VILNIUS / TALLINN – Both Lithuania's President Valdas Adamkus and Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves have been nominated for a European of the Year award.
The awards are annually organized by the weekly European Voice belonging to The Economist Group. It nominates 50 personalities that have had the biggest effect on politics and the law to receive the award.
Adamkus was nominated as a result of his famous ‘staircase diplomacy’ contribution to EU negotiations. During bad-tempered meetings that saw Poland becoming isolated from other EU member states, Adamkus revealed a sprightly turn of pace in repeatedly using back staircases to act as a go-between and eventually helped broker a compromise deal.
Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves was nominated for his robust stance on relations with Russia, including his leadership during the ‘bronze soldier’ riots of late April.
Other nominees include French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.