Gay rights campaigner Sophie In’t Veld has been nominated as MEP of the Year.

The vice-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian rights has been recognised for her civil liberties campaigning particularly in regards to the gay community where she has pushed for greater LGBT rights throughout the continent.

She is nominated along with Josep Borrell president of the European Parliament, Evelyne Gebhardt a German Socialist, and Malcolm Harbour a UK Conservative Martine Roure a French Socialist and Terry Wynn a UK Socialist .

The Dutch Mep has regularly shown her support for gay rights by attending controversial pride events in Riga, Warsaw and Moscow.

It is the sixth award ceremony arranged by weekly newspaper European Voice.

The publication, along with a panel of European leaders and thinkers, has drawn up the names of the 50 people who, in their view, have most influenced the European agenda over the past 12 months.

Nominees include José Manuel Barroso, Angela Merkel, Franco Frattini, Josep Borrell, Wulf Bernotat, Nicolas Sarkozy, Lakshmi Mittal, Orhan Pamuk and Colin Firth.

The European public is also given their chance to vote online at www.ev50.com or through a ballot form printed in European Voice.

The nine categories are Commissioner of the Year, MEP of the Year, Statesman/Woman of the Year, Diplomat of the Year, Campaigner of the Year, Business Leader of the Year, Journalist of the Year, Achiever of the Year and Non-EU Citizen of the Year, and the overall European of the Year.

The winners of the awards will be revealed at a gala dinner held at the Cercle Royal Gaulois in Brussels on Tuesday, 28 November 2006.