Shortlist 2023

The wait is nearly over.  The shortlist of nominated MEPs, MEP Assistants and staffers will be published at 11.45am CEST on Monday 22nd May, 2023.  Please visit this page again then.

Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries

Category Partner

For contributions to and accomplishments in driving Europe’s agricultural revolution, supporting fisheries and/or development of rural areas

Clara Aguilera (S&D, ES)

As the S&D Group’s coordinator of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) and a member of the Committee on Fisheries (PECH), MEP Clara Aguilera has long served as the Rapporteur for the Fisheries Control Regulation, a very complex file under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). MEP Aguilera has also served as Shadow Rapporteur for a variety of reports and opinions that impact agriculture. Currently, she doesn’t only work as the Rapporteur for the co-management of fisheries in the EU, and a sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture, but MEP Aguilera also contributes to a variety of plenary debates with insightful opinions on many matters.

Paola De Castro (S&D, IT)

MEP Paolo De Castro is a member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), a Professor of Agricultural Economics, and a former Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies in Italy. He has put tremendous effort into finding compromises among the AGRI, Legal Affairs and the Internal Market Committees, as the Rapporteur for the Geographical Indications in Agricultural Products. MEP De Castro has actively taken part in a variety of plenary debates in the European Parliament including debated on fertilisers in the EU, Save bees and farmers, and a long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas, among other files.

Ulrike Müller (RE, DE)

MEP Ulrike Müller is the Rapporteur for a new EU Forest Strategy for 2030, and the Renew Europe coordinator in the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI). In her role she has been active in setting Renew Europe’s agenda on the AGRI committee, pushing for fair and impactful deals for all. This commitment has also bene reflected in her role as substitute in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety (ENVI). MEP Müller actively participates in various debates in the European Parliament ranging from global food security, and fertilisers, to organic agriculture, and biodiversity strategies.

Petri Sarvamaa (EPP, FI)

As an active member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), and the Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Sustainable Development, MEP Petri Sarvamaa is the European Parliament’s Rapporteur on the new EU Forest Strategy. He has contributed greatly to the debates on deforestation regulation and provided the plenary with his insightful opinions.

Defence and Security

For contributions to the work of the defence and security of the EU

Barry Andrews (RE, IE)

MEP Barry Andrews is a member of the Committee on Development (DEVE) and has been the Rapporteur for the report on the implementation and delivery of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report acknowledges that SDGs constitute a common concern of humankind and argues that the 2030 Agenda provides a unique pathway to a wellbeing economy to build a more equitable, just, inclusive, sustainable and resilient world. MEP Andrews has also been the Shadow Rapporteur for reports on new orientations for the EU’s humanitarian action and the role of the EU’s development cooperation and humanitarian assistance in addressing the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. His contributions to parliamentary debates are consistently nuanced and well researched.

Sophia in ‘t Veld (RE, NL)

MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld is particularly active on the increasing use of spyware software in Europe. As a member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), and Committee on Inquiry to investigate the use of Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware (PEGA), she has led the MEPs in the European Parliament in urging the European Commission to provide more details on the EU’s relationship with controversial big data companies. The overall aim of MEP in ‘t Veld’s vital work in the area has been to protect the EU’s technological independence, as the last stronghold of customer privacy.

Tineke Strik (Greens/EFA, NL)

MEP Tineke Strik was a former member of the Senate for GreenLeft in the Netherlands for 12 years prior to being elected as a member of the European Parliament. MEP Strik is a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), and Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). She has been the Rapporteur for the report on human rights protection, and the EU external migration policy. She has long advocated for a common EU response to save lives and ensure safe and legal pathways, focusing specifically on issues in the Mediterranean Sea. MEP Strik has also spoke against the criminalisation of humanitarian assistance in search and rescue missions.

Hilde Vautmans (RE, BE)

As an active member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), and in her role as the AFET coordinator of the Renew Europe Group, MEP Hilde Vautmans has always fought for a stronger and a more common European Security and Defence Policy. She has put significant effort into establishing the European Peace Facility which is being actively used to provide Ukraine with military equipment. MEP Vautmans has been the Shadow Rapporteur for the Report on the Implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) – annual report 2022. She believes that strengthening of the EU’s external action with its own and permanent instruments is the key to Europe’s security.

