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EU in Kosovo: Fahrije Hoti is the 2022 European of the Year 

May 10, 2022

The EU Ambassador in Kosovo, Tomas Szunyog, announced last night during the Europe Day reception in Pristina, that Ms Fahrije Hoti is this year’s winner of the European of the Year Award.

This is the seventh year in a row that the EU issues the Award in Kosovo to a person that has, over the last twelve months, contributed the most to the promotion of European values.

Nominees for the 2022 Award were: 

  • Ms Behare Bajraktari, Founder of the BB Green Kosova,
  • Ms Fahrije Hoti, Founder of the Agricultural Cooperative Krusha, 
  • Ms Jovana Radosavljević, Founder of the New Social Initiative,
  • Mr Samir Karahoda, Filmmaker and Short-film Programmer at DokuFest, and
  • Ms Sebahate Hajdini, Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Kosova.

While the EU family in Kosovo proposed the nominees, it is people of Kosovo who chose the winner. Those five candidates, four of whom are women, have generated the largest interest in the award thus far, with some 15,000 votes cast on social media. 

This is a testament to the important role women play in the society, and their immense contribution to the progress in all spheres of life.

“I am honoured to be giving the 2022 European of the Year Award to Ms Hoti, and I want to acknowledge Ms Barjaktari, Ms Radosavljevic, Mr Karahoda, and Ms Hajdini for their daily contributions to the betterment of Kosovo society,” said Ambassador Szunyog.

 

“By caring about their society and doing what is important for its members, they are directly supporting Kosovo on its European path, and as such they are all role models to be followed. I wish for more people in Kosovo to follow in the footsteps of our current and previous European of the Year Award winners and nominees, and I hope that the award to Ms Hoti will help do that,” he added.

The text of Ms Hoti’s online nomination read: 

 Ms Fahrije Hoti, is the best example of how to turn a painful experience into courage and resilience. After the war, which took her husband along with 243 men and boys from her village, she and all the other women of Krusha were faced with tremendous problems on how to raise children without any income. Today, Fahrije is the proud owner of Kooperativa Krusha, a company employing 50 women, which produces a variety of pickles and ajvar. Her inspirational tale made her the main character of the Oscar-nominated movie Hive.

Previous European of the Year Award winners are:

  • 2021: Armend Shabani, Head of Mathematicians Association,
  • 2020:  Lul Raka, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Pristina, 
  • 2019: Visar Ramajli, Director of KIVO company, 
  • 2018: Jeton Neziraj, Director of Multimedia Centre,
  • 2017: Erzen Shkololli, Curator and Artist, and
  • 2016: Majlinda Kelmendi, Olympic Champion in Judo.

The EU in Kosovo is helping Kosovo progress on its European path.

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