Shortlist 2024

Please find below the details of those individuals shortlisted for five of the eight MEP Awards 2024.

Please note: There are no shortlists for the Speech of the Mandate, MEP Lifetime Achievement or Special 20th Anniversary Award, and the winners of these awards will be announced on the night at the gala dinner.

MEP of the Mandate

Awarded to an MEP who has gone above and beyond in their duties during the 9th parliamentary term. This Award will recognise hard work, dedication, innovation, and integrity for the duration of the mandate. It’s not just the Rapporteur on the biggest files we will be looking for, but true dedication to the institutions.

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Brando Benifei (IT, S&D) & Dragoş Tudorache (RO, Renew) – JOINT NOMINEES

Co-rapporteurs Benifei and Tudorache played a pivotal role in crafting the groundbreaking Artificial Intelligence Act, establishing the EU as the first continent with clear regulations for AI. Hailed by Commissioner Thierry Breton, the Act serves as a comprehensive rulebook, propelling EU startups globally and shaping ethical AI governance. Their impactful contributions, addressing risks, transparency, and accountability, position them as key figures in fostering responsible and ethical AI use for societal well-being. Recognising their significant role is essential in acknowledging their crucial contributions to AI governance.

Pascal Canfin (FR, Renew)

Pascal Canfin deserves recognition for his impactful leadership as the Chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety in the European Parliament. His commitment to environmental sustainability, legislative initiatives on climate action, and advocacy for biodiversity conservation, including key contributions to the Fit for 55 climate legislation, highlight his instrumental role in shaping EU policies for a greener future and contributing significantly to global environmental efforts.

Sara Cerdas (PT, S&D)

Sara Cerdas, a public health doctor and an MEP since 2019, has significantly impacted health legislation during her first mandate. Serving in the Committee on Public Health, Food Safety, and Environment, and co-chairing the Health Working Group, she actively shapes policies to enhance public health. Cerdas has played a crucial role in key reports like the “EU4Health Programme” and “Serious cross-border threats to health,” showcasing her commitment to addressing health challenges. Her proactive stance, recognised through awards and nominations such as the 2020 MEP Award winner on health, underscores her impactful contributions to advancing health legislation in the European Parliament.

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Frances Fitzgerald (IE, EPP)

Frances Fitzgerald, an MEP since 2019 and member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, has been a staunch advocate for women’s rights. As the lead negotiator, she played a pivotal role in shaping the first-ever piece of EU legislation to combat violence against women. Fitzgerald’s proposal included standardised minimum standards for crimes, victim support measures, and common definitions for rape across Europe. She consistently champions gender equality, pushing for a comprehensive directive to ensure uniform treatment of violence against women across EU Member States, fostering a united front against gender-based violence.

Bernd Lange (DE, S&D)

Bernd Lange, currently serving as the Chair of the INTA Committee, has been an MEP since 1994. Throughout his extensive tenure, he has showcased a commendable record of impactful legislative contributions and a steadfast commitment to fostering dialogue and meaningful policies within the European Parliament. Since 2019, Lange has continued to shape European policies, holding key roles in the Conference of Committee Chairs and the Contact Group on the EU Vaccine Strategy. His involvement in the Fair-Trade Working Group, Brexit/EU-UK Coordination Group, and the ASEAN Delegation underscores his dedication to global cooperation. These activities have reinforced his influential role in the Parliament.

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Jutta Paulus (DE, Greens/EFA)

Jutta Paulus, a first-term MEP for the Greens, has been a driving force in shaping the EU’s climate policies, notably contributing to the Fit for 55 climate package. As a member of the Parliament’s environment committee, she has actively engaged in negotiations on critical climate and environment proposals. Paulus, a licensed pharmacist, has brought a unique perspective to her role. Advocating for sustainable fuels and pushing for maritime transport inclusion in the Emissions Trading System, her impactful contributions have highlighted her commitment to addressing climate challenges in the European Parliament.

Christel Schaldemose (DK, S&D) & Andreas Schwab (DE, EPP) – JOINT NOMINEES

Christel Schaldemose, a Danish Social Democrat, and Andreas Schwab, a German member of the European People’s Party, have played pivotal roles in shaping Europe’s digital rules. Schaldemose, primarily focused on consumer protection, redirected her expertise to the Digital Services Act (DSA), emphasising governance for online marketplaces. Schwab, with a history of challenging Big Tech, led efforts on the Digital Markets Act (DMA), advocating for ‘ex ante’ competition rules for major tech players. Their combined influence led to the European Parliament’s historic approval, marking a significant step in regulating digital platforms and ensuring fair and accountable online markets.

