As the official political foundation and think tank of the ALDE Party, ELF strives to promote liberal values and their advocates in Europe. The Liberal Awards are special as they give us the chance, not only to look back and celebrate the liberal successes of the past year, but to also encourage and provide a platform to those who are doing exemplary work. This years awards took place at the ALDE Congress 2022 in the Irish capital, Dublin.

More about ELF at ALDE Congress.

With that, we preset our 2022 winners in their respective categories!

Rising Star

Pavle Grbović

Who: Pavle is a Serbian politician who is currently a member of the City Assembly of Belgrade, as well as the President of the Free Citizens Movement, a liberal political movement since September 2020.

Why: At the age of 26, Pavle became the youngest leader ever of a national political party, the Free Citizens Movement. He became a singular national voice in Serbia, in debates and duels with political opponents, winning praise for his style and argumentation, “taking down” nationalist MPs and ministers. He helped secure seats in parliamentary elections for his Free Citizens Movement as part of a multi-party coalition formed to take down the autocratic and kleptocratic regime of Aleksandar Vučić. It is the first time in several years that Serbia will have liberals present in the Parliament, a huge achievement for pro-European forces in the country.

Outstanding Changemaker

Olha Stefanishyna

Who: Olha is the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine since 2020. She is a member of the Presidents’ Servant of the People Party and fighting for Ukraine facing the Russian invasion. 

Why: In the Government, she is responsible for Ukraine’s integration to the EU and NATO, as well as coordination of gender equality policy. Upon her appointment, she has worked tirelessly to boost trade and enhance cross-border cooperation between the EU and Ukraine as well as facilitate closer cooperation with NATO and its member states. She is a true European and the leader that will guide Ukraine towards a common European future.

Kira Rudik

Who: Kira is a Ukrainian politician and current President of the Golos (Voice) Party in Ukraine. She has been an MP in the National Parliament of Ukraine since 2019.

Why: Kira has been an inspiration amid the Russia-Ukraine war, carrying out duties in Kyiv and sharing her loyalty through compelling social media, advocating for Ukraine’s sovereignty. She exemplifies her country’s heroic struggle for liberty and peace in face of the aggressor and desire to join the European family.  

Political Disruptor

Marta Lempart

Who: Marta is a Polish women’s rights activist. Her activism centers on feminism and secularism. In 2016, she co-founded the All-Poland Women’s Strike, a social movement in support of women’s rights, during preparations for the pro-abortion-access Black Protests.

Why: Marta represents Polish women and has been one of the main driving forces behind the Women’s Strike in Poland widely known as Ogolnopolski Strajk Kobiet. She has been fighting on a daily basis for fundamental human rights which are being dangerously questioned and sometimes reversed in Poland. Within her work, she denounces discriminatory laws that, in sheer contravention of the European values, increasingly hinder women’s access to sexual reproductive health and rights. 

Values Champion

Han van Baalen

Hans van Baalen, the late president of ALDE party and a historical figure for the liberal movement, left a legacy of building up EU-Taiwan economic and diplomatic relations. To commemorate his life and work, we honour him with the Values Champion (posthumous) award.

We were also pleased to officially announce a scholarship to carry his vision into the future.

Throughout his successful political career, Hans Van Baalen has been a committed defender of Taiwanese freedom and democracy. The aim of the newly launched Hans van Baalen Scholarship is to offer a junior researcher the academic framework for deepening relations between Taiwan and the European Union. 

Find out more about the Han van Baalen Scholarship here.

Check out the event photos on Flickr.

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