European of the Year


Since 1996 the editors of the European editions of the Reader's Digest magazine have named "European of the Year" individuals who best embody the traditions and values of Europe. 1996: Roman Catholic Father Imre Kozma, chairman of the Hungarian Malteser Caritas-Service. 1997: Norwegian Frederic Hauge, founder of the environmental group Bellona. 1998: British Solo-Skipper Pete Goss, who saved his French friend Raphael Dinelli during a solo yachting competition. 1999: Danish Inge Genefke, for her commitment to the treatment and rehabilitation of torture victims. 2000: Paul van Buitenen, who uncovered mismanagement within the European Commission. 2001: Linus Benedict Torvalds, the inventor of Linux. 2002: Eva Joly, former Adjudicator in France (among others in the Tapie corruption scandal regarding Elf Aquitaine). 2003: Šimon Pánek, founder of People in Need. 2004: German jurist Peter Eigen, founder of Transparency International. 2005: Russian doctor Leonid Roshal, who mediated in the Beslan school hostage crisis. 2006: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, for her support of Muslim females threatened by religious fanatics. 2007: Swiss Professor Ruedi Lüthy, for his support of African AIDS victims. 2008: French economist Maria Nowak, for her micro-credit program. 2009: German athlete Joachim Franz, for his global efforts against AIDS. 2010: Romanian Iana Matei, for her work to fight forced prostitution in Romania. 2011: Doctor Monika Hauser, for her work with sexual-assault victims in war zones. 2012: Bulgarian sailor Petar Petrov, who saved 500 people during the Costa Concordia disaster. 2013: Polish Director of Belsat TV, Agnieszka Romaszewska-Buzy, for providing a voice for Belarus. 2014: Swiss entrepreneur and politician Thomas Minder. 2015: Felix Finkbeiner (born 1997) Founder of the international children and youth initiative Plant-for-the-Planet, to mitigate effects of climate change. 2016: Laura Codruța Kövesi (born 1973) current chief prosecutor of Romania's National Anticorruption Directorate. 2017: Boyan Slat (born 1994) Dutch inventor, entrepreneur and founder of The Ocean Cleanup. 2018: Edit Schlaffer, founder and chairwoman of Women without Borders 2019: Óscar Camps, Sea Rescue and founder of Proactiva Open Arms
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award received: European of the Year



Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Dutch feminist, author

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