Digital Strategy and the Single Market

For contributions to and accomplishments in making Europe fit for the digital age

Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, MT)

One of the nine Vice-Chairs of S&D, a member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), a substitute in the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL), MEP Alex Agius Saliba is a prominent name in digital transformation circles. He served as the Rapporteur for the Digital Services Act to improve the functioning of the Single Market and he is the current Rapporteur and European Parliament negotiator for the Common Chargers Act. This is a long-awaited initiative that aims to make USB-C as the common charger for mobile devices. This proposal is expected to benefit consumers and businesses in Europe and most importantly the environment by reducing electronic waste and therefore redundant costs. MEP Agius Saliba has been a champion for consumers.

Dita Charanzová (RE, CZ)

MEP Dita Charanzová is the Vice-President of the European Parliament, and a member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO). MEP Charanzová has been the Rapporteur on the General Product Safety Regulation (GPSR) which was a major update of consumer protection rules online and offline, to ensure safer products in Europe. She is also the shadow rapporteur on the report on eGovernment accelerating digital public services that support the functioning of the single market. She has been an active MEP both in front and behind the scenes on various items related to the digital and single market.

Pilar del Castillo Vera (EPP, SP)

Serving in the European Parliament for two decades, a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), and a substitute in the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), MEP Pilar del Castillo Vera is the current Rapporteur of the Data Act. This is one of the most important files that aims to ensure fairness in the digital environment, stimulate a competitive data market, and make data more accessible for all. MEP del Castillo Vera is also the chairwoman of the European Internet Forum, a non-profit association that was founded to help MEPs ) ensure that European public policies are fit for the digital age.

Maria Grapini (S&D, RO)

Currently the Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), MEP Maria Grapini has served as an MEP across 2 mandates. She served as the Rapporteur of the Customs Programme which is currently in force and allowing the efficient operation of customs in the EU. MEP Grapini is the current Shadow Rapporteur for the report on a Standardisation Strategy for the Single Market, aiming to improve the everyday lives of consumers across Europe.

Diversity, Inclusion and Social Impact

For contributions to and accomplishments in championing diversity and inclusion across Europe 

Robert Biedroń (S&D, PL)

Chair of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), an active member of the European Parliament’s LGBTI Intergroup, MEP Robert Biedroń is the founder of the Campaign Against Homophobia, one of the most vocal advocates of queer rights in his country and on the European level. He has been one the Shadow Rapporteurs for the reports on reaching women’s economic independence through entrepreneurship and self-employment, and on combating gender-based violence: cyberviolence. MEP Biedroń actively supports the democratic opposition in Belarus and takes part in the organisation of the European Gender Equality Week. He explains that gender equality is not just a women’s issue, but everyone’s issue, in the same way that racial discrimination should not just be an issue for those suffering from it, as LGBTIQ+ rights do not only concern LGBTIQ+ people.

Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana (Greens/EFA, DE)

MEP Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana is deeply committed to the European Project and its values including freedom, human dignity and equality, especially those of minorities. She is the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Development (DEVE), Delegation for relations with the Pan-African Parliament (DPAP), Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (DACP). In 25 motions for resolutions, 40 contributions to plenary on the topics of gender-based violence, women in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Iraq, and refugees and discrimination, 3 reports as Shadow Rapporteur, two opinions as Rapporteur and 4 opinions as Shadow Rapporteur, she has shown her continued commitment. As Co-President of ARDI, she is also the organiser of the Anti-racism and Diversity Weeks at the EP, in 2022 and 2021. MEP Herzberger-Fofana’s commitment to equality cannot be questioned.

Dragoș Pîslaru (RE, RO)

As the chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL), and Renew Europe Group coordinator of the EMPL, MEP Dragoș Pîslaru is one of the most vocal MEPs in the European Parliament on the issues of child poverty, and youth policies. Thanks to his personal initiatives, the first ever official working group on the Social Affairs in the European Parliament was established. The EMPL Working Group on the Child Guarantee was founded to strengthen awareness raising and monitor the progress of the implementation of the Child Guarantee and its sustainability. MEP Pîslaru is a champion for the younger generations.

