Jelena Milic on Politico’s European Movers and Shakers List

The six Balkan personalities joining Politico’s list of 28 European movers and shakers include an honest policeman in Romania, the tough-guy President of Turkey, a civic activist in Serbia and a Mayor in Kosovo.

Politico Europe’s list of 28 personalities that are 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.

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, a Euro-Atlantic activist.

In Kosovo, Politico picked Shpend Ahmeti, the Mayor of Pristina, and in Greece, Andreas Georgiou, a former top statistician.

Serbia’s Milic was named an “audacious Atlanticist”. The head of the Belgrade-based think tank, the Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies, is deemed “one of the staunchest advocates of Serbian membership of both the EU and NATO – and perhaps the most outspoken critic of Russian influence in the country”.

“Milic’s pro-Western attitude and willingness to confront Serbia’s nationalists have made her a target. She has received so many death threats that she has spent time under police protection,” the summary said.

Other personalities on the 2017 list include the French investigative journalist Edouard Perrin, the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, the billionaire philanthropist George Soros, and a museum curator from Belgium.

Asked how it came up with the list of 28 people, Politico said: “We cast our net widely and solicited nominations from readers. Then editors hashed out — not without a few disagreements — this list of the shakers, stirrers and shapers of our world. And then we ranked them in order of their impact. Simply holding a powerful public position in a European country didn’t guarantee a spot on the list.”

(Balkan Insight, 08.12.2016)

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