Women of Europe Awards: Romania’s ex-anticorruption head takes home Woman in Power award
Laura Codruta Kovesi, the former chief prosecutor of Romania’s National Anticorruption Department (DNA), won the Woman in Power award at the fourth annual edition of the Women of Europe Awards organized in Brussels.
Kovesi recently became the first Chief EU Public Prosecutor at the newly established European Public Prosecutors Office (EPPO), and was awarded this prize “for showing extraordinary political leadership in Europe through her notable work against high-level corruption in Romania.”
“I am very honoured to receive the “Woman in Power” award and I see it as a recognition of my efforts and as an encouragement to not give up on my work. In my view, to be powerful means to gain the trust of the people, and importantly, to succeed in keeping it. In my line of work, you can do so only by working professionally, being consequent and by respecting the law at all times,” Kovesi said upon receiving the award, according to the press release announcing the winners.
“This award belongs equally to all of the people that have supported me in the fight against corruption, and in upholding the rule of law and European values. I would especially like to thank all my supporters over the years. Moving forward, we need to work to promote equality, justice and the rule of law, as the European Movement has done for the last 70 years,” she added.
The Women of Europe Awards are handed out annually to honour and celebrate women striving to advance the European project in their professional or private capacity. The winners of this year’s awards are Laura Codruta Kovesi, who won the Woman in Power award, human rights lawyer Milena Kadieva – winner of the Woman in Action award, Mimycri’s founders Eleonora Azzaoui & Vera Günther – winners of the Woman in Business award, and Konsent’s co-founder Johanna Nejedlová - Woman in Youth Activism award.
Laura Codruta Kovesi was born in Sfantu Gheorghe, in Covasna county, and went to high school in Medias, where she also played for the local basketball team. She then went to the Law Faculty of the Babes Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, which she graduated in 1995. The same year, she started her career as a prosecutor at the prosecutor’s office attached to the lower court in Sibiu (Judecatoria Sibiu).
After almost four years in this position, she moved to the prosecutor’s office attached to the Sibiu Court (Tribunalul Sibiu) and that’s where her ascension started. Within four years, she became head prosecutor of the criminal investigation section in the Sibiu prosecutor’s office, after which she moved to the Sibiu branch of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), in December 2004. In June 2006, she became chief prosecutor of DIICOT Sibiu.
From that position, she made the leap to general prosecutor of Romania, in October 2006. In May 2013, she was appointed chief prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), a special prosecution unit specialized in investigating top-level corruption cases. Read more about her here.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea)