Former aid minister Lilianne Ploumen has been awarded this year’s Machiavelli prize for her campaign for the safe abortion fund SheDecides.
Ploumen set up the fund a year ago after being ‘deeply disappointed’ in US president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw $535m in funding for groups that assist with or advocate abortion around the world.
So far dozens of countries and individuals have pledged €400m for the fund.
The Machiavelli prize is awarded to a person or organisation which the jury considers has excelled in public communication. In particular, the jury praised the speed at which SheDecides was set up and went global.
‘A worldwide movement of countries, funds and people was created within less than six weeks,’ the jury report states.
Ploumen told Radio 1 news that the initiative was spontaneous. ‘Usually I am someone who plans but when Trump came out with that decision, I thought “we have to do something. No plan, no strategy, but a real conviction that something had to happen”.’