As part of Europe Day 2016 celebrations, the EU in Kosovo presented for the first time the annual EUROPEAN OF THE YEAR award, to acknowledge an individual/institution for the promotion of the European idea in Kosovo. The award was presented by Samuel Žbogar, Head of EU Office in Kosovo/EU Special Representative, and Bekim Çollaku, Minister of European Integration of Kosovo. The first European of the Year was awarded to the European judo champion Majlinda Kelmendi. “I am happy to see that true Europeans come from all layers of the society: the institutions as well as from civil society; we find them in sports halls and among local communities. They selflessly walk that extra mile because they believe that they are doing the right thing. They work hard. They make us proud. They motivate us. Those are our Europeans”, said Žbogar.
The nominees for the first European of the Year award were Majlinda Kelmendi, the Institution of Ombudsperson of Kosovo; Danijela Zubac, member of the Development Fund Board; “Let’s do it Kosova – Clean Up Kosovo” initiative; the Group for Legal and Political Studies; and Krenare Gashi, Head of the Kosovo Youth Centres’ Network.
The ceremony was followed by a presentation of the publication “SAA for Everyone”, which outlines the main points of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) in a way understandable to all. The SAA between the European Union and Kosovo entered into force on 1 April 2016. The Agreement is the first comprehensive contract between the EU and Kosovo and a milestone for Kosovo-EU relations.