The European Commission’s initiative in plastics pollution reduction and awareness raising is the overall winner in the European Ombudsman’s 2019 Award for Good Administration, announced at a ceremony in Brussels by the Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly.

Prizes in six other categories – including communications and open administration – were also awarded from a total of 54 nominations from across the EU administration.

The Award for Good Administration recognises actions by the EU public administration that have a visible and direct positive impact on the lives of citizens.

“I am delighted to present the 2019 Award to the teams in DG Grow and DG Environment for their work on this issue,” said the Ombudsman.

“There is growing public consciousness about the devastating effects of climate breakdown and the need to change our everyday habits to protect the environment. The Commission’s plastics reduction strategy – executed by its internal market and environment directorates – is an excellent example of a public administration acting on citizens’ concerns.”

Category winners included Europol for its innovative project using crowd intelligence to help locate sexually exploited children, and EFSA for raising awareness about threats to bees. Staff from the European Parliament won a special award for their campaign, in the wake of the global #MeToo movement, on zero tolerance for workplace sexual harassment.

Nominations also included the making of applications for EU funding easier, presenting relatively new concepts – such as digital ethics – in innovative ways, introducing green policies internally, and proactively informing people of their EU rights.

The Ombudsman introduced the Award for Good Administration in 2017 to recognise excellence in EU public service and to encourage the sharing of good ideas and practice. This is the second edition of the award.

The nominations were assessed by an independent advisory board and the winners were chosen by the Ombudsman.

For a list of the winners in all categories, please see below or here.