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Nils Torvalds (FI, Renew)

Nils Torvalds, a dedicated advocate for the circular economy and EU industrial competitiveness, played a pivotal role in shaping the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation. As a pragmatic legislator and Renew Europe political group coordinator, he champions harmonised rules for cross-border business, aligning with climate goals while safeguarding EU industry competitiveness. Torvalds’ substantial contributions reflect his commitment to fostering a circular economy and addressing key challenges within the European Parliament. As a long-serving MEP, Torvalds continues to contribute significantly to European cooperation and policymaking.

APA of the Mandate

Awarded to an Accredited Parliamentary Assistant (APA) who has demonstrated a real commitment to assist politicians in making good policy. We will be not only looking for those who have worked on the biggest files, but also those who have a proven track record of facilitating discussions amongst stakeholders, who have gone the extra mile to unearth fact, figures and human stories to shape the best policy.

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Tomas James Baynes, Office of MEP Ciaran Cuffe (IE, Greens/EFA)

Tomas James Baynes demonstrated exceptional dedication during negotiations for the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, surmounting numerous challenges. The parliamentary team faced internal divisions, media criticism in Italy and Germany, and the intensity of trilogue negotiations amid “Green Deal fatigue” and a change in Commissioner. Despite these hurdles, Tomas remained patient and kind. Engaging with various stakeholders, including think tanks, NGOs, and the private industry, he contributed to a directive that not only ensures social safeguards and citizen empowerment in renovations but also promises far-reaching benefits, from increased energy efficiency to positive health impacts.

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Katarzyna Biniaszczyk, Office of MEP Tomasz Frankowski (PL, EPP)

Katarzyna Biniaszczyk, an unparalleled expert in EU sports policy, has been a key player in shaping impactful sports initiatives. Serving as coordinator of the EU Sports “Group” since 2015, she led the group’s work, organising crucial events, delivering projects, and managing communications. Biniaszczyk’s dedication extends to her role in developing significant sports reports within the European Parliament, where she facilitated consensus on critical topics. Her work ethics, impartiality, and constructive approach have not only benefited the EU Parliament but have also strengthened the credibility of the institution in sports governance. Katia is also a Member of the APA Committee.

Rose Ní Chléirigh, Office of MEP Grace O’Sullivan (IE, Greens/EFA)

Rose Ní Chléirigh has been instrumental in establishing and managing a new MEP’s office, emphasising transparency and excellent working conditions. Her dedication to climate action is evident in navigating complex environmental files, including the 8th Environment Action Programme and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation. Despite facing numerous corporate and political interests, Rose’s integrity and competence shone through. She prioritises legislation over image, contributing significantly to the Greens/EFA Group and creating a balanced and transparent working environment for the entire team. Rose’s selfless commitment benefits not only the MEP but also fellow assistants and the broader European community.

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Emilio Puccio, Office of MEP Milan Brglez (SL, S&D)

Emilio Puccio, Secretary General of the Child Rights Intergroup, demonstrated exceptional coordination, managing a network of 120 MEPs and 26 child-focused organisations. His efforts enhanced the intergroup’s influence, focusing on critical areas like migration, child poverty, and online protection. Initiating impactful campaigns for child rights, advocating for participation, and proposing a permanent body in the European Parliament, Puccio ensured prioritisation of children’s rights in legislative files, benefiting both MEPs and civil society organisations.

Christos Vasilakos, Office of MEP Maria Spyraki (GR, EPP)

Christos Vasilakos played a pivotal role in shaping MEP Spyraki’s work on the CLP regulation, fostering stakeholder engagement and consensus. Recognised by the Eurogroup for Animals, he connected NGOs, consumer groups, and MEPs, ensuring diverse concerns were heard. His influential role in the Classification, Labelling, and Packaging Regulation reflects a commitment to inclusive decision-making, diplomatic negotiation, and a science-based approach, aligning legislative proposals with EU competitiveness goals and effective policies. 

European Values Champion of the Mandate

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For contributions to standing up for and/or promoting European values (as defined in the Lisbon Treaty) within Europe and on the global stage, strengthening human rights, justice, and the rule of law.

