Foreword from Maroš Šefcovic, European commission vice-president for inter-institutional relations and administration and host of the MEP Awards.
Later this year, citizens from the length and breadth of Europe will vote to elect the next European parliament. They will do so after a parliamentary term marked by a period of crisis, when questions have been asked about Europe’s ability, its relevance and its future.
In May, voters will answer those questions; the European elections offer a unique opportunity for citizens to have their say about the way they want the EU to be run. The elections will show Europe’s political leaders whether citizens believe their efforts to combat the crisis and create strong, sustainable growth for future generations have been a success.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of MEPs, as showcased in these awards, citizens can certainly rest assured that their best interests are being well-served. I know first-hand from my experiences over the last five years of working closely with parliament that MEPs are dedicated and hard-working, constantly striving to get the best deal possible for the citizens of Europe.
Relations between commission and parliament are not always easy, and we do not, of course, always see eye-to-eye. Standing in front of the full plenary in Strasbourg or Brussels is still a daunting task, even after five years. But on issues as diverse as reform of the staff regulations or the seven-year EU budget, I’ve seen the commission’s position supported time and time again by MEPs; it is a relationship that is the backbone of European democratic legitimacy.
I am sorry that I am unable to be there this year to present the awards in person, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank all MEPs - not just those shortlisted for these awards - for such fruitful and productive relations over the last five years.
These have been difficult times for Europe, and we’re not completely out of the woods yet, but I am sure that I will continue to see dedication and commitment from the next parliament, and that my successor will be able to count on your support and collaboration as I have. The very best of luck to you all - for the awards, for the elections and for the next five years.
For more on the MEP Awards visit www.mepawards.eu