Sylwia Spurek (Greens/EFA, PL)

MEP Sylwia Spurek is the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), a substitute in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). In this role, she has been the Rapporteur for the report with recommendations to the Commission on combating gender-based violence: cyberviolence, and Shadow Rapporteur for the report on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence and report towards equal rights for persons with disabilities. MEP Spurek advocates for the provisions concerning different perspectives and needs of LGBTIQ+ people, elder people, ethnic minorities, or people with disabilities. She is also a big supporter of the LGBTIQ+ community in Poland. MEP Spurek is also a board member in the European Fem Institute, a platform for the cooperation of European experts on equality and social solidarity.

Energy, Industry and Research

For contributions to and accomplishments in the energy sector, promoting research and innovation, and supporting the green transition

Ciaran Cuffe (Greens/EFA, IE)

As the rapporteur for the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, Ciaran Cuffe has been able to drive change in an important area of the EU’s Green Deal programme. His passion and dedication was able to unite the Parliament behind a position focused on lower energy bills, a reduction of energy poverty, and the means to tackle the 36% of EU emissions generated by Europe’s buildings. At a time where energy security and the future of energy legislation is up for debate, MEP Cuffe’s work on the legislation has offered some hope and in his own words, “will strike a blow to Europe’s dependence on fuel imports from Russia and elsewhere”.

Christian Ehler (EPP, DE)

MEP Christian Ehler has been a staple of the European Parliament since his first election in 2004. Serving for close to 20 years, MEP Ehler has had a passion for Energy, Industry, Research and Innovation at the core of his work. Along with serving on the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE), he is currently the chair of the European Parliament’s Panel for the Future of Science and Technology. Ehler has long been an active advocate for EU research funding and was Rapporteur on 2021’s Horizon Europe file. Since then, he has also been Rapporteur on other energy and innovation related files including the New European Bauhaus and the implementation of the European Innovation Council.

Morten Petersen (RE, DK)

Member of the Radikale Venstre delegation in the European Parliament and Vice Chair of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), Morten Petersen has served in the European Parliament for 2 mandates. In his time as an MEP, he has had a strong influence in a wide range of policy areas. Energy, Industry Research and Innovation have however been areas at the heart of his work. MEP Petersen was Rapporteur for the EU’s Strategy for Offshore renewable energy sources underlining his commitment to a green energy riven future. Most recently, MEP Petersen has been central to work on the Electricity Market Design Reform as Shadow Rapporteur.

Patrizia Toia (S&D, IT)

Patrizia Toia has had a long and distinguished career as an elected official from Italy to Brussels. After starting out as a Councillor in Milan, Toia has taken on many roles including being elected as an Italian Senator and most recently an MEP in each of the last 4 mandates. She currently sits as a Vice Chair of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). Amongst her many successes across the previous mandates, her commitment to Energy, Industry, Research and Innovation has been highlighted by her work to abolish roaming charges in 2017 and to strengthen rights against data traffic discrimination on the internet. MEP Toia’s successes have not stopped in her current mandate, playing a key role and questioning the Parliament on key pieces of legislation including on the data act, repowering EU and the global approach to research and innovation.

Environment and Climate Action

Category Partner

For contributions to and accomplishments in cultivating sustainability, building the circular economy, and protecting the environment

César Luena (S&D, SP)

As a Vice-Chair of the Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committee (ENVI), MEP César Luena has tirelessly pushed for policy with protection of the environment at its heart. Biodiversity has been at the heart of much of MEP Luena’s work. His deep commitment to protecting diversity and the planet have seen him act as the Rapporteur on the EU’s Biodiversity strategy, securing a binding restoration target of 30% in the future EU Restoration Action Plan. This commitment has seen MEP Luena actively meet with experts in the sector from across Europe to reassure them of his ongoing commitment to all things environment and climate action.

Jutta Paulus (Greens/EFA, DE)

MEP Jutta Paulus is a full member of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). She has fought to raise awareness for environment issues across multiple legislative areas, particularly in her role on the Industry, Research and Energy committee (ITRE). Her commitment to the Environment & Climate Action have recently been demonstrated in her actions around files on methane emissions, where she was Shadow Rapporteur, energy efficiency and emissions in the maritime sector, where she has been Rapporteur and Shadow Rapporteur on several files focused on CO2 emissions. Away from her committee work, MEP Paulus is a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development.

