On Wednesday 29th September, the Parliament Magazine launched this year’s MEP awards in the Concert Noble in Brussels. MEP editor and host of the event Catherine Stihler stated: “If we don't recognise an MEP's efforts, then no-one will. The majority of MEPs are hard working and committed individuals and their contributions should be honoured in the awards."
Among the winners was Irish MEP Gay Mitchell from the European People’s Party (EPP). Mitchell has been a key actor in the developing committee, actively promoting key development issues, such as the Millennium Development Goals, the Development Cooperation Instrument and others. Mitchell was one of the key actors in the fight for the adoption of the 20% investment in basic social services across all developing countries and urged for clear lines of accountability on the European External Action Service.
Irish EPP deputy Jim Higgins accepted the award on Mitchell’s behalf. "Gay is a wonderful person and a member of our EPP party with a real social conscience. I will be delivering it back to him in Dublin tomorrow."
The nomination of Gay Mitchell for the MEP award was generally welcomed by Development NGOs. Olive Towey, EU policy officer at Concern Worldwide and chair of the board of Eurostep said: “It is important that such efforts are recognized and acknowledged. Political leadership on Development Cooperation seldom makes the headlines – and yet it is so crucial to those living in poverty across the developing world and who are impacted daily by the policies and practices of the European Union.”