Emerging Europe rewards its brightest and best in Brussels at the awards ceremony
Individuals, companies and organizations from all over Central and Eastern Europe saw their work recognized at the fourth annual Emerging Europe awards ceremony, held on September 15 in Brussels.
The work of more than 60 NGOs, companies and individuals from all over Central and Eastern Europe was recognized in Brussels on September 15 at the Emerging Europe Awards 2021, the fourth edition of a program that highlights best practices, the innovation and courage in the region.
The winners, spread across the five pillars of emerging Europe, based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (People, Planet, Prosperity, Partnership, Peace), were for the first time chosen by the global community of Emerging Europe: in total, more than 8,000 votes were cast for the various nominees.
The awards were presented by Kasia Madera of the BBC.
“Our awards have always mattered to their winners, but I think this year knowing that they have been chosen by our community makes them even more special,” said Andrew Wrobel, Founder of Emerging Europe.
People & Planet
Among the winners of the People pillar was Youth Cancer Europe, a community led by young cancer patients and cancer survivors that strives to improve the lives of those diagnosed with the disease, chosen as the initiative of the year in health and social protection.
“We are based in Romania but active across Europe,” said Victor Girbu of Youth Cancer Europe. “We believe everyone has the right to cancer treatment. “
AsperIT, a Wrocław-based organization that trains people with Asperger’s to work in IT, was also honored, winner of the Emerging Europe Youth Empowerment Initiative of the Year.
Meanwhile, The Coding School for Women, a Georgian NGO that teaches coding to women and girls, was named the Time-Proof Education Initiative of the Year, and Serbian artist Andrej Josifovski won the prize for artistic success for Save Our Home, a portrait made from 4000 plastics. bottles to mark World Rivers Day.
In the Planet pillar, Respect Energy, the only company in Poland that obtains and sells energy exclusively from renewable sources, won the Green Energy Initiative Award, while the Slovenian NGO Ekologi Brez Meja (Ecologists Without Borders) won the Sustainable Lifestyles gong.
The People-First Economy Award, one of the six Prosperity categories, was awarded to The East Europe Foundation, a Ukrainian NGO also active in Belarus and Moldova which invests in local initiatives to develop private entrepreneurship, public policies and civil society.
Other winners included Sygic, a Slovakian car navigation system that makes travel more sustainable, which was named Emerging Europe’s World Champion of the Year, and the Social Impact Award, which runs education and training programs. incubation in more than 15 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia to support start-up social entrepreneurs.
French energy company Eurocape was voted Foreign Investor of the Year in the region, recognition for its efforts to provide clean and cheap energy to more than 200,000 homes in Ukraine through its Zaporizhia wind farm. .
The Estonian Investment Agency won the Investment Promotion Agency of the Year award – for the second year in a row – while Łódź was named Business Friendly City of the Year: two categories including the winners were determined by empirical research from Emerging Europe.
Partnership & Peace
In the Partnership pillar, the regional innovation program of EIT Health won the award for regional collaboration initiative of the year, with the Polish code of conduct in the field of health winning the award for regional collaboration initiative. development of modern and sustainable policies.
In the peace pillar, the initiative of the year award for democracy, human rights and the rule of law was awarded to the strike of women from all over Poland, which led a campaign against increasingly restrictive anti-abortion laws in Poland, while Belarusian media NEXTA won the Media Freedom and Responsible Reporting Award.
“The fight continues,” said Marta Lempart of All-Poland Women’s Strike. “Argentinian women fought for 15 years to legalize abortion. We are ready to do the same.
A number of individual awards were also presented, again with the Belarusian opposition in the foreground.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the de facto leader of the country’s opposition movement, was named Emerging Europe’s Public Figure of the Year, in recognition of her tireless efforts to maintain the country’s struggle for freedom and democracy in the eyes of the international audience since a rigged presidential election in August 2020.
Although Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko claimed to have won the election with an implausible 80% of the vote, Tikhanovskaya was almost certainly the real winner.
“I am extremely honored and touched to receive the Public Personality of the Year award,” said Tikhanovskaya, who was forced into exile shortly after the elections.
“When I joined the presidential campaign in the summer of 2020, I was scared but wanted to help,” added Tikhanovskaya, who dedicated the award to her husband, Sergei Tikhanovsky, who remains in prison in Belarus.
“Together, we have shown the world how much power participatory democracy can unleash. My only role as a leader is to listen to people, make their voices heard and harness the power of collective intelligence.
Vera Platonova of VISA was another winner – of the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award – for her continued support to women entrepreneurs in the region.
Edita Velić, one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s youngest female politicians, was voted Young Influencer of the Year for her campaign to encourage young women to get involved in the male-dominated political environment of his country.
Finally, two personalities from the world of international finance and medical sciences have been named winners of the Professor Günter Verheugen and Princess Marina Sturdza prizes of emerging Europe for 2021.
The Professor Günter Verheugen Prize, awarded to eminent personalities outside emerging Europe who have contributed to the prosperity and peace of the region, was awarded this year to Sir Suma Chakrabarti, former head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and development (EBRD), while the Princess Marina Sturdza Prize, awarded to eminent figures in the region who have contributed to its prosperity, science, culture and peace, is awarded to Professor Katalin Karikó, whose work formed the basis of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The complete list of the winners of the Emerging Europe Awards 2021:
Artistic achievement: Save our house
Health and social protection: Youth Cancer Europe
Youth empowerment: AsperIT
Education that stands the test of time: coding school for women
Green energy: Respect energy
Sustainable Lifestyles: Ecologists Without Borders (Ekologi Brez Meja)
People-oriented economy: the Eastern Europe Foundation
Inclusive entrepreneurship: Social impact award
Foreign investor: EuroCape
World Champion: Sygic
Investment Promotion Agency: Estonian Investment Agency
Good business city: Łódź
Regional collaboration: EIT Health regional innovation program
Modern and sustainable policy making: Polish Code of Conduct in the field of health
Democracy, human rights and the rule of law: women’s strike across Poland
Media freedom and responsible reporting: NEXTA
Public figure of the year: Svetlana Tikhanovskaya
Professor Günter Verheugen Prize: Sir Suma Chakrabarti
Marina Sturdza Prize: Katalin kariko
Woman entrepreneur: Vera Platonova
Young influencer: Edita Velić
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