Meet the jury of the EWWR Awards 2022!

The EWWR jury is composed of professionals working in the environmental sector who are recognised at the European level. They are in charge of examining the shortlisted actions (those pre-selected by the EWWR coordinators) and of designating a winner for each of the 6 categories, according to the EWWR criteria (visibility and communicational aspects; quality of content; originality and exemplarity; and lasting impact & follow-up). The jury members for this edition are:

  • Public administrations and organisations: Luca Menesini, European Committee of the Regions (CoR)

Luca Menesini, was born in Capannori, the largest rural municipality in Italy, of which he became Mayor in May 2014. In 2000, he graduated in Political Science in Pisa. He then attended a second-level master’s degree at the Scuola Superiore S.Anna in Pisa in management and health and from 2003 to 2009 he collaborated with the National Volunteer Centre on international cooperation and European volunteering. From 2004 and until his election as Mayor, he held positions in the Capannori administration, first as Councillor for Social Policies and Cooperation and then as Councillor for Public Works and Deputy Mayor. His local political experience is crowned by his election as Mayor, and is enriched in 2015 with the position of President of the Province of Lucca. He is a Member of the European Committee of the Regions since 2020.

  • Business/Industry: Julia Blees, European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC)

Julia Blees is Policy Director at EuRIC, the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation. At EuRIC, Julia focusses on regulatory, policy as well as legal issues of importance for the recycling industry. She is a fully qualified lawyer in Germany and holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from George Mason University in Virginia, USA. Prior to working at EuRIC, she worked at the World Bank’s Legal Vice-Presidency as well as a Brussels-based consultancy advising multinational companies on environmental, health and safety (EHS) matters.

“By prioritizing waste reduction, reuse, and recycling over disposal, we can conserve natural resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and protect the environment and human health. Ultimately, embracing the waste hierarchy is an essential step towards building a sustainable future for ourselves and future generations.”

  • Associations/NGOs: Andrea Gonzalez, European Environmental Bureau (EEB)

Andrea works at the European Environmental Bureau, Europe’s largest network of environmental citizens’ organisations, and has been supporting different departments for the last five years. Currently, as part of the Membership team, she helps ensure the smooth functioning of a network that brings together over 180 civil society organisations from more than 40 European countries. In her free time Andrea creates digital content in Galician to encourage young people from her region to live more sustainably. She shares information about initiatives at local level and ways to reduce the individual carbon footprint.

“Fashion has become an important element to define who we are and how the world sees us. But many trends are short-lived and our wardrobes are now a storage space where millions of garments spend only a few months before becoming trash. Are we destined to be very stylish humans living in a dirty and scarce planet? Or can we transform the way that clothes are made, sold, worn and reworn? This years’ creative initiatives showed that there is another way and strong rules for the textile industry at EU and global level are needed to get us there.”

  • Educational Establishments: Noelia Cantero, European association of regional and local authorities for lifelong learning (EARLALL)

Ms. Noelia Cantero is Director of EARLALL, being in charge of managing the association, supporting members and organising political and technical meetings. She represents the organisation in international meetings and maintains relations with members and partners in EU projects. She holds a Law degree and a MA in European Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges. Prior to joining EARALL, Noelia set up and directed an education and training consultancy firm. She also worked for a European network (Coimbra Group of Universities) and for the Murcia Region Office in Brussels. She has also experience in working with the EU institutions as external expert. Noelia has over twenty years’ experience in working with EU policies and programmes in the fields of education, training, and research.

“It is an honoured to be part of the European Week for Waste Management 2023. It’s been a pleasure to learn about so many cutting-edge actions implemented at local level by education providers. I have felt inspired by all the learners and young people around Europe who have carried out innovative projects that contribute both to a sustainable planet and an inclusive society. It has been really challenging to pick the best ones as they all deserve our gratitude. Many congratulations to all the participants!”

  • Citizens: Franc Bogovič , European Parliament (EP)

Bogovič is currently serving his second term as a Member of the European Parliament, where he is engaged in topics related to agriculture, rural and regional development, cohesion policy, as well as energy. Bogovič is also leading the Smart Villages initiative in the European Parliament. With ensuring EU funding of pilot projects and preparatory actions on Smart villages in the last few years, Bogovič is working closely with the European Commission so that Smart Villages are going to become a significant part of the future EU regional and rural development policy.

“We live in a time when the very concept of waste is being transformed. What was once considered waste is now being seen as a resource. We are witnessing the birth of a circular economy where nothing is wasted and everything is reused, reduced or recycled. It is a truly remarkable shift in our thinking and our approach to sustainable living.”