The prize “Young European of the Year” is awarded to young Europeans aged between 18 and 26 years who have distinguished themselves in an exemplary manner concerning their honorary commitment and dedication in the support of international understanding and/or the integration of Europe.
The Award Winners
- 2016 – Adrian Balutel
Adrian Balutel, born in 1992 in Moldova, received his Medium Professional Degree in Scienes of Commodities in 2013 from the National College of Trade and started his studies at the Academy of Economical Studies of Moldova for a Bachelor in International Economic Relations in September 2013. At the age of 18 he joined the Young European Federalists (JEF) and was chairman from 2013 until 2015. During this time he was also Vice President of the National Youth Council of Moldova and is currently secretary of the National Platform of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and the secretary general of the Youth Business Association. Throughout the past few years Adrian Balutel was involved in several advocacy processes related to the EU association process in Moldova and the Eastern Partnership Countries, mainly on the youth priorities agenda. Adrian Balutel aims at contributing to building a generation that will be united and educated in the spirit of a European Moldova. He aspires to go further and take part in building a stronger Civil Society Management that will promote European values in his country.
- 2015 – Evgenija Lopata
Evgenija Lopata, born 1994, was politically and socially engaged in her home town Czernowitz during her high school years. Early on, she recognized how much power culture and art have to support the interaction between people and unite them. At the age of 18 she became the director of the renowned International Poetry Festival Meridian Czernowitz. This voluntary job made her the youngest cultural manager of the Ukraine. One of her major achievements is the “Poetry Tour Meridian Czernowitz 2014: Austria, Ukraine, Poland and Germany”. It created a poetic and artistic bridge between Ukraine and Europe with the focus on strengthening European culture (and values) in the Western, as well as in the unsettled Eastern part of the Ukraine. It is Evgenija’s wish, to present the current Ukrainian situation to European authors and let them take part in the thoughts and wishes of Ukrainians through open discussion. Evgenija is convinced that in the fight against foreign aggressors, art and culture are the most effective long-term weapons.
- 2014 – Luis Alvarado Martinez
Luis Alvarado Martinez, born 1989 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain, studied Translation & Interpreting for Spanish, English, French and Italian. Searching for another purpose in his life besides his studies, Luis got involved in different civil society organizations during his first University year. AEGEE, the European Student`s Forum empowered him most, brought him closer to Europe and helped him understand what impact Europe has on his daily life. After holding several positions in AEGEE, Luis became President of AEGEE-Europe and moved to Brussels. While representing students on a daily basis as a full time volunteer president, Luis has also been active in different youth and civil society platforms and is currently a member of the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe.
- 2013 – Lukas David Meyer
Lukas David Meyer, born in Göttingen in 1989 started his social engagement for Europe in 2008, when he spent a voluntary year working for the F.O.P. programme at the Sarajevo office of Schüler Helfen Leben. From 2009 – 2010, he was a board member of this organisation and later coordinator for European understanding and youth participation. Schüler Helfen Leben initiates a “Social Day” once a year, on which about 100.000 school students in Germany do not go to school, but instead work an donate the money they earn to peace and education projects for their peers in other countries.Lukas David Mayer – Award Acceptance Speech 2013 (in German)
- 2012 – Robin May
Robin May was born in Lutherstadt Wittenberg in 1988. He has been politically active as a school student and working to sharpen the political consciousness of his peers. He has later continued this work on a European level.
- 2011 – Stefan Ivanovic
Stefan Ivanovic, born in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1988, experienced a childhood overshadowed by war and with the breakdown of society in his home country. Having grown up in a dysfunctional society, he discovered early the role of the European Union as a model for a peaceful world order, a political order besides nationalism and based on central values of democracy. In an often unfriendly and hostile surrounding he was working for these values, for example as a voluntary EP Manager for AIESEC International Bulgaria and as a trainer for Humanity in Action in Amsterdam.
Laudatio auf Stefan Ivanovic
- 2010 – Maria Tandeck
Maria Tandeck, born in Poland in 1989, showed an extraordinary interest in social, political and intercultural issues in European society. While at school she was involved with the Scouting movement and through this later become a mentor to children with problems with aggressions. In the years leading up to the Polish accession to the EU, Maria developed a particular interest for European politics. Inspired by the European Youth Parliament´s work in Poland, she organised podium discussions on European topics. She is a member of the Social-democratic Youth in Poland, has been voted student representative of the law department at the Viadrina European University in Frankfurt (Oder) and was voted into the Polish Youth Council on March 19 2010.
Laudatio on Maria Tandeck (in German)
Maria Tandeck im Interview mit Euractiv (in German)
- 2009 – Sandra Orlovic
Sandra Orlovic, born in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1980, is one of the great hopes of Serbia on its way to Europe. She is a considerate, determined and incredibly courageous personality with a tireless commitment to Human Rights, peace and understanding in south east Europe. As a student, she worked as a volunteer for the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in the Republika Srpska and in Serbia. For many years she she has worked on documenting war crimes committed during the war in former Yugoslavia.
- 2008 – Tamuna Kekenadze
Tamuna Kekenadze, born in Georgia in 1982, realised through several projects which contribute to the understanding among young Europeans and Georgians that she is passionate about enthusing youngsters about Europe. Since 2004 she has taken almost every possible opportunity to promote exchange among young Europeans, especially in her engagement with AEGEE Tbilisi and in the “National Council of Youth Organizations of Georgia“, the umbrella group of 45 Georgian youth organisations.
- 2007 – Paul de Kuijer
Paul de Kuijer, born in the Netherlands in 1984, developed already at school a lively interest for current international issues and political processes. He initiated the concept of a national “Model United Nations” for pupils with a lower level of education during his university time. Even in the face of Euroscepticism he engaged himself in the Dutch and Luxembourgish campaign for the referendum on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, with the aim of informing people and convincing them of its benefits for the EU and the Netherlands.
