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On the evening of 1 December, the European Movement International together with the European Women’s Lobby held the Women of Europe Awards ceremony at the Women’s Rights House of Brussels.

The Women of Europe Awards is a new EMI-EWL initiative, building upon the national awards of several National European Movement Councils. The Awards were handed out to honour women striving to advance the European project in their professional or private capacity. The role of women in the European project remains largely unrecognised, and the Awards highlight the contribution of women in promoting and advancing European issues and help increase the presence and involvement of women in debates about Europe and its future.

The winner in the Woman in Power category is Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, who received the jury’s award for women showing extraordinary leadership on a European level. Commissioner Vestager, who was not able to attend the Awards in person, dedicated the award to every woman who takes action for a better, democratic and more equal Europe.

European Movement and European Women’s Lobby members from all over Europe selected Adela Ionela Dinu as the winner of the Woman in Action category. Dinu, who sadly passed away earlier this year, was deemed to have undertaken extraordinary actions at grass-roots level in Romania and Europe. Adela Ionela Dinu worked tirelessly to make a positive change in the life of women in Europe. She made a mark in the field of domestic violence and access to education, and developed a new management approach based on gender equality that was passed on to over 3.000 female managers and entrepreneurs in Europe. She dedicated her career to empowering women, until a sudden disease resulted in a too-early death in February 2016.

A Jury composed of high-level stakeholders from the cultural, social, media and political sectors chose the first Award winner. The members of the jury included: Anna Diamantopoulou, President of the Greek think-tank To Diktio, former European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities; Maria Arena MEP, Member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality; Daniela Vincenti, Editor-in-Chief at EurActiv; Rick Zedník, Chief Executive Officer of the Women in Parliaments Global Forum; Eva Paunova MEP, EMI Vice-President; Pauline Mukanza, EWL Board Member.

The other nominees in the Woman in Power category were: Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris; Catherine Day, former Secretary General of the European Commission; Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission; and Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills, and Labour Mobility.

Other nominees for the Woman in Action category included: Annemarie Jorritsma-Lebbink, Mayor of Almere and former Dutch politician; Edit Schlaffer, founder of Women Without Borders; Esmeralda Romanez, Romani women activist; and Nadiya Savchenko, former Ukrainian Army aviation pilot and member of the Ukrainian Parliament.

The event was kindly sponsored by ACCABurson-MarstellerErnst & Young, and Volkswagen. The media partner for this event was EurActiv.

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