By Desmond Hinton-Beales - 26th September 2012
MEPs have voted two-to-one in favour of a single seat and our citizens look on with astonishment.
European commission vice-president Maroš Šefcovic has again hosted a Parliament Magazine event in Brussels recognising MEPs for their outstanding work over the previous year.
Šefcovic took to the stage on Tuesday for the eighth annual MEP awards in the Stanhope hotel in Brussels' EU district, where 19 members of the European parliament were rewarded for their work in a variety of policy areas.
The inter-institutional relations and administration commissioner praised the "positive energy and atmosphere" of the awards, adding that "400 MEPs – a majority – took part in the voting process".
"I would also like to thank the Parliament Magazine for doing an excellent job in promoting public democracy in the European parliament."
The winners were:
Outstanding contribution:Edward McMillan-Scott: ALDE UK
Agriculture and rural affairs:Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos: S&D Portugal
Animal welfare:Dan Jørgensen: S&D Denmark
Culture and education:Catherine Stihler + Michael Cashman: S&D UK
Development: Gay Mitchell: EPP Ireland
Digital Agenda: Pilar del Castillo Vera: EPP Spain
Economic and monetary affairs:Sharon Bowles: ALDE UK
Employment and social affairs:Marian Harkin: ALDE Ireland
Energy: Claude Turmes: Greens/EFA Luxembourg
Environment:Richard Seeber: EPP Austria
Fisheries: Struan Stevenson: ECR UK
Gender equality:Edit Bauer: EPP Slovakia
Health:Simon Busuttil: EPP Malta
Internal Market and Consumer Affairs:Lara Comi: EPP Italy
Justice and civil liberties: Monica Macovei: EPP Romania
Regional development: Lambert Van Nistelrooij: EPP Netherlands
Research and Innovation: Seán Kelly: EPP Ireland
Trade: Pablo Zalba Bidegain: EPP Spain
Transport:Brian Simpson: S&D UK
More than 400 guests turned out on the night for the awards, which are now in their eighth year, to enjoy beer and spirits generously supplied by the Brewers of Europe, Diageo and the Cyprus Brewers' Association.
Executive director of PlasticsEurope - overall sponsors of the event - Wilfred Haensel said that it was a "great pleasure to sponsor such an important and prestigious event" recognising the great that work of Europe's parliamentarians.
Edward McMillan-Scott, who received the outstanding contribution award for his work on the Single Seat campaign, said, "These awards show that Brussels is the centre of the EU – sorry Strasbourg.
"MEPs have voted two-to-one in favour of a single seat and our citizens look on with astonishment."
Šefcovic praised McMillan-Scott, saying that he appreciated the UK MEP's positions "on how to make the plenary more attractive and questions for commissioners more difficult".