This year’s 49 recipients of the European Parliament’s Citizen’s Prize include two Hungarians and a Hungarian-Romanian: István Szilárd, Tamás Szell and Mihály Bencze, the EP press service said on Thursday.
Szilárd, an adjunct professor at the University of Pécs Medical School Department of Operational Medicine,
headed the Bosnian aid programme of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) after the Dayton Peace Agreement. He helped organise IOM programmes at the start of the Kosovo crisis. Szilárd was later appointed to set up and head the migration health department in IOM’s European centre. Since 2005, he has been involved in health issues affecting Roma communities, and since 2007 he has organised and later led a migration health programme at the university in Pécs.
Bencze is a mathematics teacher and the director of the Hungarian-language secondary school Ady Endre Lyceum in Bucharest.
In addition to participating in the changes of 1989 and playing roles in other areas of public life, he has been also active as a poet, editor and book publisher. Nearly 25 years ago, he founded an international Hungarian mathematics competition for the Carpathian basin, which also promotes the peaceful unification of the nation above borders.
Széll is a chef who won fourh place in this year’s world finals of the Bocuse d’Or competition.
He has played a crucial role in the Hungarian “gastro revolution”, which aims to make Hungarian cuisine once again part of Hungarian culture.
Since 2008, the EP has awarded the European Citizen’s Prize every year to projects and initiatives that facilitate cross-border cooperation or promote mutual understanding within the EU, the statement said. The prize, which has symbolic value, is also intended to acknowledge the work of those who, through their day-to-day activities, promote European values, it added.
Every MEP has the right to nominate one person or organisation for the prize, and national juries made up of MEPs rank nominees from their country in order of preference. The final decision on laureates is taken by a central jury headed by Vice-President Sylvie Guillaume.