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Abir Al-Sahlani (SE, Renew)

Abir Al-Sahlani, a Swedish MEP, made headlines when she cut her hair during a European Parliament speech to show solidarity with Mahsa Amini and protest Iranian women’s rights abuses. Serving on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, she actively supports various causes, including disability rights and LGBT rights. As part of the Renew Europe Presidency, she holds the role of Vice-President and is responsible for relations with ALDE, civil society, and NGOs in climate and environment. Al-Sahlani emphasises the importance of unity in the EU to pressure the Iranian regime for human rights.

Picture of MEP Robert Biedroń (S&D, PL)

Robert Biedroń (PL, S&D)

Robert Biedroń, Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), is a vocal LGBTQ+ rights advocate in Poland and Europe. As founder of the Campaign Against Homophobia, he actively champions LGBTQ+ rights and serves on the European Parliament’s LGBTI Intergroup. An MEP since 2019, Biedroń received the Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Impact Award in 2023. His commitment extends to supporting the democratic opposition in Belarus and organising the European Gender Equality Week, highlighting the universal importance of gender equality and human rights. 

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Vladimír Bilčík (SK, EPP)

Vladimír Bilčík, as co-rapporteur on the ING2 Special Committee, played a pivotal role in the report addressing foreign interference and disinformation in EU democratic processes. Adopted with strong support on 1st June 2023, the ING2 report focuses on reforming the European Parliament’s rules on transparency, integrity, accountability, and anti-corruption. Bilčík’s expertise and dedication in combating foreign interference underline his significant contributions, aligning with his active role on key committees, including LIBE, and highlighting his commitment to upholding the rule of law, combating disinformation, and addressing hybrid threats within the EU.

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Frances Fitzgerald (IE, EPP) & Evin Incir (SE, S&D) – JOINT NOMINEES

As members of the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee and the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, respectively, Frances Fitzgerald and Evin Incir played crucial roles in endorsing the report Combating violence against women and domestic violence. The report emphasises the principle that violence against women includes sex without consent, urging improved rules on consent assessments, expanded aggravating circumstances, and enhanced support for victims. Their advocacy for women’s rights and safety in Europe, particularly in addressing issues of consent and online violence, merits recognition and awards consideration.

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Pierre Karleskind (FR, Renew)

Pierre Karleskind, a dedicated MEP and Vice President of the LGTBI Intergroup, played a pivotal role in initiating a European Parliament report that declared the EU an “LGBTIQ Freedom Zone.” The resolution, which passed with a substantial majority (492 to 141 votes), addresses anti-LGBTQ sentiments in Polish cities and advocates for EU-wide protection of LGBTQ rights. Specifically targeting discriminatory measures in Poland, the resolution calls for financial consequences. Karleskind’s impactful advocacy reflects his unwavering commitment to equality and fundamental rights within the European Union, making him a deserving nominee for his efforts in promoting inclusivity and combating discrimination during this mandate.

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Sabine Verheyen (DE, EPP) & Tiemo Wölken (DE, S&D) – JOINT NOMINEES

Sabine Verheyen, as rapporteur for the EU Media Freedom Act (EMFA), played a crucial role in negotiations to protect media freedom and industry viability. Key provisions include source protection, restrictions on spyware, media ownership transparency, fair state advertising allocation, and measures against arbitrary content decisions. Tiemo Wölken, as rapporteur for the EU directive countering Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs), championed protections for journalists and activists against baseless lawsuits. Despite challenges, the directive introduces safeguards, NGO participation, and support for SLAPP victims, enhancing freedom of expression. Both legislative milestones currently await formal approval by the relevant committees and the Parliament. 

Youth Champion of the Mandate

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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.

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Alex Agius Saliba (MT, S&D)

Alex Agius Saliba played a significant role as rapporteur for the Digital Services Act, contributing to shaping rules for online platforms. As Co-chair of the MEP Alliance for Mental Health, he emphasised commitment to mental health advocacy. Actively engaging in committees such as Internal Market, Petitions, and Employment, Agius Saliba demonstrated broad involvement in EU policy areas. Leading negotiations on the Common Charger Resolution underscores dedication to technology standardisation, establishing him as a notable figure in legislative initiatives.

