The Malta Independent 13 November 2018, Tuesday

Bjorn Formosa recognised as Malta’s European Citizen of the Year

Thursday, 25 October 2018, 17:56 Last update: about 18 days ago

Bjorn Formosa, the founder of the ALS Foundation Malta, has won the European Citizen's Prize for Malta for 2018.

The European Citizen's Prize is given to people and organisations across the 26 EU states, and is awarded annually based on projects and initiatives that contribute to European co-operation and the promotion of common values.  This year 50 people in fact were honoured with the award.

A ceremony was held in Brussels for winners of the prize from each country however, due to his health condition, Formosa could not be present.  He will however receive his award this Friday at Europe House in Valletta instead, the European Parliament said.

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Formosa had been nominated for the prize by Labour MEPs Marlene Mizzi and Miriam Dalli and later received joint backing from Nationalist MEPs David Casa, Roberta Metsola and Francis Zammit Dimech.

"Bjorn has shown what true selflessness, civic sense, generosity and altruism really mean," Mizzi said. "He is an inspiration to us all and is turning his pain and suffering into an opportunity to help others."

Miriam Dalli said that Formosa managed to make a "difference in the lives of ALS sufferers and their relatives."

The PN MEPs said in a joint statement that they "were delighted that Bjorn won this award as his hard work in the past years, even whilst struggling with such a difficult illness, is an example."

Parliament Vice President Sylvie Guillaume, a French member of the S&D group said that helping the most vulnerable, fighting against discriminations, racism and hate speeches, defending intercultural dialogue, integration of migrants and refugees, campaigningor more tolerance, gender equality, involving young people on European projects, acting for freedom of speech, were values set out in the daily-life actions of the people and organisations awarded this year.

"Our citizens have a voice, and this prize perfectly demonstrates that we are listening to them," Guillaume said.

The prize is a form of medal of honour and has a symbolic value to it as well.

 


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