The Prize

The Prize

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.

Submissions will be pre-evaluated by former and current journalism students of the VUB Vesalius College, IHECS Brussels and Universitat Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona, under the direction of Dr. Georgios Terzis, Communication Professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. A final pre-selection of nominated pieces of journalistic work will be put forward for further evaluation by the Grand Jury. 

Isabel Recavarren

Isabel Recavarren is founder of CEFIAL-UE and Panorámica Latinoamericana. She is also founder and coordinator of the Euro-Latin American Women's Forum.

Isabel graduated in law from the Universidad Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru. She then completed her masters in Regional and International Development Organisations at the Universidad de Piura, Peru and Law and Economics of the European Union at the University of Milan. She obtained her PHD in Law and Economics at Bocconi University, in Milan, Italy.


Mahendra Ved

Mahendra Ved is a New Delhi-based writer and columnist, writing for The New Straits Times. He is President of the Commonwealth Journalists Association. Mahendra Ved co-authored with Sreedhar, « Afghan Turmoil: Changing Equations »(Himalayan Books, 1998) and « Afghan Buzkashi: Great Game and Gamesmen » (Wordsmiths, 2000, 2 volumes).


Dagmar Schumacher Ms. Dagmar Schumacher is the Director of the Brussels office of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment (UN Women). The office in Brussels is responsible for liaising with EU institutions on joint advocacy, policy dialogue and joint programming.   Prior to joining UN Women, Ms. Schumacher worked at the Headquarters of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in Bonn as Chief of the Partnerships Section. From 1998 – 2002 she was working with UNDP in Hanoi, heading the Poverty and Social Development Unit. Prior to that she was working with the United Nations in Latin America and New York.  Ms. Schumacher is a German citizen. She holds a Master Degree from Kiel University.


Maroun Labaki

Maroun Labaki has had a long career as a journalist. His latest position was Foreign Editor at Le Soir, one of Belgium's leading daily newspapers. He is currently President of the Press Club Brussels Europe, which brings together the associations of international journalists based in Brussels. He is the author of the book "Trump, tu ne nous auras pas!" (La Boîte à Pandore, 2017).


Mary Harper

Mary Harper is a journalist and writer, specialising in Africa, especially Somalia. She has reported on events on the continent since the early 1990s. She is Africa Editor at the BBC World Service and author of Getting Somalia Wrong? Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State, published by Zed Books.

She writes for academic journals and publications including The Economist, Granta, The Guardian, The Times and The Washington Post. She has worked for, amongst others, the Economist Intelligence Unit and the United Nations. She writes expert reports for Somali-related legal cases.