This evening Margerethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, was announced to be the winner of the Women of Europe Awards, in the category Woman of Power. The ceremony for the Awards, organised by the European Movement International (EMI) and the European Women’s Lobby (EWL), was held at the Women’s Rights House of Brussels, Amazone asbl.
A Jury composed of high-level stakeholders from the cultural, social, media and political sectors selected Vestager for showing extraordinary leadership on a European level. Daniela Vincenti, jury member and Editor-in-Chief, EurActiv remarked: “She has succeeded mission impossible: taking on the EU countries’ illegal tax breaks to multinationals and beyond. Her bravery and courage are being quoted as her major traits of character.”
Vestager dedicated the award to every woman who takes action for a better, democratic and more equal Europe.
Jury member Anna Diamantopoulou, President of the Greek think-tank To Diktio, former European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, commented: “My warmest and most sincere congratulations to a very special woman. Someone who managed to demonstrate that by effectively using the powers of her position Europe can implement compliance with the rules by all regardless of strength or power. Indeed a very well deserved recognition.”
EMI and EWL 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.
Vasile Moldovan and Tina Ciursă, two former colleagues of Adela Ionela Dinu, who attended the Awards on her behalf, shared Dinu’s own words from a conference she spoke at in October 2015: “Management and feminine entrepreneurship, is not theory, it is real life experience. We learn from the experiences of our colleagues, women managers or entrepreneurs, about what and how they succeeded. We encourage everyone to try to find as many female role models as possible, as we can guarantee that they are not just one or two. Women managers or entrepreneurs are many and everywhere. We just have to look and see.”
Petros Fassoulas, Secretary General, European Movement International, said: “The fundamental premise of the European ideal is the defence of values, among them equality. Despite considerable advancements, not least thanks to the EU, women’s place in our society remains undervalued and the role women have played in building Europe has gone unrecognised for far too long. We hope this award will be a small step in addressing that. We want to celebrate equality in the private and public sphere, at the national and European level and we look forward to holding this Awards together for many years to come.”
Joanna Maycock, Secretary General European Women’s Lobby, said “Women are woefully underrepresented in power and decision-making in Europe. Less than 25% of members of parliaments in Europe and 3% of CEOs in top companies are women. The Awards aim to highlight the contribution of women in promoting and advancing European issues, and to increase the presence and involvement of women in debates about Europe and its future.”
Notes to the Editors
1. The European Movement International is one of the largest pan and pro-European organisations with currently more than 75 Member Organisations, present in 39 countries, bringing together representatives from civil society, political parties, enterprises and trade unions. [http://www.europeanmovement.eu<http://www.europeanmovement.eu]www.europeanmovement.eu<http://www.europeanmovement.eu>
2. The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the European Union (EU), working to promote women’s rights and equality between women and men. EWL membership extends to organisations in all 28 EU Member States and three of the candidate countries, as well as to 20 European-wide organisations, representing a total of more than 2000 associations.