Frédérique Ries (RE, BE)

MEP Frédérique Ries has been an influential voice in the European Parliament’s move towards a more green and sustainable future. Now in her 5th mandate at the European Parliament, she has used her vision and experience to shape various pieces of legislation. In the current mandate, MEP Ries was Rapporteur for the Single Use Plastic Directive Rapporteur, where she spearheaded the Parliament’s ambitious position to reduce plastic pollution, pushing for cigarette butts, expanded polystyrene and ultra lightweight bags to be included in the scope of the directive. More recently MEP Ries has been a strong voice in the Packaging and Packaging Waste regulation.

Nils Torvalds (RE, FI)

As the Renew Europe cordinator for the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI), MEP Nils Torvalds plays a crucial role in the working of the ENVI committee. His balanced and fair approach towards coordinating questions for the ENVI committee has been a standout feature of his hard work according to several colleagues. Having served over the last 3 mandates, he has had a critical focus on the environment and green policies to promote the future health of the planet. Recently, MEP Torvalds was the Rapporteur for the Renewable Energy Directive. This crucial legislation paved the way for environmentally safe, green energy.

Health and Wellbeing

For contributions to and accomplishments in Europe’s health and wellbeing sector   

Stelios Kympouropoulos (EPP, EL)

MEP Kympouropoulos is a strong promoter for the protection of health and wellbeing rights across Europe. He was EPP coordinator in the Special Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic (COVI) and was recently appointed as member of the Subcommittee on Public Health (SANT). He is a Political Co-Chair of the Network of Parliamentary Advocates for Rare Diseases, member of the MEP Interest Group on Transformative Therapies, MEP champion in Together for Rare Diseases multi-stakeholder platform, and supporter of many other health initiatives. Despite his workload, MEP Kympouropoulos goes above and beyond in his work to promote awareness around health, wellbeing and rare diseases. He has been influential in organising important events such as the EU Health Tech Summit and a roundtable on World Rare Disease Day, as well as using his own time to meet with stakeholders from industry and offer free psychiatric care through video calls for anyone that needed it during the pandemic.

Tomislav Sokol (EPP, HR)

MEP Tomislav Sokol has undertaken many actions to show his commitment to fighting for health and wellbeing in Europe. He is a member of the Special Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic: lessons learned and recommendations for the future (COVI) where he is the EPP group coordinator and a substitute on the Subcommittee on Public Health (SANT) and the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committee (ENVI). MEP Sokol has a positive attitude towards healthcare and his commitment to improving healthcare outcomes is evident in every aspect of his work. He has strongly advocated for the creation of a European Health Data Space to provide a framework for the safe and secure sharing of health data across the EU along with promoting the use of digital health technologies, such as telemedicine and electronic health records, which can potentially improve healthcare outcomes and increase efficiency.

István Ujhelyi (S&D, HU)

Health and wellbeing have been at the heart of the hard work undertaken by MEP István Ujhelyi. Through his work on the Subcommittee on Public Health (SANT) and the Environment Public Health and Food Safety committee (ENVI), he has pushed for legislative change to make the political landscape more aware of health and wellbeing issues. His work away from policy however has stood out as exemplary. MEP Ujhelyi has worked hard to raise awareness of the importance of establishing a European broad health movement to achieve better health and social care for all citizens across the EU. He has hosted multiple events on health issues, welcomed dialogue from groups and stakeholders from across the EU as well as sitting as Political Co-Chair of Partnering4PNH.

Maria Walsh (EPP, IE)

Mental Health was a key aspect of MEP Walsh’s election campaign in 2019. Despite mental health not being a full competency of the EU, she has submitted several amendments on mental health to ensure Parliament reports contain a reference to the impact of mental health. She has also been Rapporteur on the first Report dedicated to mental health in the Parliament “Mental Health & the Digital World of Work”. As a Co-Chair on the Mental Health Alliance and the Coalition of Mental Health and Wellbeing Interest Groups in the Parliament, MEP Walsh is dedicated to raising the cross-sectional impacts of mental health and is leading the charge to have an EU Year dedicated to Mental Health and a comprehensive, dedicated EU Strategy for Mental Health.

