Vincent Kompany elected New European of the Year


Belgian Red Devil Vincent Kompany was voted "New European of the Year" in the European Parliament this evening. This new award was presented for the first time this year by UNITEE and is aimed at honouring Europeans with a migrant background. The Belgian top footballer was selected unanimously by the international jury, consisting of European politicians and representatives from businesses and NGOs.

Kompany "crosses borders, not only with his football talent but also thanks to his spirit, entrepreneurship, social commitment and voluntary work. His character and determination make him one of the world's best footballers. He is an example to many Europeans", is what Philippe De Backer, member of the European parliament, had to say in praise of the captain of the Belgian Red Devils and Manchester City. The prize was given to Vincent's father, Pierre Kompany, by the Open Vld member of the European parliament. "This award is one of the most important he has won up until now", said Kompany's father. "I am really proud of my son and particularly delighted that he is being recognised as a person. A father can't help but be proud of such an achievement."

Kompany was not the only Belgian to be given a prize that evening. Meyrem Almaci also received the UNITEE prize for ‘Outstanding New European Politician’. Almaci is a Belgian with Turkish roots and has a strong academic background. She participated in research projects about the success of immigrants in higher education. Since 2014 she has been president of the ecologically inspired Groen! (green) party, as well as being a member of the federal parliament since 2010.

The New European Awards are an initiative from UNITEE, a European organisation uniting entrepreneurs and professionals with an immigrant background. With members including the Belgian Betiad to their name, UNITEE claims to represent 15,000 entrepreneurs and business people in 26 European countries.