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This year the European Citizens prize is awarded to Chris Delicata, President and Regional Chair of the International Diabetes Federation Europe Region (IDF Europe) for his outstanding contribution to the fight against diabetes.  The award ceremony took place at Europe House in Valletta on Wednesday, presided over by Maltese Member of the European Parliament, Simon Busuttil. The event was attended, amongst others, by Dr Joe Cassar, Minister of Health, Elderly and Community Care in Malta, Maltese Members of Parliament, and Government Officials.

Mr Delicata, Senior Manager at GasanMamo Insurance Limited, a leading insurance company based in Malta, has dedicated an overwhelming amount of time to fighting diabetes by actively contributing to Maltese and European projects. He works with the aim of helping raise awareness of the disease and enhance the quality of lives of people who live with diabetes. Mr. Delicata was surprised and deeply honored to receive the prestigious award. His emotive acceptance speech described the impact that diabetes had had on him and his family. Mr Delicata first learnt about diabetes when his eldest son Jack was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes twelve years ago,

“I did not want Diabetes to takes over my life – on the contrary I wanted to do something tangible for Diabetes. I felt that if I wanted something to be done, then I must offer my contribution… I feel proud that I have managed to turn one of the worst episodes in my life to a positive one for me and my family.” – Mr Delicata

Dr Busuttil was there to congratulate Mr. Delicata and reiterated that this award reflects the hard work, integration and achievements of the Maltese people since joining the European Union in 2004.

“This award recognizes the notable contribution of Chris Delicata in the fight against Diabetes at the EU level. His work has helped bring Europeans together to work harder and more effectively against Diabetes. In this way he has shown himself to be a true, exemplary European citizen.” – Dr Busuttil

Dr Busuttil also paid tribute to the struggle of diabetes in Malta and called for greater government involvement to help combat this disease. Mr. Delicata also met with His Excellency President Dr. George Abela at San Anton Palace and the Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Lawrence Gonzi at Auberge de Castille, who thanked him on behalf of the Maltese people.

The award ceremony also included a key note speech from Sir Michael Hirst, President-Elect of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) who echoed the importance of a national diabetes plan.

“The International Diabetes Federation is absolutely delighted that Chris Delicata has been given the European Citizen’s Award for his voluntary work on diabetes.  Chris is a most deserving winner of this prestigious award. His hard work in Malta and throughout Europe as President of IDF Europe has rightly been recognised, and is inspirational to all people whose children develop type 1 diabetes.  It is a signal honour also for IDF Europe.” – Sir Michael Hirst

Background note

Since 2009, the European Parliament has awarded the Civi Europaeo Praemium – European Citizens’ Prize on a yearly basis to reward outstanding contributions to European public life.

On 17 March 2011, the Chancellery of the European Parliament, chaired by President Jerzy Buzek, drew up a list of European Citizens’ Prize winners nominated from across the European Union. The list, which includes Mr Delicata, is made up of individuals and organizations including scientists, artists, historians, campaigners, academics, student and voluntary organizations and sports associations.

Prizes are awarded to nominees at public award ceremonies held near the recipients’ respective places of residence, and are presented by the President of the European Parliament, one of the Vice-Presidents or a representative of the European Parliament designated by the President.

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is a not-for-profit umbrella organization of over 200 diabetes associations worldwide. We see ourselves as the ‘global voice of diabetes’ and an influential advocate for people directly and indirectly affected by diabetes. IDF has seven regional offices which are the interface between our national member associations and global headquarters in Brussels and are critical for the delivery of our advocacy and programmes.

IDF Europe is one of these regional offices and represents 62 member associations in 45 countries in Europe. These member associations are either organizations representing patients or health care professionals or a combination of both. The activities of IDF Europe aim to influence policy, increase public awareness and encourage health improvement, promote the exchange of high-quality information about diabetes, and provide education for people with diabetes and their healthcare providers.

For more information please contact Jessie Kennelly Tel: +32 2 639 2092.