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European Commission - Press release

Health : Commission announces winners of the 3rd EU Prize for Journalists

Brussels, 1 February 2012 - Last night, four prizes were awarded to European journalists for the best articles on health issues, selected from nearly 500 submitted by journalists from all 27 Member States. The top articles were on:

  • antimicrobial resistance,

  • the importance of exercise in helping tackle depression,

  • breast cancer, and

  • the harmful effects of smoking.

The prizes were awarded in the context of the 2011 EU Health Prize for Journalists, which aims to showcase and reward the work of journalists from across the European Union that raise awareness on important health issues that affect the lives of all EU citizens. The main theme of the prize was the 'Europe for Patients' campaign, which comprises a wide range of healthcare and patient safety-related topics. In addition, this year's competition included a special prize for articles on smoking cessation, to support awareness about what smoking means and does to people's health.

John Dalli, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy said: "I would like to congratulate the winners and all national finalists in this year's Health Prize. For three years, this competition has stimulated awareness and debate on one of the issues that matters the most in people's lives: their health. People want to know about health and journalists play a key role in reaching out to citizens and informing them".

Main prize: Europe for Patients

Two journalists from the United Kingdom, Ben Hirschler and Kate Kelland, won 1st prize for their article on antimicrobial resistance. "When the drugs don't work", published by Reuters, puts the spotlight on the emerging healthcare disaster of "super-bugs" – a subject where there is lack of awareness, even amongst healthcare professionals.

The 2nd prize was awarded to Rita Makarész from Hungary for her article "The cheapest antidepressant". This article, published on the health portal, highlights the benefits of exercise as a means to prevent depression.

The 3rd prize went to Mateja Grošelj, from Slovenia for her article "From Lojze to Ludvika", published in the Vecer Weekly newspaper. This article on the most frequent cancer amongst women – breast cancer - explores the subject from the angle of a woman undergoing a pioneering breast reconstruction operation.

Special prize: Smoking cessation

Monika Cetera from Poland won the special prize for her web article "I've come here to have my teeth treated, not to quit smoking" which details an unpleasant but lesser known harmful effect of smoking - poor oral health. The article also illustrates the financial costs associated with smoking.


This is the third edition of the EU Health Prize for Journalists, an initiative funded by the EU Health Programme. For details of the first two editions of the Prize, please see IP/10/1638 and IP/09/1661.

The selection of the winners was a two-step process. National juries selected a national finalist and a finalist from the special category smoking cessation. The EU jury, composed of European Commission officials, public heath experts and journalists then convened in Brussels to decide on the 4 winning articles. All finalists were invited to Brussels to attend a Media Seminar and Award Ceremony.

The winner and two runners-up of the 3rd edition of the EU Health Prize for Journalists receive prizes with a value of:

  • First prize € 6 000

  • 2nd prize € 2 500

  • 3rd prize € 1 500

The winner of the special prize on smoking cessation receives € 3,000.

For more information about the EU Health Prize for Journalists and to read the winning and shortlisted articles, please refer to the dedicated website:

Commissioner Dalli's website:

Contacts :

Frédéric Vincent (+32 2 298 71 66)

Aikaterini Apostola (+32 2 298 76 24)

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