North-South Prize of the Council of Europe
The North-South Prize is awarded each year since 1995 to two candidates who have stood out for their exceptional commitment to promoting North-South solidarity.
The candidates, preferably a man and a woman, must have distinguished themselves in the following areas: protection of human rights, defence of pluralist democracy, public awareness raising on issues of global interdependence and solidarity. Despite the variety of nationalities and fields of action of those that have received the Prize since its creation, they all have in common a strong commitment to the promotion of North-South partnership.
Ms Giuseppina Nicolini
Maria Giuseppina Nicolini, mayor of the Italian municipality of Lampedusa and Linosa, has been awarded for her commitment to the reception of migrants and to the defence of refugees’ rights, by welcoming and sheltering them and by through lobbying the Italian and the EU authorities to provide appropriate support and assistance.
She was elected mayor of her home town in 2012, just before the definitive major outbreak of the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. During her administration, the island has become one of the most efficient migrant ports in Europe. Therefore, the UNHCR refers to a the ‘Lampedusa model’ and Ms. Nicolini has been praised by human rights organisations, and even by the Pope himself, for her humanitarian approach.
Ms Mbarka Brahmi
Tunisian Member of Parliament, Ms. Brahmi is the founder of the ‘Centre Brahmi pour la paix et la solidarité’. She has been awarded for her direct engagement in the Tunisian democratic process and herin the fight for social justice. and in the Tunisian democratic process.
Ms. Brahmi started her political activity in the 80’s, during the university years in Tunis, where she was studying law and political science. She joined the opposition movement ‘Étudiants Arabes Unionistes Progressistes’, banned by the regime.
After years of commitment to women’s rights and following the outbreak of the Arab Spring, she became honorary President of the ‘Courant Populaire’ Party. In 2014, she was elected Member of the Tunisian Parliament and one year later, she took up the Presidency of the Health and Social Affairs Committee.