Who do Europeans look to for inspiration and leadership? This year's European Leadership Awards provided the answers.
Along with the European Business Summit, Euronews’ audience voted to recognise the most outstanding contributions in the world of business, politics, and innovation.
Meet the finalists
European Leader of the year:
Emmanuel Macron – winner.
The public selected French President Emmanuel Macron as ‘European Leader of the Year’.
President Macron was voted in as president in 2017 despite never having held an elected office before. The youthful leader has been very vocal about his commitment to the EU.
**Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor **– nominee.
**Margrethe Vestager, European commissioner for competition **– nominee.
European CEO of the year
Edyta Kocyk – winner.
Polish entrepreneur Edyta Kocyk launched her business SiDLY in 2014 out of necessity. Her grandmother was sick and concerned for her well-being, the PhD graduate designed a telemedical wristband which is now used in some of Europe’s clinics and hospitals.
**Ana Botín **– nominee.
Executive chairman of the Santander Group, Botín leads the largest bank in Europe by market capitalisation, providing a steady hand leading the bank’s profits and acquisition strategy.
**Lisa Lang **– nominee.
Lang is a gamechanger in digital innovation. Founder of ElektroCouture in 2014, an internationally acclaimed fashion-tech brand, she is in the top 100 of most influential people in the world of wearable technology.
European entrepreneur of the year
Boyan Slat – winner.
In 2013 and at just 20 years-old, Dutch inventor Boyan Slat dropped out of his Aerospace Engineering course to launch The Ocean Cleanup, a system to speed up the removal of plastic amassing in the world’s oceans.
The first prototype was deployed in 2016 and Slat is now preparing the launch of the first full-scale operational system, expected in mid-2018.
**Antonio Lucena de Faria **– nominee.
Founder of his first company at 15 years old. Lucena is the brains behind Fabrica – an accelerator for Portuguese and Brazilian startups working on the challenges of renewable energy and urbanisation.
**Sebastian Siemiatkowski **– nominee.
Swedish Siemiatkowski founded the online payment portal, Klarma, at just 23 years old with no experience in banking. Today, over 60 million customers use his financial service.
European innovator of the year
Krisztián Imre – winner.
Krisztián is the Founder and CEO of EVA, the Extended Visual Assistant, which produces voice controlled glasses. EVA can significantly improve everyday activities for partially sighted people such as walking, reading, recognising objects and socialising.
**Max Mohammadi & Allen Mohammadi **– nominees.
After their grandmother died of a heart attack, the two Swedish-Iranian brothers invented Heartstrings, the world’s first artificial intelligence technology that diagnoses heart disease early. They were both featured on Forbes’ 30 under 30 Europe list.
**Professor Anibal Ollero **– nominee.
Scientific Advisor at the Center for Advanced Aerospace Technologies and head of the robotics division at the University of Seville, Ollero’s work on aerial robotics has led to the development of the first drones with advanced capabilities.
European personality of the year
Florin Badita – winner.
Activist, Badita is the founder of Corruption Kills, a key force fighting to put an end to the decriminalisation of Romania’s corruption cases.
**András Fekete-Győr **– nominee.
Activist, lawyer and politician, András is the leader of the Momentum Movement, a coalition for democracy in Hungary opposing the current government.
**Barbara Nowacka **– nominee.
Activist and politician, Nowacka is the chair of Initiative Poland and co-leader of the United Left, a political and electoral alliance, fighting to liberalise abortion laws in Poland.
In Memoriam Prize: Daphne Caruana Galizia
Through her “Running Commentary” blog, Caruana Galazia was a relentless crusader against corruption in her home country of Malta. Her reporting and steadfast commitment to her mission had turned her website into the island’s most popular independent news site. She was killed after a bomb was placed under her car in October 2017.