BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

These are the men and women shaping Europe: How many of them do you know?

 Comments
These are the men and women shaping Europe: How many of them do you know?
Text size Aa Aa

As Euronews hosted the second European Leadership Awards (ELA) on Monday, it was all about the change-makers of the continent.

A memorable evening at the majestic Palais d'Egmont in Brussels – organised in partnership with the European Business Summit – saw European leaders awarded for their outstanding achievements in five categories.

Watch the video above to get a recap of ELA's best moments.

Who are Europe's change-makers?

The ceremony kicked off by recognising the European Entrepreneur of the Year, the person who has epitomised the competitive and business-minded spirit of the continent.

BusinessEurope’s president Pierre Gattaz said: “I like to call entrepreneurs the heroes of a nation. They are brave, passionate, and a little bit crazy,” before calling to the stage the two men – Vincent Zimmer and Markus Kressler – behind the idea for Kiron, a programme which enables access to higher education for refugees.

The European Innovator of the Year is awarded to a figure recognised for their inventive, progressive and original vision to bring Europe to the forefront of global innovation. The winner was Yvan Bourgnon, founder and CEO of the Sea Cleaners project, a revolutionary factory ship with state-of-the-art tools which remove floating plastic macro-waste before it pollutes marine biodiversity.

Third on the list was the European Corporate Social Initiative of the Year, an award bringing together "values and business" – an ever more important coalition considering the growth of issues such as inequality, climate change and polarisation within societies.

The winner was Saori Dubourg, member of the board of executive directors at BASF, an organisation recognised for its continued commitment to the UN's sustainable development goals.

The penultimate recognition went to the president-elect of Slovakia, Zuzana Čaputová, for her role in pushing mutuality and the common good as drivers for social progress in Europe. Čaputová won the European Personality of the Year award.

The evening finished with the bestowing of President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker with the European Leader of the Year award, in recognition of his unfaltering commitment to Europe and its values, through crises old and new.

Mr Juncker accepted the award by saying that it was not a personal honour but rather a collective one: “The fact that I am being rewarded when I am finishing [his term as European Commission president] at the moment of the autopsy, is recognition of the merits of the European Commission."