Women of Europe Awards 2019

This fourth annual edition of Women of Europe Awards, which was held at BELvue Museum on Wednesday, 4 December, continued to honour women striving to advance the European project in their professional or private capacity. While the role of women in the European project remains at times unrecognised, the awards highlight the contribution of women in promoting and advancing European issues, and to increase the presence and involvement of women in debates about Europe and its future.


The Awards were handed out in four different categories:

Woman in Power | showing extraordinary political leadership in Europe

Woman in Action | undertaking extraordinary actions at the grassroots level in Europe

Woman in Business | advancing European integration with entrepreneurial spirit

Young Woman of Europe | for young women (age 15 to 30) actively strengthening the voice of young women in Europe


Woman in Power

Laura Codruța Kövesi

European Chief Prosecutor, European Public Prosecutor's Office

Mairead McGuinness

European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union 

Marija Pejčinović Burić

Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Kövesi received the award for showing extraordinary political leadership in Europe through her notable work against high-level corruption in Romania. She recently became the first Chief EU Public Prosecutor at the newly established European Public Prosecutors Office (EPPO).

“I am very honoured to receive the “Woman in Power” award and I see it as a recognition of my efforts and as an encouragement to not give up on my work. In my view, to be powerful means to gain the trust of the people, and importantly, to succeed in keeping it. In my line of work, you can do so only by working professionally, being consequent and by respecting the law at all times. This award belongs equally to all of the people that have supported me in the fight against corruption, and in upholding the rule of law and European values. I would especially like to thank all my supporters over the years. Moving forward, we need to work to promote equality, justice and the rule of law, as the European Movement has done for the last 70 years.”

Laura Codruța Kövesi

Woman in Action

Vicky Phelan

A voice for women in medical malpractice

Milena Kadieva

Human rights lawyer

Gals4Gals - Lodzkie Dziewuchy Dziewuchom

Polish feminist collective

Kadieva received the award for undertaking extraordinary actions at the grassroots level in Europe through her work as a human rights lawyer at the Gender Alternatives Foundation, which is working towards the protection and empowerment of women.

“Thank you. My mission as a human rights lawyer has always been to protect women and girls from violence, to work for gender equality and to support those in need. I am grateful to the European Movement International and the European Women’s Lobby for recognizing my work and awarding me with such an important award. It is a recognition of every active woman in Europe. It is an inspiration to all women and girls in Europe that their actions matter. It is a sign that even the work of a single woman could change the world.”

Milena Kadieva

Woman in Business

Helen Dixon

Data Protection Commissioner of Ireland

Eleonora Azzaoui and Vera Günther

Founders of Mimycri

Heli Kurjanen

Founder of Lune Group LTD

Azzaoui and Günther received the award for advancing European integration with an entrepreneurial spirit through their work at Mimycri, an organisation which designs and manufactures high-quality bags from rubber refugee boats and aims to stimulate conversations about escape and migration.

“Only 12% of investor money in Europe goes to women-led start-ups. This is shocking. This is wrong. It is 2019. It is Europe. Changing this number to 50% has to be our priority. Achieving this means that we don’t equate male qualities with success qualities. It means that being a parent and an entrepreneur is supported and desirable for all sexes. It means that some people will have to give up their privilege.”

Eleonora Azzaoui and Vera Günther

Young Woman of Europe

Greta Thunberg

Swedish climate activist

Síona Cahill

Irish youth activist & Account Director at DHR Communications

Johanna Nejedlová

Co-founder of Konsent

Nejedlová received the award for strengthening the voice of young women in Europe through her dedicated work to make Czech society a better and safer place by educating on sexual harassment and the consequences of it.

“It’s imperative to eliminate violence against women in order to achieve equality. We cannot expect women to truly flourish, both personally and professionally, if their safety remains threatened by harassment, assault or rape. We need to focus on creating a safer and better environment for women. And, there is no shortage of tools to do so. We need politicians and public figures to speak up and make gender-based sexual violence their priority and the first step on the long journey towards gender equality is the ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention in all European countries.”

Johanna Nejedlová


This year’s distinguished jury consisted of female leaders from all walks of life across Europe, including

  • Eleonora Azzaoui & Vera Günther, Founders, Mimycri and Women in Business 2019 award winners
  • Katalin Cseh MEP, Vice-Chair, Renew Europe Group
  • Gals4Gals Lodz, Polish feminist collective and shortlisted nominee for Women in Action 2019 award
  • Laura Codruța Kövesi, European Public Prosecutor's Office, European Chief Prosecutor
  • Pauline Mukanza, Member, Executive Committee, European Women's Lobby
  • Johanna Nejedlová, Co-founder of KONSENT and Woman in Youth Activism 2019 award winner
  • Orla O'Connor, Director, National Women's Council of Ireland
  • Aura Salla, Board Member, European Movement International and Public Policy Director, Head of EU Affairs, Facebook
  • Gardenia Trezzini, Brussels Bureau Chief, Euronews