Friday

22nd Feb 2019

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.

Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table

EU probes into Hungary and Poland on rule of law and democracy are back on the agenda of EU affairs ministers - but with little guidance from the Romanian presidency, without a clear idea where the procedures are headed.

Calls for Tajani's resignation over Slovenia, Croatia row

The European Parliament's Italian president referred to Croatia and Slovenia as former Italian regions at the weekend, sparking outrage. Although Antonio Tajani apologised, somer former leaders and MEPs are now calling for his resignation.

MEPs call on EU countries to deal with Hungary

MEPs who launched a procedure examining the democratic situation in Hungary last year now want member states to step up efforts. The government in Budapest meanwhile accuses MEPs of attacking Hungary over migration.

Analysis

France and Germany hope to revive EU with Aachen treaty

In the face of attacks on the liberal world order and the EU, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron renew German-Franco cooperation - but their lack of political capital prevents bold visions or ambitious goals.

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