Dr. Elemér Hantos Prize, 2013
The two recipients of the 2013 Dr. Elemer Hantos prize were Vesna Pusic & Jadranka Kosor. They were awarded his prize in a nationally—televised ceremony in Zagreb, Croatia. Awarding the prize were Stefan Messmann, chairman of the Central Europe Foundation award committee, and Charles Epping, President of the foundation.
Working from opposite sides of the political spectrum, the two parliamentarians were instrumental in bringing Croatia into the European Union. Both encompass perfectly the ideals of Dr. Elemer Hantos, who worked tirelessly to promote economic cooperation in Central Europe.
Vesna Pusic was one of the 28 founding members of the liberal Croatian People's Party (HNS-LD) in 1990, after participating in the Coalition of People's Accord. She left party politics in 1992, but rejoined the same party in 1997 and was later its President between 2000 and 2008, and again since 2013. She first entered the Croatian Parliament in the 2000 parliamentary election, and has been reelected in 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015.
In 1992 Pusic was the co-founder and director of the Erasmus Guild, a nongovernmental, nonpartisan think-tank for the culture of democracy, and the publisher and editor of the journal Erasmus, focusing specifically on different issues of transition in Croatia, countries of former Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe. Erasmus Guild ceased operations in 1998.
In 2005 and 2008, she was made Chairwoman of the National Committee for EU negotiations, the body that oversees accession negotiations and is composed of members of parliament as well as representatives of the President, the academic community, employers, and union representatives. In 2006 and 2008 she was elected vice-president of ELDR.
In the Croatian presidential election, 2009–2010, Pusic was the HNS-LD candidate. She won 7.25% in the first round, placing fifth out of twelve candidates, and was thus eliminated from the second round.
After Kukuriku coalition won the 2011 parliamentary elections, Pusic served as Minister of Foreign and European Affairs in the center-left Cabinet of Zoran Milanovic. Pusic was reelected to the Parliament on 2015 parliamentary elections and serves as a Deputy Speaker of the Croatian Parliament since 3 February 2016.
Excerpts from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vesna_Pusi%C4%87
Note: On September 3, 2015 the Croatian Government nominated Pusic as the official Croatian candidate for 2016 UN Secretary-General. Her nominations was officially submitted on 14 January 2016.
Jadranka Kosor served as the 9th Prime Minister of Croatia from 2009 to 2011, having taken office following the sudden resignation of her predecessor Ivo Sanader. Kosor was the first woman to become Prime Minister of Croatia since independence.
Kosor started working as a journalist, following her graduation from Faculty of Law of University of Zagreb. During the Croatian War of Independence, she hosted a radio show dealing with refugee problems and disabled war veterans. She joined the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) in 1989 and quickly climbed up the party hierarchy. In 1995 she was elected party vice-president and was elected to serve in Parliament for the first time.
As Prime Minister, she strongly advocated a zero tolerance policy to political corruption and organized crime. This uncompromising stance, along with the new criminal code passed before her term began, opened the door to unprecedented efforts to combat corruption. This resulted in numerous arrests of influential business-people and politicians from across the political spectrum…
In foreign policy, Kosor and her Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor were successful in solving the long-standing border dispute and she is credited with successfully finishing the negotiating process of the Croatian accession to the European Union. On 9 December 2011, she and President Ivo Josipovic signed the Treaty of Accession in Brussels.
Excerpts from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jadranka_Kosor
Arranging the award ceremony, which was broadcast on Croatian national radio and television, was prize committee member Josip Kregar, Croatian sociologist, jurist and politician. Dr. Kregar is a tenured professor at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law and an independent member of the Zagreb City Council since 2009.
More photos from the award ceremony can be found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mvep_rh/sets/72157637908945245/