Infrastructure, Transport and Mobility

For contributions to and accomplishments in fostering sustainable mobility, investing in infrastructure, and supporting Europe’s transport industry

Karima Delli (Greens/EFA, FR)

An environmentalist MEP first elected in 2009, MEP Karima Delli became Chairwoman of the Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN) in 2017. MEP Delli has always expressed her support for the development of a more sustainable mobility model, with the goal of facing up to the challenges of our century: protecting the climate, public health and promoting the accessibility of mobility. For MEP Delli, the transport sector is absolutely key to fighting climate change. She was at the foundation of the Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the automotive sector (Dieselgate), where she was Vice-Chair. MEP Delli is also the TRAN Rapporteur for opinion on the impactful CO2 emission standards for cars and vans file.

Jan Huitema (RE, NL)

MEP Jan Huitema is the Parliament’s Rapporteur for what has probably been the most impactful piece of legislation in the mobility and transport sector over the past year: CO2 Emissions Reduction Targets for New Passenger Cars and Light Commercial Vehicles, part of the “Fit for 55” package. This landmark piece of legislation is designed to end sales of new CO2-emitting cars by 2035, and lower CO2 emissions by 55% from 2030, versus 2021 levels, among other provisions. MEP Huitema played a key role in negotiating the Parliament’s position on the file during the trilogues. For Huitema, an ambitious revision of CO2-standards is a crucial part of reaching EU’s climate targets, creating clarity for the car industry.

Dominique Riquet (RE, FR)

As an active member of the Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN), MEP Dominique Riquet was the Co-Rapporteur on the Trans-European transport network (TEN-T) file along with MEP Barbara Thaler. This has been a crucial ongoing piece of legislation on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network. MEP Riquet’s contribution has been largely praised by the TRAN Committee. Since first being elected in 2009, MEP Riquet has sought to play a strong role in developing and connecting transports market in Europe, with a special focus on infrastructure investment.

Barbara Thaler (EPP, AT)

MEP Barbara Thaler was the EPP Shadow Rapporteur on the European Year of Rail and a member of the Sky & Space intergroup. An active member of the Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN), she was the Co-Rapporteur on the Trans-European transport network (TEN-T) file along with MEP Dominique Riquet. MEP Thaler’s contribution to the file has been widely praised by her colleagues within the TRAN Committee. Current TEN-T projects range from Rail Baltica, connecting Helsinki and Warsaw, to Brenner Base Tunnel, linking Austria and Italy, or the Lisbon–Madrid high-speed rail line.

MEP Assistant

Category Partner

Awarded to the Accredited Parliamentary Assistant (APA) who has gone above and beyond in their duties

Marco Castagneto Office of MEP Moretti (S&D, IT)

Marco Castagneto has given many years of personal dedication not only to serving and supporting his MEP Alessandra Moretti, but more generally, to ensuring EU cancer policy is well advanced and scrutinised with the support of the full European Parliament. Marco played a major role in supporting the S&D group’s engagement with the creation and content of the landmark report of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA). This report helped to forge consensus between political groupings on issues where divergent views might otherwise impede agreement, ensuring the report’s recommendations had strength and precision in their ask.

Èimear Deery Office of MEP Walsh (EPP, IE)

Èimear Deery joined MEP Maria Walsh’s team in July 2019. Prior to this, she worked as an Intern for MEP Marian Harkin. In the past years she has grown to be a trusted advisor, colleague and a ‘go to’ for other Parliament Offices. Èimear focuses her time on the protection of citizen’s fundamental rights and works to eradicate all inequalities for citizens; mental health, those with different abilities, the LGBTI+ community to name a few. Her work has driven the office of MEP Walsh and EPP Group to focus their effort on raising awareness of citizens mental health in Europe, as well as the most recent unblocking the Anti-Discrimination Directive, and eradicating the growing industry of human trafficking.

Pauline Frouin Office of MEP Canfin (RE, FR)

Pauline Frouin has been in charge of negotiating all Green Deal files, anticipating possible political deals across political groups and with the other EU institutions, as the Assistant of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Chair MEP Pascal Canfin. Pauline’s work and dedication has enabled the Parliament secure ambitious deal on major climate files, supporting the EU’s leadership on climate. Despite only joining the European Parliament in 2020, she quickly managed to grasp the rules and procedures necessary to negotiate major technical files, including the reform of the European carbon market and the Carbon Border Adjustment mechanism. Pauline’s involvement contributed to the EU’s climate ambition and helped the European Parliament reach ambitious deals.

