Nicola Caputo is well known in Parliament for his work on agriculture, having been nominated in the same MEP Awards category last year. He has led the fight against price volatility in the sector, and has worked extensively on enhancing the competitiveness of EU agriculture. He has submitted a number of proposals to the European Commission, including an online application system for CAP financial aid and ideas for more innovative farming techniques. In a parliamentary question, Caputo suggested using hi-tech sensors to monitor farm production and health disorders in animals, automated transport and logistics and smart farming systems to improve irrigation efficiency.
An MEP since 2014, Anja Hazekamp was her group’s shadow rapporteur on the zootechnical and genealogical conditions for trade in and imports into the Union of breeding animals and their germinal products. She was also shadow rapporteur on the cloning of animals of the bovine, porcine, ovine, caprine and equine species kept and reproduced for farming purposes. Hazekamp has long fought for animal rights and is a member of the Dutch Party for the Animals. Before becoming an MEP, she worked in public relations and later policy for the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals. She also worked as a scientist on the issue of animal testing.
Therese Comodini Cachia
Therese Comodini Cachia has been praised for the enthusiasm and passion she brings to her work. She is dedicated to enhancing Maltese civil society’s involvement in EU policymaking. The EPP deputy is a member of the Parliament’s legal affairs committee. She has worked extensively on the single-member private limited liability companies dossier. Before becoming an MEP, she worked as a human rights lawyer, consulting with Maltese governments on European law and equality directives. Earlier this year, she was appointed Malta’s shadow minister for education and employment. Comodini Cachia is also a lecturer of constitutional, and human rights law at various universities across Europe.
Mariya Gabriel is a member of Parliament’s delegation to the ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly. She has urged her colleagues to include more migrationrelated topics since 2009, long before the start of the current refugee crisis. She is currently the co-rapporteur on the evaluation of the African peace facility. Gabriel is also a substitute on the women’s rights and gender equality committee, on which she highlights the important role women have to play in peace building and development. Last year, she organised a competition in her native Bulgaria to encourage students to reflect on the European year for development and the fundamental values of EU external action – democracy, human rights and peace.
One of Parliament’s youngest MEPs, Julia Reda is has been highly active on the digital agenda. Her focus has been on putting an end to geoblocking and updating EU copyright rules. She drafted a report on the topic, looking at creating a borderless internet across Europe before the Commission had even presented its legislative proposals. Reda understands how frustrating it can be to be blocked from viewing online content simply due to location, something she wants to see stopped. Other than geoblocking, she has also worked to improve access to knowledge – whether academic materials or research results – free of charge and pushed hard hard for her MEP colleagues to vote to protect the freedom of panorama.
José Manuel Fernandes
In his role as rapporteur on the general budget, José Manuel Fernandes has been instrumental in securing ongoing financial support for a number of priorities. The Portuguese deputy, an MEP since 2009, led the European fund for strategic investments negotiation, securing substantial funding for innovation and R&D. He managed to minimise proposed cuts for Connecting Europe and Horizon 2020. Fernandes also ensured that support for Europe’s youth remained robust, promoting extending the youth employment initiative until 2020 and that funding for Erasmus + was enhanced. In total, he helped restore managed to recover € 2.8bn to the Parliament budget.
Filiz Hyusmenova has been widely recognised for her support on social equality in maternal healthcare, a key indicator of a well-functioning society. The Bulgarian deputy recognises the importance of ensuring adequate social support for all mothers-to-be in Europe. This is why she has provided a voice and a rallying point for those seeking to redress the inequalities in social care between member states. Hyusmenova has been unstinting in her support for the Alliance for Maternal Health Equality, and is personally leading the call for a parliamentary declaration on universal right access to maternal healthcare for all.
Miriam Dalli has taken an active role in the fight to ensure EU energy security. As a substitute on the industry, research and energy committee, she pressed for numerous amendments to strengthen the European energy security strategy dossier. These included the need to diversify energy supply, develop alternative fuels and decrease energy dependence by wider use of smart distribution, smart appliances and encouraging viable small energy sources. The Maltese deputy was recently appointed rapporteur on the blue economy dossier, which focuses on the economic potential of Europe’s maritime resources, including clean energy.
Before becoming an MEP in 2014, Simona Bonafè was Councillor for the environment in Scandicci, near Florence. She later worked as a journalist. Though she is relatively new to the Parliament, she is in charge of a key dossier, waste management. This is a central element of the Commission’s circular economy package and will be a challenging task, given the numerous issues Parliament has raised with team Juncker’s proposals. Bonafè is confident that she will be able to help deliver an ambitious and effective package. The Italian deputy argued that transitioning to a circular economy was not only about the environment, but also implementing a new economic model.
Dita Charanzová was elected as an MEP in 2014. She is a member of Parliament’s delegation for relations with Mercosur and the delegations to the Euro-Latin American parliamentary assembly and to the Cariforum - EU parliamentary committee (African, Caribbean and Pacific states). She has worked tirelessly in Parliament’s trade committee to improve trade relations with Latin America. She led a campaign to send a delegation of MEPs to observe the elections in Venezuela last December and has organised events to raise awareness of human rights abuses in the country. Charanzová is experienced in foreign affairs, having previously worked in the Czech Republic’s diplomatic service for 11 years.