- 2006 – Burcu Becermen
Burcu Becermen, born in Turkey in 1981, headed at the young age of 19 the “Turkish-Greek Civilian Dialog” project. In the space of four years she has managed to include hundreds of young people and 10 youth NGOs in the project and further promote dialogue and cooperation. As part of the project she organised a countless number of events such as a youth and culture festival. Besides these activities she also spent a year volunteering in Brussels. Through this work, she further supported numerous youth projects in many different European countries.
- 2005 – Tamas Boros
Tamás Boros, born in Hungary in 1981, showed a great interest in European integration while still being at school and gained the first place in the Robert Schuman National Schools Competition on the European Union. He initiated information events intended to inform citizens about the European Union, particularly those in small Hungarian towns and villages where many were worried about the implications of joining the EU. In 2002 Tamás was a founding member of the Pillar Europa Club which set out to explain the opportunities and perspectives presented by the enlargement process. More than ten thousand citizens were acquainted with the European Union via so-called “EU Roadshows” in the form of lectures, discussion forums and EU games.
- 2004 – Anar Jahangirli
Anar Q. Jahangirli was honoured in particular for his accomplishments relating to furthering understanding between young people from Azerbaijan and Europe. In 1997 he initiated the establishment of a network “Association of Young Azerbaijani Friends of Europe” (AYAFE) the aim of which is to actively contribute to the progressive integration of the European continent. In collaboration with international partners AYAFE organises youth meetings. Linking up with the success of AYAFE Anar Yahangirli co-founded the “Azerbaidjani Students International” in 2001 and AEGEE Baku in 2003.
- 2003 – Adrian Langan
Adrian Langan, born in Ireland in 1977, was honoured for his exceptional commitment to the privately organised “Irish Alliance for Europe” in 2002, with whom he lent his support to the campaign for the ratification of the Nice Treaty in his home country. A comprehensive preparation and information programme for Irish citizens preceded the second referendum. During this phase he actively took part and motivated the citizens of his native country to become involved in an active dialogue on the subject. The 26-year-old, the driving force behind the campaign, developed, in a voluntary role, the successful campaign strategy. He placed this public-spirited action above his professional obligations at the Chamber of Commerce of Ireland.
- 2002 – Mjellma Mehmeti
Mjellma Mehmeti, born in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 1976, was chosen for her outstanding commitment to the interests of young people and for education. At the beginning of the nineties Mjellma Mehmeti was active with the ARK (Anti Radna Kampanja), an initiative against war and for peace throughout the entire Balkans. She was furthermore founder or co-founder of several initiatives, such as the Society for Emancipation, Solidarity and Equality of Women in Macedonia or the ACC Association for Community Colleges. In 1998 she was appointed by the Macedonian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to a work-group for male and female equality.
- 2001 – Daciana Oana Mailatescu
Daciana Oana Mailatescu, born in Romania in 1975, invested much time and effort at AEGEE to make the participation of more and more students from Eastern Europe in international programmes possible. In May 2000 elected President of the AEGEE Network and took a break from her studies. Unfortunately, after just 18 months, her resident’s permit for Brussels was revoked and she was forced to give up her role. She resumed her studies and took up her work for AEGEE Europe. “Sometimes one gets a chance to perceptibly move things forward and then, only some hours later, one’s origin is once again a stumbling block and hurdle” says Oana, “this award has a very special significance for me”.
- 2000 – Tobias Bütow
Tobias Bütow, born in Magdeburg in 1978, received the award for his endeavours to battle anti-Semitism and racism in Europe. His commitment began with his voluntary service for the Sign of Atonement Action Peace Service in Israel. Quite by accident he discovered the existence of a forgotten concentration camp outpost in his home town of Magdeburg. He managed to get an artistically designed memorial erected. Following this he wrote an academic book dealing with the employment of concentration camp inmates in the German armaments industry, which was published in the Spring/Autumn of 2003. He is now part of the Schwarzkopf Foundation board.
- 1999 – Lola Stoppleman de Almudévar
Lola Stoppleman de Almudévar, born in 1978, has spoken for years for inter-cultural understanding among young people. She was involved in a broad spectrum of activities in the socio-cultural field, particularly in the international voluntary service, and her involvement in “B’nai B’rith”, an international Jewish youth organisation. The prize was awarded primarily on the basis of her journalistic work in Great Britain with publications in major newspapers and student publications. In 2007 she was killed in a car accident while being in Bolivia to cover the political situation in the country.
- 1998 – Michael Schmitt
Michael Schmitt, born in Cochem/Mosel in 1976, worked from 1994 onwards in an honorary capacity for the initiative “Schüler Helfen Leben” (“Pupils Help Life”). By summer of 1996 he was working as a voluntary social worker for “Pax Christi” in a refugee camp in Zenica/Central Bosnia. In August 1997 he began a voluntary service for “Schüler Helfen Leben” in Sarajevo. . Among other things Michael Schmitt organised youth conferences throughout Bosnia and Hungary and assisted in setting up an international meeting place for young people in Sarajevo and an inter-ethnical newspaper for young people.
- 1997 – David Stulik
David Stulik, born in Prague in 1972, went to school in Russia and studied in Poland. In 1997 he obtained his Master’s degree at the University of Warsaw. In 1995 David Stulik received his M.Sc. in Economics from the Warsaw School of Economics. He speaks six languages. Since 1993 he has worked in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, the Slovakian Republic, in Poland, Germany, Russia, Hungary and Belgium. During his employment with the European Student Society AEGEE he took part in the PHARE Work Experince Programme at the University of Tokyo, the London School of Economics, Unilever und Camp America.