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Kriton Arsenis (Greek: Κρίτων Αρσένης, born 3 August 1977) was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) in The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) since July 2009.
He was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. He studied planning and regional development at the University of Thessaly in Greece (1996–2001) and continued on with postgraduate studies in International Development (MPA/ID) at the Kennedy School of Harvard University (2001–2003). From 2005 to 2009, he worked for the Greek NGO ELLINIKI ETAIREIA-Hellenic Society for the Protection of the Environment and the Cultural Heritage, where he was responsible for setting up the "Sustainable Aegean Programme", a public awareness campaign for the sustainable development of the Aegean Islands. From January 2008 to May 2009 he served as a member of the Greek National Planning Council where he represent 10 Greek environmental NGOs.
In June 2009, Kriton Arsenis became a Member of the European Parliament in the S&D. He was recruited to the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), by George A. Papandreou, the ex prime minister of Greece, after receiving the European Grand Prize for the “Sustainable Aegean” campaign. In May 2013 he resigned from PASOK expressing his strong opposition to water privatisation in his hometown Thessaloniki. He is a Member of the European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the Committee on Fisheries. He is also a substitute Member of the Committee on Development. He is active in issues related to biodiversity and the fight against climate change. He was also instrumental in the recent EU regulation on illegal timber. Likewise, he has been in the front line in the battle to save the bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in the Mediterranean.
Activism and awards
He has been an active member of the environmental movement in Greece and abroad since the age of 15. In 1998 he was awarded a prize by the Prefecture of Thessaloniki for his contribution to the protection of the Old City (Ano Poli) of Thessaloniki. In 2009, he was awarded by the European Union and Europa Nostra (Network of cultural heritage associate organization from all over Europe) the European Grand Prize in the category "Education, training and awareness-raising" for the campaign "Sustainable Aegean". As part of the awareness raising effort for climate change, he coordinated two Greek "Turn the lights off" initiatives, for 5 minutes in February 2007 and for 10 minutes in June 2007. In September 2010, Kriton Arsenis was awarded the MEP of the Year Award 2010, under the Fisheries Category, an award that is organized by the Parliament Magazine. Mr. Arsenis was nominated for the award for his work on Bluefin tuna and Marine issues in general, especially on his efforts on Whaling in the buildup to the IWC and the resolution on Iceland’s accession to the EU. In June 2011 he was awarded the “Fair Politician of the Year” award, by the Dutch Evert Vermeer Foundation, for fighting for policy coherence for development in the EU legislation.