs are second to none, and she always brings with her a strong   wealth of knowledge on the dynamics of Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament. Carmen is best known for her problem-solving skills and ability to cope with unexpected challenging situations.  Open-minded and eager to learn from others, she strongly believes that you can learn new things from every person you meet. Carmen thrives in a multicultural environment and particularly enjoys debating with her foreign counterparts.
Perrine Orosco-Le Fournis

Perrine Orosco-Le Fournis

Assistant to MEP Stéphane Bijoux, Renew Europe, France Perrine Orosco- Le Fournis worked for ten years in the EPP group for New Caledonian MEP Maurice Ponga, and. Since July 2019, has worked for La Réunion deputy Stéphane Bijoux, in the Renew Europe group. Bijoux is a a member of the Regional Development (REGI) Committee and Chair of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) delegation. She has worked on a range of major files. These include the European development policy with a focus on ACP Countries. She also worked on all files relating to European Overseas entities, such as the BEST Initiative, which is dedicated to protecting biodiversity and valorisation of Ecosystem Services in European Overseas entities as well as specific measures for outermost regions in the areas of fisheries, agriculture, and regional policy. She studied European Law at the Paris Panthéon Assas University and holds a Masters Degree from the College of Europe. Following two years working as a legal adviser for the French Ministry of Defence, she joined the European Parliament in 2009.
Thomas Thaler APA

Thomas Thaler

Assistant to MEP Lukas Mandl, EPP, Austria Thomas THALER has been working as Accredited Parliamentary Assistant since September 2012. Before this job assignment, he graduated from the College of Europe in Bruges and worked for the Austrian Foreign Ministry. He joined the team of MEP Lukas MANDL as his Head of Office in October 2018. Previously, he worked for MEP Dr. Paul RÜBIG and the current Austrian Minister for European Affairs Karoline EDTSTADLER. He has been responsible for several parliamentary committees and delegations. In addition to this, he will also assist the new Austrian MEP Christian Sagartz, in upcoming months.

The Best Newcomer Award

Awarded exclusively by the Parliament Magazine’s editorial team and is given to a deputy, who will be Parliament’s new star.