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A high level Jury was appointed to select the five Natura 2000 Award category winners in 2018.

Daniel Calleja Crespo

Mr Calleja has been Director-General of DG Environment since September 2015.

Daniel Calleja Crespo

Previously, Mr Calleja was Director-General of DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, and Director-General of DG Enterprise and Industry, Special Envoy for SMEs. Before that, he was Deputy Director-General of DG Enterprise and Industry.

Mr Calleja’s previous positions include six years as Director for Air Transport at the European Commission, in charge of the single European aviation market and its external dimension.

From 1999 to 2004, he held the position of Head of Cabinet of the Vice-President of the European Commission, Mrs. Loyola de Palacio, and from 1995 to 1999 he was Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Marcelino Oreja. As the legal adviser in the Cabinet of the President of the European Commission, he was responsible for Transport, Competition, State Aids and he advised the Transport Commissioner.

Mr Calleja has a degree in Law and in Business Administration from the University of Comillas, Madrid.

Adina Ioana Vălean

Ms Vălean has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2007 and is currently the Chairwoman of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee.

Adina Ioana Vălean

She is also a member of the Delegation for relations with the United States of America. From 2014 to 2017 she was Vice-President of the European Parliament in support of the European People’s Party, responsible for Information, Communications and Technology.

Before that, she was a Member of the Romanian Parliament, focussing on market and labour issues.

Before becoming a politician, she was member of several foundations and associations promoting tolerance, dialogue and a liberal economic market.

Adina Vălean holds a degree in mathematics, European integration and security studies.

Roby Biwer

Mr Biwer is the first Vice Chair of the Commission for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy for the Committee of the Regions (CoR). He was rapporteur for the Committee of the Regions' opinion on the fitness-check of the Nature Directives.

Roby Biwer

Since 2000, he has been president of a politically-based inter-municipality group of 21 municipalities (SICONA, which is engaged in synergies to protect and improve natural habitats and biodiversity as well as helping national government in implementing the Nature Directives (the Birds and the Habitats Directives).

Mr Biwer has also been member of board of a local section of "natur&ëmwelt" (nature and environment), the largest association for protection of biodiversity and environment in Luxembourg, since 1981. Since 2014, he has been the "natur&ëmwelt" national president.

Previously, in 1994 he started his political engagement as member of the Municipality Council of Bettembourg and was elected Mayor of the Municipality of Bettembourg from 2004 to 2011.

Diane Mitchell

Diane Mitchell is the vice-chair of the COPA-COGECA Environment Working Group and Chief Environment Adviser of the National Farmers’ Union of England and Wales.

Diane Mitchell

In these roles, she maintains an overview across a range of environmental themes and environmental policies related to farming and farmers including agri-environment measures, biodiversity, soils, waste and water.

Before joining the National Farmers' Union, Dr Mitchell was a researcher at Cambridge University Farm. She gained a PhD in Soil Science from the University of Aberdeen.



Ignace Schops

Mr Schops is President of EUROPARC Federation, the largest network on protected areas in Europe; Director of the Belgian NGO Regionaal Landschap Kempen en Maasland (RLKM); full member of the Club of Rome; and council member of the largest nature conservation organization in Flanders, Natuurpunt.

Ignace Schops

Mr Schops was awarded with the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2008 for his contributions to the establishment of Belgium’s first national park, the Hoge Kempen National Park.

Mr Schops studied herpetology. He received an Honorary Doctorate for the University Hasselt, Belgium for his international achievements in biodiversity and social entrepreneurship.