BRUSSELS – European Western Balkans has presented its annual Award for the Contribution to the European Integration of the Region to the Member of the European Parliament Terry Reintke (Greens/EFA).
The European Western Award is presented to Reintke “for unwavering support for freedoms of expression and assembly, contribution to improving the position of the LGBTI community in the region of Western Balkans, and engagement in raising awareness of the importance of respecting European values and principles of tolerance and equality”.
“The region and its people will always be close to my heart. And of course their struggle for democracy, fundamental rights and rule of law”, wrote Reintke on Twitter.
Receiving the European Western Balkans 2022 means so much ❤️
The region and its people will always be close to my heart.
And of course their struggle for democracy, fundamental rights and rule of law.
I will always be at your side.@EWB_eu pic.twitter.com/pg8zZPhqgw
— Terry Reintke (@TerryReintke) March 10, 2023
Editor in chief of European Western Balkans Nemanja Todorović Štiplija said that with this award, EWB wishes to both express gratitude and encourage further involvement of everybody working on the Europeanization of the region in often challenging circumstances.
“A very good illustration of these challenging circumstances has been the organization of the 2022 EuroPride in Serbia, which became the subject of political calculations instead of a firm commitment to European values. The support of our European partners, especially Terry Reintke, was crucial for the manifestation to take place, and this is one of the main reasons why she is the recipient of EWB award for 2022”, Štiplija said.
He added that throughout the years, Terry Reintke has followed and has been actively engaged in the developments in the Western Balkans and has been consistently committed to the promotion of EU values in the region.
“We once again thank her for her activity so far and hope that her cooperation with colleagues from the region will only get more intensive in the future”, Štiplija concluded.
Terry Reintke is the co-president of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament and member of the European Parliament’s LGBTI Intergroup. She has been an MEP since 2014. Throughout her career, she has supported the respect and improvement of fundamental European values, with a special focus on gender equality and equality of all communities in the European Union and beyond. She has been involved with Western Balkan affairs and the EU’s policy towards the region on numerous occasions.
Reintke actively supported the organizers of the 2022 EuroPride in Belgrade, Serbia, thus contributing to this event taking place in spite of numerous obstacles. It was the first such pan-European manifestation for the LGBTI community in Southeastern Europe. For years, Reintke gave support for promoting LGBTI rights in Western Balkans. She supported and attended the historic first Pride in BiH, in Sarajevo in 2019.
Every year, European Western Balkans awards individuals and organizations for their contribution to the European integration of the region. The award was established in 2019, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the portal.
The recipients of the award so far have been former Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia Nikola Dimitrov, former Member of the European Parliament and current Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia Tanja Fajon and the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).