Five Maltese Members of the European Parliament – David Casa, Miriam Dalli, Roberta Metsola, Marlene Mizzi and Francis ZammitDimech – have joined forces to nominate ALS activist Bjorn Formosa for the prestigious European Citizens’ Prize. Every year, the European Parliament rewards individuals and groups who have particularly distinguished themselves in promoting European values.
Partit Nazzjonalista MEPs David Casa, Roberta Metsola and Francis Zammit Dimech said: “It is our duty – as members of the European Parliament – to promote invaluable work done by thousands of Maltese and Gozitan volunteers. Whilst we have originally nominated id-Dar tal-Providenza for this prestigious prize given by the European Parliament, after discussions with our colleagues Miriam Dalli and Marlene Mizzi, we have decided to join them in supporting the nomination of Bjorn Formosa for this year’s prize. Bjorn’s hard work in the past years, even whilst struggling with such a difficult illness, is honourable and we will continue to ensure that the authorities give him full support in his fundraising and awareness campaigns.”
Partit Laburista MEPs Marlene Mizzi and Miriam Dalli said: “Despite fighting a terminal disease, Bjorn is dedicating his time to helping others by raising awareness, funding research and opening a home for ALS and MS suffers and neuro-patients. He has shown what true selflessness and civic sense really mean and for this he must be recognised and honoured, not least by the European Parliament. Bjorn and patients like him deserve the support of all of us and as politicians we are here to stand behind them. Because Bjorn represents the true Maltese values we believe in – selflessness, altruism and courage – we have asked Partit Nazzjonalista MEPs to support our nomination. It is not easy choosing between such two valid nominees but we have committed to support the nomination of id-Dar tal-Providenza in next year’s edition.”
Bjorn Formosa was diagnosed with ALS in August 2015. From that day, he embarked on a number of fundraising and awareness activities, which led to the opening of Dar Bjorn in November 2017.
ALS – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – is a specific disease which causes the death of neurons controlling voluntrary muscles. This disease is characterised by stiff muscles, muscle twitching, and gradually worsening weakness due to muscles decreasing in size. This results in difficult in speaking, swallowing and eventually breathing.
Each year, the European Parliament awards the European Citizen’s Prize to citizens, groups, associations or organisations who have displayed exceptional achievements or outstanding commitment to society in various areas. Every Member of the European Parliament has the right to nominate one person or organisation for the prize. The final selection of the European Citizen’s Prize is made by a jury chaired by European Parliament Vice-President MEP Sylvie Guillaume. The winners will be announced and given the award at the European Citizens’ Prize ceremony in October.