The European Union has launched a campaign called „Europeans making a difference“ in order to introduce hardworking, talented and accomplished representatives from the Western Balkans to its citizens. The European from Montenegro making a difference is Milos Karadaglic, one of the world’s most renowned guitar players.

„If you really love doing what you are doing, then the sky is the limit“ states Milos as he starts his story about success. He discovered the sound of the guitar when he was eight years old. In the beginning, he wanted to give up because of the hard work. After he resolved this dilemma, Milos decided to become the best classical guitarist. His albums now top the world classical music charts.

„I am a big fan of my country and I am always proud to say I am Montenegrin. I spent the first sixteen years of my life there, surrounded by family and friends. This is very important for me and some kind of basis for what I have become“ said Milos.

He has travelled the world playing his guitar, but he still claims that Montenegro is the most beautiful country in the world. He often explains to his European friends that it is really rare to find such beauty and diversity in such a small country as Montenegro.

„I think it would be a dream to join the EU because the people in Montenegro, my family, and all of my friends – we all feel part of it already. Feeling that we are part of the European family is very important to us“ asserted Milos and then added with a smile: „It would make me very happy to see Montenegro in the European Union.“

On the list of Europeans making a difference are also Edin Dzeko, a football player from Bosnia and Hercegovina, the Serbian actress Hristina Popovic, the chef Altin Prenga from Albania, the fashion designer from Kosovo* Krenare Rugova, and the film director from North Macedonia Milcho Manchevski.

Edin Dzeko is the first player ever to score 50 goals in three of Europe’s major leagues. He is the Captain of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team, a striker for Roma, and a UNICEF Ambassador. Edin Dzeko started his career in post-war Sarajevo. He explains that he was enriched by the experience of playing all across Europe – from the Czech Republic to Germany, England, and Italy.

Hristina Popovic is one of Serbia’s most popular actresses. She grew up on stage and started acting at the age of seven. Hristina rose to fame with her role in movies such as ‘Parada’ (‘The Parade’) – a critically acclaimed movie in Serbia and across Europe – and for her roles in theatre plays, such as Waiting for Godot.

After many years in Italy, Altin Prenga returned to Albania to establish his restaurant “Mrizi i zanave.” At the heart of his concept is the respect for Albanian traditions and the love of nature. Prenga is an advocate of the Slow Food movement: he works with 400 local producers to protect and reclaim Albania’s culinary heritage.

New York, Paris, and Pristina are only some of the destinations the Kosovar fashion designer Krenare Rugova visits during her professional life. Following her studies at the Parsons School of Design, Rugova decided to return to Kosovo, where she started her eponymous fashion label. Combining ancient techniques and traditions, Rugova creates environmentally-friendly and avant-garde pieces.

Milcho Manchevski’s Academy-award nominated film ‘Before the Rain’ won the Golden Lion award in 1994, and received 30 other prestigious awards. The New York Times included his achievements in the “1,000 Best Films Ever Made” list. The acclaimed filmmaker from Skopje had his work screened at more than 300 festivals worldwide. He is now finalising his 6th feature film ‘The Willow’.

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* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and ICJ Advisory opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence