Bekim Blakaj Wins “European of the Year 2024” Award

The EU Ambassador to Kosovo, Tomáš Szunyog, presented the "2024 European of the Year" award to Bekim Blakaj, Executive Director of the Humanitarian Law Centre Kosovo, for his significant contribution to promoting European ideas and values in Kosovo in the presence of the Parliament Speaker, the Prime Minister, the Ambassador of Belgium in Kosovo, representing the Belgian presidency of the Council of the European Union, as well as representatives from the diplomatic community, political parties, civil society, and media. 


“For over two decades, Bekim has been advocating for justice, human rights, and reconciliation. Believing that peace finds its roots in the past, Bekim has tirelessly worked to combat one-sided narratives of the past and promote a more just society that respects the rights of each citizen. He is a true role model in Kosovo and beyond, embodying EU values,” said Ambassador Szunyog during tonight’s Europe Day reception.

Ambassador Szunyog

The EU Ambassador in Kosovo also thanked the other nominees for this year, who have shown remarkable dedication in promoting the European idea and values in Kosovo: Blert Morina from CEL Kosovo, Vesna Stajić, from the multi-ethnic gender-based violence shelter, and Mentor Gashi and Slavisa Stojanovic from the Pristina Dog Shelter.


The “European of the Year” award is presented for the ninth year in a row, on the occasion of Europe Day, by the EU in Kosovo to an individual or an institution that the EU in Kosovo considers to have contributed the most to the promotion of the European idea in Kosovo over the past year. While the EU in Kosovo and the EU Member States propose the nominees, the winner is determined through votes cast on the Facebook page and Instagram account of the EU in Kosovo. 

Previous “European of the Year” award winners are:

2016 - Majlinda Kelmendi, Olympic, World and European Judo Champion

2017 - Erzen Shkololli, artist and curator

2018 - Jeton Neziraj, playwriter and artistic director of Qendra Multimedia

2019 - KIVO company, joint Kosovo-Dutch venture

2020 - Lul Raka, Professor of Microbiology and Infection Control, University of Pristina

2021- Association of Kosovo Mathematicians.

2022- Fahrije Hoti, entrepreneur

2023- Ledion Halitaj, guitarist