Politico Europe’s list of 28 personalities likely to shape, shake and stir Europe in 2017 features mayors, business people, activists and journalists at the expense of political bosses – and the selection from the six Balkan countries included in this year’s list is no different, Balkan Insight reports:
The list published on Wednesday was the second by the media outlet, which has a European edition, in 2015. In the first, the Balkans was represented with three personalities out of 28. From Bulgaria, the editors of Politico picked Irina Bokova, Bulgarian director-general of UNESCO, and from Serbia, Jelena Milic (above), a euro-Atlantic activist. In Romania, Politico ignored the political class entirely to single out Marian Godina, a cop who become a social media sensation for his striking honesty.
In Kosovo, Politico picked Shpend Ahmeti (right), the Mayor of Pristina, …. Mayor Ahmeti of Pristina was called a “nation builder” for his work in improving the lives of the 350,000 residents of the Kosovo capital. “The job is a dangerous one, pitting him against a political power structure forged in the post-independence chaos in which former freedom fighters, led by current President Hashim Thaçi, consolidated power in nearly every aspect of Kosovo’s society, including politics, business, security and the courts,” the summary about Ahmeti reads.
Dubbed the ‘Audacious Atlanticist,’ Milic – who runs the Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies in Belgrade – is described as “one of the staunchest advocates for Serbian membership of both the EU and NATO — and perhaps the most outspoken critic of Russian influence in the country.”
Ahmeti founded the Institute for Advanced Studies GAP, one of Kosovo’s leading think tanks.
Milic is a grantee of the National Endowment for Democracy; Ahmeti is a former NED grantee.