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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