German Ambassador Rohde and Flutura Kusari / photo: Andreas Lamm
Flutura Kusari receives the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany

ECPMF

18 March 2024

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The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) is extremely proud to announce that Senior Legal Advisor Flutura Kusari has been awarded the prestigious Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for her tireless work to defend media freedom in Kosovo and throughout Europe. 

 

Andreas Lamm, Interim Managing Director of ECPMF, said: 

It is my sincere pleasure to congratulate our highly appreciated colleague Flutura Kusari on the well-deserved recognition, which she received for her tireless commitment to press and media freedom throughout Europe and especially in Kosovo. As one of the first colleagues at our organisation, she has significantly shaped ECPMF since 2015. Without her unwavering dedication and passion, ECPMF would not be the important organisation it is today. The awarding of this prize is a more than deserved expression of her outstanding achievements.

The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany is awarded for special achievements in political, economic, cultural, intellectual, or honorary fields. Among Ms. Kusari’s achievements recognised by the award are her efforts to establish the Journalists-in-Residence programme in Kosovo. The programme, initiated in response to Russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine, offers a safe place to reside in Kosovo for journalists from Ukraine. It was later expanded to also host journalists from Afghanistan. The German Embassy additionally acknowledged Ms. Kusari’s work to combat the threat of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) to journalists and public watchdogs.

 

This decision to award Ms. Kusari with The Order of Merit comes at a particularly key period in the fight to defend media freedom. Ms. Kusari said: 

Media freedom across Europe is facing challenges and threats, with journalists being killed, assaulted, smeared, and sued. Defending media freedom and media professionals means defending European democracy. The award is recognition of work in defence of media freedom and serves as motivation to continue with it.

The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany is the only federal decoration of Germany. It was created by the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Theodor Heuss, on 7 September 1951. Ms. Kusari joins a list of esteemed previous winners ranging from artists, activists, politicians, and journalists.

 

The award was presented during a ceremony at the German Embassy on 18 March 2024 in Pristina, Kosovo, attended by former President Atifete Jahjaga, Member of the European Parliament Viola von Cramon, and a broad range of Kosovar dignitaries including Members of Parliament and civil society.

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