Kai Zenner Office of MEP Voss (EPP, DE)

A digital enthusiast focusing on Artificial Intelligence, data and the EU’s digital transition, Kai Zenner has not only gained a great deal of expertise in this area over the years, but is actively shaping Europe’s digital future and its legal framework together with his MEP Axel Voss. He has worked on important files such as GDPR to ePrivacy to Eurojust to Artificial Intelligence. In doing so, Kai has taken the principle of transparent communication and regular exchange with stakeholders to a new level. On his blog and on social media, he informs the public about the work on dossiers and feeds back with all interested stakeholders on progress achieved in behind closed door negotiations in a structured and open process. This leads to real added value and a qualitative improvement in legislation and strengthens public confidence in the credibility of the EU institutions. Kai is praised by his colleagues not only for his incredible knowledge of digital policy, but also for his inspiring, driven, hard working, innovative and unique professional attitude.

Outstanding Contribution to Parliament

Given to a member of staff from the Parliament who has dedicated their career to supporting the European Parliament

Patrice Audibert, APA, Office of MEP RIES (RE, FR)

Patrice Audibert has worked for MEP Frédérique Ries for more than 20 years. During this time, he has covered a broad range of topics but has specialised in policy for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. Patrice has drafted many reports with his MEP, including on GMO, Single Use plastics and now Packaging and Packaging waste. These are only a few examples of the many achievements he can take credit for. This has been testament to his hard work and enthusiasm, but also and most of all thanks to his patience. Being an assistant for such a long amount of time, consistently on top files, requires a very high level of expertise, social skills and resilience.

Katarzyna Biniaszczyk, APA, Office of MEP FRANKOWSKI (EPP, PL)

Kasia Biniaszczyk is a Member of the APA Committee and represents the interests of assistants in the European Parliament. By providing crucial support to assistants who in turn support MEPs, Kasia plays a vital role in increasing the Parliament’s efficiency and helping to create the best conditions for MEPs to carry out their mandates. Kasia has also worked on different dossiers in the Culture and Education Committee for nearly 15 years as an assistant to Polish MEPs. She is well liked and deeply appreciated not only by the MEPs who have worked with her in the Committee, or in the EP Sports Group, but also by political advisers, assistants and external stakeholders.

Delphine Colard, Head of Unit – Spokesperson’s Unit & Deputy Spokesperson

Delphine Colard has been working for the European Parliament for more than a decade. Her contribution to the EP strategy against disinformation is remarkable. Lately, ‘Qatar Gate’ has kept her busy day and night, during weekends and holidays where she answered countless questions from journalists, helped colleagues to communicate and provided substantial strategic feedback on the efforts to her hierarchy. Internally in the European Parliament she is tirelessly working on making sure communication is accurate, by helping colleagues in her own DG – and beyond – to get facts and angles right. With a rare 360-degree approach and a work capacity way above the average, she manages to be on top of a tremendous number of topics at the same time.

Susanne Ivarsson, Civil Servant

Susanne Ivarsson has worked in the European Parliament for 25 years. Working in the security office, she lets in hundreds and hundreds of visitors to the Parliament every day. Praised by her colleagues as highly professional and always friendly, she speaks five languages at mother tongue level and is incredibly helpful with her colleagues and all visitors to the Parliament. She may not work at the forefront of the policy making, but her impeccable work ethic and commitment to the job and to the institution is unparalleled, and incredibly valuable asset to the functioning of the Institution.

Promoting European Values

Photo of flag of the European Union

For contributions to standing up for and/or promoting European values within Europe and on the global stage

Vladimír Bilčík (EPP, SK)

As an MEP since 2019, MEP Vladimír Bilčík is a Member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), the Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group, and the PEGA Committee. MEP Bilčík is particularly active on the rule of law, the fight against disinformation, and hybrid threats. He is currently a rapporteur on the report on the ING2 Special Committee, on recommendations for reform of European Parliament’s rules on transparency, integrity, accountability and anti-corruption.

Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield (Greens/EFA, FR)

Elected in 2019, MEP Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield is the Vice-President of the Greens/EFA group. From 2019 until 2020, MEP Delbos-Corfield served as Vice-Chair of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM). In 2020, she joined the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) and the Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union (INGE). She is also member of the Democracy, Rule of Law & Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group (DRFMG) and the Rapporteur on situation in Hungary and the risk of breach of the values on which the Union is founded. MEP Delbos-Corfield defends a Europe of values, feminist and inclusive, and works to ensure that the action of environmentalists is useful to all, especially in countries where ecology is fragile or even absent.

