Our judges are proud supporters of the awards and with their wonderful expertise oversaw the final winner in each category.
We would like to thank our 2020 judging panel that comprises of the following senior figures:
Friends of Europe
Shada Islam is Director of Europe and Geopolitics at Friends of Europe, an independent think tank based in Brussels. She works on issues related to the future of Europe, minority and integration challenges as well as on Europe’s relations with emerging nations. She set up the Asia Programme for Friends of Europe in 2011 and also leads its work on global trade and development issues. Shada is actively engaged in FoE's new "Migration Action" initiative aimed at encouraging reflection and discussion on Europe's challenge of developing new policies and actions to deal with refugees and migrants. She has done extensive work on the challenges facing European Muslims as regards perceptions, discrimination and marginalisation.
“The European Parliament and its members have a key role to play in developing and communicating a new and more energising narrative on the European Union and its relevance in today’s turbulent and troubled world. It’s time to celebrate and honour the work being done by MEPs”.
Brussels Writing Bureau
Colin Mackay is the Managing Director of the Brussels Writing Bureau, an independent editorial consultancy for Brussels-based companies and trade associations. He has lived and worked in Brussels since 2003. Before founding the Bureau in 2012, Colin was Director of Communications for EFPIA, the pharmaceutical industry association and for Cosmetics Europe, the Personal Care association. He also held senior roles in two international PR consultancies. He is a native of Scotland and is a graduate of the University of Stirling.
“The European Parliament, with its directly elected deputies, is the most accessible of the EU institutions. Yet much of the hard work that our MEPs undertake is done out of sight of the constituency, in Brussels and Strasbourg. Although the electorate may not see the work, it must not be undervalued. The MEP Awards provide the opportunity redress this and provide deserved recognition of their efforts.”
Vice-President, European Youth Forum
An elected Vice-President of the European Youth Forum, the European umbrella organisation of youth organisations representing millions of young people in Europe, Ville Majamaa started his volunteering path at the age of 11 in a local scout group in Helsinki, Finland. Today, he has close to a decade of experience in mainstreaming youth policies in the different European Union, Council of Europe and United Nations bodies. Holding a BA in International Relations, Ville has Master's degrees in area studies from University College London and Moscow Higher School of Economics.
"The 2019 European elections proved one thing: young people care about the future of Europe. Our eyes are now on the elected MEPs and their actions to deliver to the citizens' expectations. MEP Awards are a fantastic instrument to do just this. For the jury, this is our chance to make the important but far too often under-recognised work visible and to celebrate the MEPs' daily commitment to the European democracy. "
First Vice-President, European Committee of the Regions
Markku Markkula is currently the First Vice-President of European Committee of the Regions after having served as President from 2015 to 2017.
He is a member of the National Coalition Party in Finland. A member of Espoo City Council since 1980, he held its presidency in 1990-92 and 2010. He is currently the Chair of the Board of Helsinki Regional Council and the Chair of Espoo City Board.
Mr Markkula is a former member of the Finnish Parliament (1995-2003). During this time he served as a member of two permanent parliamentary committees: the Committee for Science, Education and Culture, and the Committee for the Future, as well as the President of the European Parliamentary Technology Assessment EPTA network.
As a tribute to his achievements he was elected to the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame in 2008.
Workers' Group, European Economic and Social Committee
Amarjite Singh was born in Swansea of immigrant parents in the early sixties. He was employed in skilled building trade, then moved to Cardiff & joined Royal Mail in mid-1980s.
He became a workplace rep in 1999 and then a branch officer, becoming involved in equality issues at local and national union level. He was elected branch secretary in 2007.
He has progressed the issue of equal representation and proportionality within the union, particularly on its branch and national bodies. Externally, he has been involved in public campaigns on public services and anti-racism.
My Singh is recognised for his trade union activities by being elected as President of Wales TUC for 2012-13. He has been on the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) since 2015, which includes meeting with trade union and social organisations across the EU and with MEPs.
"I have seen positive change by MEPs within the EU whilst being on the EESC. Apart from the legislative process, I have also seen how individual MEPs have taken up and highlighted particular issues and cases both in the European Parliament in front of their colleagues and in their home constituencies. A campaigning and proactive attitude for an MEP is a must in both fields."
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