Ivan Krastev, Anne Applebaum: Winners of Emerging Europe’s Remarkable Achievement Awards for 2023

The work of Bulgarian political scientist Ivan Krastev and American-Polish journalist and author Anne Applebaum is recognised as part of Emerging Europe’s latest awards programme. 

Two leading figures from the world of civil society have been named as the winners of Emerging Europe’s Professor Günter Verheugen and Princess Marina Sturdza awards for 2023. 

The Professor Günter Verheugen Award, given to eminent individuals from outside emerging Europe who have contributed to the region’s prosperity and peace, has this year been given to Anne Applebaum, an American-Polish journalist and author, while the Princess Marina Sturdza Award, given to eminent individuals from the region who have contributed to its prosperity, science, culture and peace, goes to Bulgarian political scientist Ivan Krastev. 

The laureates of the two awards are chosen by the Emerging Europe Council, whose members are leading opinion formers, senior business executives, scholars, former senior representatives of international organisations, civil society and the world of diplomacy and art. 

Previous laureates include Professor Günter Verheugen, a former vice-president of the European Commission; Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund; Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former UK foreign secretary; Carl Bildt, a former prime minister of Sweden; and Polish film director Agnieszka Holland. 

Ivan Krastev 

Throughout his distinguished career, which now spans three decades, Ivan Krastev has been a tireless advocate for the emerging Europe region, a champion of democracy, rule-of-law, and of civil society’s role in creating open, prosperous countries.  

Krastev chairs the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Bulgaria (which he founded, in 1994) and is a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences, IWM Vienna.  

He is a founding board member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and was for several years a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. He is the author of several books, including the widely acclaimed After Europe, in which he highlighted the threat posed by populism to the EU’s continued existence.  

“I am thankful to the Emerging Europe Council for this award, and I’m honoured that my work has been recognised,” said Krastev, who will be talking to Emerging Europe’s Andrew Wrobel at the Future of Emerging Europe Summit and Awards on November 8.

Anne Applebaum 

Anne Applebaum has written extensively on the history of communism and the development of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe.  

Previously best known for Gulag, a history of the Soviet penal system, in 2018 Applebaum published Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine, in which she detailed the Holodomor of 1932-33, in which four and a half million Ukrainians died of starvation, having been deliberately deprived of food by the Soviet Union.  

The book was a reminder of how Stalin intended to eliminate Ukraine because he feared that it could undermine his own rule.  

When Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in February 2022, it felt eerily prescient. 

Emerging Europe Awards 2023 

The Emerging Europe Summit and Awards is the fifth edition of a programme which showcases the best of the region: individuals, public and private organisations as well as projects and initiatives. 

The 2023 edition will take place in Brussels on November 8. 

Earlier this year, Ukrainian Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov was named Emerging Europe’s Public Figure of the Year, recognition his role in making technology a key part of the country’s fight against Russia’s invasion, and the cornerstone of its future. 

Photos: Ivan Krastev by Stephan Röhl CC BY-SA 2.0; Anne Applebaum CC BY-SA 3.0.

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