Vlad Gheorge (RE, RO)

MEP Vlad Gheorge has been a Renew Europe MEP since November 2020, USR-PLUS Alliance candidate and a USR member since 2016. He is also a member of the Committee on Budgets (BUDG), the Petitions Committee (PETI) and the Delegation to the EU-Serbia Stabilization and Association Parliamentary Committee (D-RS). In February 2022, MEP Gheorghe set up the largest public group for volunteers to help Ukrainians fleeing war. The United for Ukraine Group currently has over 284,000 members and the number is constantly growing, with over 30,000 registered volunteers offering accommodation, transport or donations of goods. It is the biggest support group for Ukraine in Romania, it is also the second aid group for Ukrainians in Europe.

Evin Incir (S&D, SE)

Since taking office in 2019, MEP Evin Incir has dedicated her work as a legislator to fight for democracy, human rights and the rule of law. MEP Incir serves in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) as well as the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET). She is an active member of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights, LGBTQI Intergroup and the Anti Racism Intergroup. Since she believes elections are the spirit of democracy, she frequently takes part in the election observation missions of the European Parliament, including heading the EP missions to Kenya (2022) and Nigeria (2023). Her background as Kurdish migrant in Sweden has formed her world view and her firm belief that solidarity must never see any borders. MEP Incir believes that the struggle for democracy, human rights and the rule of law in EU must go hand in hand with the struggle for those rights beyond EUs borders.

Youth Champion

Category Partner

For contributions to furthering young people’s opportunities such as jobs, internships, education, housing etc. Open to MEPs of any age who have championed youth issues.

Irena Joveva (RE, SI)

MEP Irena Joveva has shown strong commitment to being a Youth Champion for younger generations across the EU. As a member of the Culture and Education and Environment (CULT), Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committees, MEP Joveva has campaigned on many issues important to the youth, including a ban of unpaid traineeships. Alongside this, she has worked on the European Solidarity Corps, is Co-Chair of the Volunteering interest group and has organised roundtables looking at the mental health of youth following the COVID-19 pandemic to name but a few initiatives. She strives to bring politics closer to the younger generations and has created a website dedicated to and for young people – Ideje, ki presegajo meje (translation: Beyond Borders Ideas) where young people can send their ideas, proposals and thoughts about the EU, the parliamentary legislation and things they want to see changed.

Victor Negrescu (S&D, RO)

Already in his second term, MEP Victor Negrescu has been a champion of future generations across Europe. Much of his hard work has focused around increasing access to quality education, youth participation and engaging the youth to reach their full potential. This has specifically focused around access to quality digital education, especially for those in communities with low accessibility to digital infrastructure. These projects allow young people to thrive in modern society. Away from the project, MEP Negrescu is an active member of the EU40, an advocate for the European Year of Youth and launched a dedicated campaign, YouthUP, to ask the European Commission to present a follow-up of the European Year of Youth.

Lídia Pereira (EPP, PT)

Along with serving as an MEP in the EPP group, MEP Lídia Pereira is the President of YEPP, the largest political youth organisation. Since the beginning of her mandate, MEP Pereira has been deeply invested in youth policy, with particular concern around the well-being of the future generations. As a member of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI), she has also been a spokesperson for the need to ensure generational solidarity in every step the EU takes regarding climate and environment and even ran a carbon neutral election campaign to raise awareness of climate change. In Portugal, MEP Pereira has played major roles in the Youth level of the PSD party.

Nicolae Ştefănuță (Greens/EFA, RO)

MEP Nicolae Ştefănuță has been a strong promoter for the Erasmus+ programme to help young generations across Europe to experience new cultures and learn from their European neighbours. As the general Rapporteur of the EU Budget 2023, MEP Ştefănuță negotiated with the Council to obtain one billion euro in comparison to the initial draft of the Commission more for to address the challenges the EU is facing and the expectations of our fellow citizens. This included securing an extra 120 million euros for Erasmus+, with the budget for Erasmus+ nearly doubled to around EUR 26.4 billion in the present multiannual financial framework (MFF), compared to the 2014-2020 MFF. Thanks to the work of MEP Ştefănuță, Erasmus+ grants for students were raised from a minimum of 600 euros, to 674 euros inline with inflation.

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