Monday

10th Dec 2018

Marco Cappato awarded European of the Year

The Italian radical MEP Marco Cappato last night in Brussels received the EV50 award as European of the Year. The price was given to Mr Cappato at a fashionable gala evening in the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts in the heart of Brussels.

Mr Cappato was chosen by some 7500 readers of the weekly newspaper, the European Voice, out of 50 nominees and in competition with strong candidates such as German foreign minister Joschka Fischer and French president Jacques Chirac. Mr Cappato is mostly known for his report on privacy in electronic communication.

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"The fight against terrorism should have our priority however not in combat and clash with basic human rights and freedoms," he said in his speech of thanks.

Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn was named as European politician of the Year, while another Dutchman, European Central Bank chief, Wim Duisenberg was awarded the title Business leader of the Year. Pope John Paul II took the title as European Campaigner in sharp competition with whistle blower and former EU Commission Chief Accountant Marta Andreasen. "As a Catholic I am not sorry to lose against the Pope", she smiled afterwards.

The title visionary of the year was given to Chairman of the European Convention Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. Again this year an American, Colin Powell, was awarded non-EU citizen of the year, last year this prize was taken by US President George W Bush. EU Commission president Romano Prodi was awarded diplomat of the year, EU Commissioner Margot Wallström European Commissioner of the Year, Emma Nicholson as MEP of the Year and Maggie O’Kane as journalist of the Year.

Each of the winners received a prize of 5000 euros to be donated to a charity of their choice. Publisher of European Voice, Dennis Landsbert-Noon, admitted some candidates had run campaign to win the prizes, however the important thing was that every one participating in this online EV50 vote had taken a step to bring Europe closer to its citizens.

Merkel loyalist AKK wins CDU leadership battle

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, seen as championing similar policies to Angela Merkel, has won the CDU party leadership contest and is thus the frontrunner to become chancellor once Merkel leaves. But a split party will mean challenges.

Analysis

CDU election - Merkel's big gamble or master move?

As the functions of Christian Democratic Union party leader and chancellor have historically always been held by the same person, the next CDU leader could take over Merkel's main job as well.

EU warns tech giants on Russian fake news

Social media platforms are told to tackle fake accounts and the spread of fake news more effectively before the European elections next May - or face regulation.

Soros' university forced out of Budapest, despite EU pledges

The American university is forced to move to Vienna, as EU institutions fail to curb Hungarian nationalist premier, Viktor Orban's push against academic freedom. "It is a dark day for Europe and a dark day for Hungary," the rector said.

Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot

Authorities in Budapest confirmed the former prime minister of Macedonia, fleeing a jail sentence in his own country, has filed for asylum. Despite Hungary's strict asylum laws, the pro-Kremlin politician was not turned away.

Merkel calls for 'real, true' EU army

Angela Merkel's much-anticipated speech to the European Parliament was brief and to the point. Her message: Europe is alone in the world, the EU should be more united on defence, but not on the economy.

News in Brief

  1. Belgium left with minority government after UN migration pact row
  2. EU court: UK can unilaterally revoke Article 50
  3. UK remains largest arms producer in western Europe
  4. Macron to address French nation in bid to calm tension
  5. Socialists confirm Timmermans as Spitzenkandidat
  6. France to investigate Kremlin influence on 'Yellow Vest' riots
  7. Air passenger transport in EU reaches record high
  8. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer wins CDU leadership election

Opinion

EU parliament vote strengthens whistleblower protection

We must not undervalue what a massive step the European Parliament vote represents. The hard work has paid off. We can take a moment to celebrate, but the hard work begins again for finalising strong protection for European whistleblowers.

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