This article is part of a series highlighting the work of IEEE’s global offices.
Seán Kelly, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Ireland, took home this year’s Digital Agenda award, part of the Parliament Magazine MEP Award ceremony. Sponsored by IEEE, the award aims to recognize those working toward the Digital Agenda for Europe, which includes developing new regulations in this arena, launching a coalition on digital skills and jobs, and proposing strategies for online security.
Of the 15 award categories at the ceremony, the Digital Agenda recognition is rising in importance due to our increasingly interconnected and globalized world. Cybersecurity, data protection, and digital technology are at the forefront of EU policy. The event was hosted by Parliament Magazine, a publication covering the politics, policies, and people of the European Parliament and took place on 18 March in the Concert Noble, a meeting hall in Brussels. More than 300 people came together to raise their glasses in recognition of the 45 award nominees. The Digital Agenda award was presented by Gianluca Setti, vice president of IEEE Publication Services and Products.
Kelly was elected to the European Parliament in 2009, and served as rapporteur for the Industry, Research, and Energy Committee, in which he helped overhaul the data protection policies across the EU in 2013. He also highlighted the rise of cyberbullying by hosting a number of events in parliament campaigning against the act. He has been dedicated to promoting digital skills in Europe, including organizing the first EU CoderDojo, an open-source, volunteer-led, global movement of free coding clubs for young people. He remains dedicated to promoting a digital environment that breaks down barriers among member states, and encouraging innovation and enterprise. He is also working to protect the rights of children and people’s privacy online.
To be selected, EU policymakers submit their nomination for an MEP who they believe has made a real difference in EU policy in the area in which they work. The names are then collected by Parliament Magazine and top nominees are selected for a short list in each category. MEPs then place their vote. The results are collated by the magazine and announced at the MEP Awards ceremony
Marking its 10th anniversary, the ceremony has become a prominent occasion for the city, particularly for MEPs who are nominated for awards by their peers. This year’s ceremony not only recognized the hard work done by these leaders in the past year, but also throughout their terms.
Upon receiving the award, Kelly said: “This is a great honor. Thank you to all who voted for me and it is wonderful to work with all people in the area of the Digital Agenda.”
During the ceremony, Setti took a moment to underline the importance of information and communication technology in today’s world. He noted the need for more government policies in this area. Many of us at IEEE are looking forward to working with policymakers to advance these efforts.
Visit the MEP Awards website for more information.
Karine Iffour is the director of IEEE Business Development Europe, based in the IEEE Brussels office.