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Isabel Carvalhais (PT, S&D)

Isabel Carvalhais is an influential member of the European Parliament who has actively contributed to agricultural and rural development. Since 2019, she has served on the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and, since 2020, on the Committee on Fisheries. Carvalhais has played a key role in addressing generational challenges in EU farms, advocating for policies supporting young farmers’ access to resources. Her efforts include proposing EU legislation to enhance farmland markets, creating an observatory, and promoting national strategies for generational change. The draft resolution underscores the importance of training and internet access for young farmers, aiming to equip them for sustainable and digital farming practices. Carvalhais’ dedication is evident in her commitment to fostering a vibrant future for European agriculture.

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Lídia Pereira (PT, EPP)

MEP Lídia Pereira, also the President of YEPP, the largest political youth organisation in Europe, has been actively engaged in youth policy and proactively furthered environmental concerns from young citizens. Serving as an EPP group MEP, Pereira prioritises the well-being of future generations. In the Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety Committee, she advocates for generational solidarity in EU decisions on climate and environment. Notably, Pereira’s carbon-neutral election campaign underscores her commitment to raising awareness about climate change. In Portugal, she has played significant roles in the youth sector of the PSD party, demonstrating a holistic dedication to youth and environmental issues. 

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Dragoș Pîslaru (RO, Renew)

MEP Dragoș Pîslaru is a dedicated advocate for youth empowerment in the European Parliament. Serving as the Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) and leading the Renew Europe Group in EMPL, he has prioritised issues related to child poverty and youth policies. Pîslaru’s impactful initiatives include spearheading the establishment of the first official working group on Social Affairs, specifically focusing on the well-being of younger generations. Notably, he champions youth causes through initiatives like the EMPL Working Group on the Child Guarantee, and as the rapporteur for the Resolution on empowering European youth: post-pandemic employment and social recovery, demonstrating a strong commitment to addressing challenges and advancing opportunities for the youth in Europe.

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Samira Rafaela (NL, Renew)

Samira Rafaela, a passionate D66 representative in the European Parliament, champions a robust, social, and secure Europe, embodying the EU’s diversity motto. As one of the youngest MEPs, she focuses on eliminating inequalities, fostering sustainable trade policies, and promoting an inclusive labor market. With a unique background, she became the first Dutch MEP with Afro-Caribbean roots. Rafaela emphasises the need to address challenges faced by young people, including climate and housing crises, urging effective political leadership and European solutions. Her commitment extends to supporting municipalities, raising the minimum wage, and leveraging social resources for a dignified future for the new generation in Europe.

Staffer Outstanding Contribution to Parliament

Given to a member of staff who has dedicated their career to supporting the European Parliament. This Award seeks to recognise those who work behind the scenes powering Parliament.

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Lawrence Cappelle, EPP Advisor ENVI Committee

Lawrence Cappelle deserves recognition for outstanding contributions to European climate policy. As an advisor for the EPP in the ENVI Committee, he played a pivotal role in negotiating major legislative files, including the EU’s Emission Trading System and the Social Climate Fund. Lawrence’s comprehensive knowledge, strategic analysis, and diplomatic negotiation skills were crucial in successful trilogue negotiations, making him an invaluable asset to the ENVI Committee, the European Parliament, and the EU’s climate policy goals.

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Raffaella De Marte, Head of the Media Services Unit, DG COMM

Raffaella De Marte merits recognition for exemplary coordination of press officers disseminating European Parliament Members’ activities. Her enthusiastic leadership ensures efficient communication relays, promoting Members’ engagements. Raffaella orchestrates impactful media seminars, providing privileged access for media professionals. As a skilled mentor and manager, she prioritises team well-being and skills development, fostering a committed work environment. Her organisational prowess shines in efficiently arranging media tours, enhancing the Institution and Members’ visibility.ll

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Emilie Tafanel, Policy Advisor for Renew Europe, LIBE Committee

Emilie Tafanel, through adept negotiation of complex legislative files like the Child Sexual Abuse Material Online Regulation and AI Act, has proven invaluable. Her expertise, political acumen, and adept management of diverse perspectives supported MEPs and assistants. Securing a broad majority for the Child Sexual Abuse Material Regulation showcased her skill in managing internal group dynamics, highlighting significant contributions to Renew’s legislative successes.

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.

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 the EPP group coordinator in the Subcommittee on Public Health (SANT) and a Vice Coordinator in the Special Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic: lessons learned and recommendations for the future (COVI) and a substitute member on 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 for which he is appointed a rapporteur, 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

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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

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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 Gheorghe (RE, RO)

MEP Vlad Gheorghe 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.

Customers reviews

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