RIT-Kosovo sophomore Leonita Krasniqi was awarded the ‘Most Persistent Delegate’ among 120 delegates from 20 US and European universities to a Model EU simulation at Vesalius College of the Free University of Brussels, Belgium from 9-13 January 2018. Her persistence led to a simulated Greek victory in negotiations over its debt. Playing the role of Finance Minister Efkleidis Tsakalotos of the Hellenic Republic of Greece, Leonita worked to achieve debt relief and restructuring for her Government against the initial opposition of Germany and other creditor governments. She coordinated effectively with the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, played by RIT-K Junior Besar Gergi, to win EUR 50 billion over a period of four years to enable Greece to begin re-paying its debt.
This is the first time that RIT-K students participated in the Model EU simulation that is organized by the State University of New York (SUNY) since 1989. RIT-K students played roles as Head of Government, Foreign Minister, Finance Minister and Permanent Representative to Croatia, Finland and Greece, and also acted as the Head of Government and Foreign Minister of Cyprus. RIT-K students all distinguished themselves with excellent preparations and negotiation skills: Daorsa Bajrami, Gelonida Bajraktari, Osman Dzudzevic, Rita Ejupi, Besar Gergi, Hana Hasimja, Jona Jaha, Agnesa Jashari, Leonita Krasniqi, Hana Rizvanolli, Lea Rodiqi, Fiona Rusinovci, Xheneta Sopjani and Aid Sopjani.
The students’ extensive research on the officials and positions of each government towards issues on the EU agenda enabled students to hone their skills in negotiation, public speaking, expository writing, logic and reasoning, small-group dynamics, leadership, and problem-solving. RIT-K students also met with Kosovo Ambassador to Belgium Bernard Nikaj to learn of the day-to-day work of Kosovo’s diplomacy in the capital of Europe.
The students reported that they “cannot stress enough how this experience has inspired me to pursue studies and expand practical knowledge” and that participation in the SUNY Model EU “actually helps to understand how the EU functions in practice.” MEU Advisor Professor Mark Baskin added that “RIT-K students have shown again their capacity to compete with the best US and European students and gain experience that will help them to master the challenges of global citizenship facing Kosovo in the 21st century.”