Watch the full Award Ceremony here.
After receiving 500 applications from all over the world, the European Commission has awarded the 2017 Lorenzo Natali Media Prize to ten amateur and professional journalists for outstanding reporting on development, poverty eradication and freedom of religion. The Award Ceremony took place in Brussels during the European Development Days (EDD) on 7 June at 18:00.
We would like to congratulate the Grand Prize winner Saurabh Sharma from India for his story ‘Shanno’s Story Takes A Hard Look At What It’s Like To Live On The Streets Of Varanasi’, published in Youth Ki Awaaz. In this profile piece, Sharma paints the picture of young Shanno’s hardships on the street, but sheds an intense light on how much harder it is to be a girl while facing these circumstances.
Congratulations to the regional winners in the professional and amateur categories: Martin Kaba (Africa – Amateur Category), Daniel Addeh Midodji (Africa – Professional Category), Nehal El Sherif (Arab world and Middle East – Professional category), Umar Shah (Asia and the Pacific – Amateur category), Saurabh Sharma (Asia and the Pacific – Professional category), María García Zornoza (Europe – Amateur category), Peter Lykke Lind (Europe – Professional category), and Fernanda Maldonado Mocelin (Latin America and the Caribbean – Amateur category). Winners of the freedom of religion or belief outside the EU prizes are Ousmane Drabo (amateur) and Delphine Bauer (professional). More information about the winners and their work can be found here.
Keynote speakers at the Award Ceremony included European Commissioner Neven Mimica in charge of International cooperation and Development, Stefano Manservisi, European Commission Director-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), and Ján Figeľ, Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union
The winners have been selected by an independent jury who are experts in the fields of development, journalism and human rights. Jury members included Sanitsuda Ekachai (Bangkok Post and Press Council of Thailand), Nazila Ghanea (University of Oxford), Richard Jones (Devex), Julie Majerczak (Reporters Without Borders), Ines Pohl (Deutsche Welle), Alana Rizzo (Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism), and Sybella Wilkes (UNHCR).
Lorenzo Natali was born in Florence on 2 October 1922.
After World War II, his political career blossomed as a member of the National Council of Italy’s Christian Democratic Party and a deputy in the Abruzzi constituency, which he represented in seven successive parliaments.
He worked in many government posts, notably as under-secretary to the Prime Minister, and went on to serve as a Minister with various portfolios, including Shipping, Tourism, Culture and Public Works.
In November 1976, Italy appointed him to the European Commission. From January 1977 until January 1981, he served as vice-president with responsibilities for enlargement, the environment, nuclear safety, and relations with the European Parliament.
Natali played an important role in the success of EU membership negotiations with Greece, and helped launch the accession process with Spain and Portugal. He also helped implement key measures to combat pollution and improve living conditions across Europe.
In January 1981, Natali’s appointment as vice-president was renewed and he was given responsibilities for Mediterranean policy, enlargement and information. Four years later, and until January 1989, he was again reconfirmed, this time with responsibilities for cooperation and development policy in the European Commission led by Jacques Delors.
It was within this portfolio that he established a broad network of relations with the governments and leaders of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
Lorenzo Natali died in Rome on 29 August 1990. The Media Prize that bears his name has subsequently been an integral part of the European Commission’s development policy for more than 20 years.
Lorenzo Natali’s name would become synonymous with the Prize awarded to media professionals who defend the freedom of expression, democracy, human rights and development.