ALS sufferer Bjorn Formosa is Malta’s European Citizen of the year

Bjorn Formosa was nominated by Malta’s MEPs

ALS Malta founder Bjorn Formosa was honoured by President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca in 2015
ALS Malta founder Bjorn Formosa was honoured by President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca in 2015

Bjorn Formosa, founder of the ALS Foundation Malta, has won the European Citizen’s Prize for Malta this year.

A ceremony was held in Brussels for winners of the prize from each country but Formosa could not be present due to his serious health condition.

A statement released by the European Parliament said that he would be honoured with this award at Europe House in Valletta next Friday instead.

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.”

A joint statement by the PN MEPs said 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.”

 Family photo of the European Citizen's Prize 2018 with Vice-President Sylvie Guillaume and President Antonio Tajani; Bjorn Formosa could not be present
Family photo of the European Citizen's Prize 2018 with Vice-President Sylvie Guillaume and President Antonio Tajani; Bjorn Formosa could not be present

This year’s winners include 50 people and organisation from 26 EU countries. It is a prize that is given every year to projects and initiatives that contribute to European cooperation and the promotion of common values.

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, campaigning for 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 in the form of a medal of honour and has a symbolic value.

For a list of all of this year’s winners, click here.

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