Cristian-Silviu Buşoi has a wealth of experience in the health sector, studying medicine and heading Romania’s National Health Insurance Fund. An MEP since 2007, he has advocated extensively on behalf of liver patients and liver health professionals across the EU. He is a member of the environment, public health and food safety committee and is the EPP shadow rapporteur on safer healthcare in Europe: improving patient safety and fighting antimicrobial resistance. Buşoi has submitted several parliamentary questions on health, including on the Commission’s progress on establishing of a cooperative structure for chronic diseases, which account for nine out ten deaths in the World Health Organisation’s European region.
Angelika Niebler has been praised for her longstanding dedication to ICT policy in the EU. She has been an MEP since 1999, and has worked on several key dossiers. She was Parliament’s rapporteur on the 1998 telecoms review. In September last year, alongside her parliamentary work, Niebler joined the Munich office of law firm Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher’s as Counsel on media, entertainment and technology and privacy, cybersecurity and consumer protection. The German deputy is a member of the industry, research and energy committee. She recently submitted a parliamentary question on breach of the EU consumer protection directive by Chinese traders in eCommerce.
Roberta Metsola was 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. In this role, she will need to work on outlining Parliament’s proposals on addressing the ongoing refugee crisis. She has repeatedly called on member states leaders to show responsibility in dealing with the crisis by taking urgent and meaningful action. Metsola was previously Vice- President of the Youth Convention on the Future of Europe and was closely involved in the negotiation and drafting of the EU constitutional and Lisbon treaties.
Kerstin Westphal has been involved in politics for over 30 years, and became an MEP in 2009. She is a member of Parliament’s regional development committee and was rapporteur on the EU dimension of urban policies, which was adopted by a large majority last year. The document calls for better coordination of EU policies related to urban issues, as well as a ‘one-stop shop’ for cities – a contact point for local authorities dealing with European legislation. Before joining the European Parliament, Westphal trained in childcare and later as a nursery school teacher. She continued to teach in nursery school until she was elected as an MEP.
An MEP since 2014, Michał Boni is active in the field of research and innovation. He is a founding member of Parliament’s digital agenda intergroup and is the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee’s opinion rapporteur on towards a digital single market act. Boni is particularly interested in mHealth and has hosted events on the topic at the European Parliament. In a written question, he asked the Commission what measures it intended take to ‘support the successful deployment of mHealth’. Boni believes new technologies could be a ‘game changer’ for the healthcare sector, but that this will require clear rules on data exploring and sharing.
Emma McClarkin is a champion of women’s active participation in sport and is a Vice-Chair of Parliament’s sports intergroup. The UK deputy has consistently promoted the importance of sport since becoming an MEP since 2009, hosting a United Nations meeting in Brussels dedicated to sport in education and employment. McClarkin’s interest in sport covers all levels. At a local constituency level, she supports her local sports clubs, listing their details on her personal website. At the same time, she recognises the importance of high-level sport and has actively pressed for greater accountability and better governance within professional sports bodies.
Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar
Since her election to Parliament in 2014, Claudia Monteiro de Aguiar has continually raised the challenges facing tourism in both in her home country of Portugal and across Europe. She is the EPP group shadow rapporteur on new challenges and concepts for the promotion of tourism in Europe. In addition, Monteiro de Aguiar organised and led a well-received conference, the first in a series of events, aimed at examining those issues likely to inhibit or stimulate the tourism sector in Europe in the short and medium term.
A veteran of Brussels, the Luxembourgish deputy is now in her third term as an MEP, having first served between 1989 -1999 before her time in thenBarroso Commissions. Since returning to Parliament in 2014, she has led calls for reformed investment protection mechanisms and for a digital internal market. As a member of the international trade committee, she was rapporteur on Parliament’s recommendations to the Commission covering the negotiations for the Trade in Services Agreement. She is also member of the digital agenda intergroup, strongly believing that a well-functional digital market demands coherent data protection rules.
As a Vice-Chair of the transport and tourism committee, Dominique Riquet has championed the importance of transport since his election to Parliament in 2009. The French deputy was shadow rapporteur on the fourth rail package and provided an opinion on both the European Maritime Safety Agency and the European Aviation Safety Agency. In his role as Chair of the intergroup on long-term investment and reindustrialisation, he also takes a strong interest in transport funding. This group provides a platform for horizontal discussions between parliamentary committees on identifying bottlenecks and obstacles to relevant investment.
Jan Philipp Albrecht
This award is given out by the Parliament Magazine to an MEP who has provided an outstanding contribution in an area or on an issue that goes above and beyond their normal parliamentary responsibilities.
Jan Albrecht has been an MEP since 2009 and is a Vice-Chair of Parliament’s civil liberties committee. He was Parliament’s rapporteur on a landmark legislative project, the EU general data protection regulation, aiming to update the EU’s current data protection laws, which have been in place for over 20 years. He successfully carried the file through trialogues after it had been stuck in negotiations since 2011.