Europa Nostra pays tribute to its Secretary General on her Silver Jubilee

Europa Nostra has paid tribute to its Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović for her charismatic leadership, great passion and complete dedication to the organisation, enabling it to go from strength to strength for 25 years – since 1 December 1991 to be exact. On the occasion of her Silver Jubilee of working for Europa Nostra, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović was presented with a ‘book of friends and memories’ (‘Liber Amicorum’), prepared by the International Secretariat in cooperation with the Board and the Council, featuring personal messages written by some 70 leading figures, members and friends of Europa Nostra from across Europe. This book was presented to her at a surprise party held at the organisation’s headquarters in The Hague on 23 February 2017. During the recent Board meeting in Valletta (17 March), the Board also presented to Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović a special gift: a cartoon drawn by the world-renowned French cartoonist Plantu, laureate of the Helena Vaz da Silva European Award in 2016.

Silver Jubilee of Europa Nostra’s Secretary General

To give you the flavour of the many messages included in our Secretary General’s ‘Liber Amicorum’, here are some quotes:

Denis de Kergorlay, Executive President of Europa Nostra (France), noted: “Our President Plácido Domingo remarked on it with humour when he became part of the ‘Europa Nostra family’: Sneška here, Sneška there, Sneška everywhere! Without the slightest doubt, Europa Nostra could never have progressed so rapidly and so greatly without the personality of Sneška: hard-working, endowed with solid common sense and shrewd judgment, realistic and imaginative, and, perhaps above all, with a capacity for truly contagious enthusiasm, she really makes things happen. She is at the same time a strategist, a diplomat and, from time to time, a bulldozer! Sneška is the soul of Europa Nostra and Europa Nostra is the soul of Europe”.

John Sell, Executive Vice-President of Europa Nostra (United Kingdom), said: “Sneška is an unstoppable force. Fearless in protecting and promoting Europe’s cultural heritage. Fearless, I suspect, because she understands very clearly the connection between the value of cultural heritage and the fundamental human values which should underpin every society. It is her determination, her energy, her dedication that have made Europa Nostra the influential organisation that it is today.”

Costa Carras, Vice-President of Europa Nostra (Greece) – who has worked very closely with our Secretary General ever since she joined the Europa Nostra team -, highlighted: “The greatest tribute any of us, Board member, Council member or ordinary Europa Nostra member alike, can pay to Sneška on her 25th anniversary with Europa Nostra, is to be, and to act, more like her in the future than almost all of us have in the past. Sneška’s greatest future success cannot be in achieving more and more for Europa Nostra herself. She has already done so much. It can, and hopefully will be, in inspiring ever more of us to do more and to do it in such a manner that our vision of a Europe with shared values and a richly varied but uniquely inspiring cultural heritage, becomes a reality.”

Dineke de Koster, former Treasurer and long-standing Benefactor of Europa Nostra (the Netherlands) – whose late husband was President of Europa Nostra and who recruited Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović for Europa Nostra back in 1991 -, wrote: “From the very first day that Sneška joined the organisation, Europa Nostra and the whole European Movement gained a fighter for the good cause in all the countries she has visited. Under the leadership of our Secretary General, the staff of the organisation has shaped itself into a hardworking group of real friends”.

Christopher Audland, Honorary President of Europa Nostra (United Kingdom) – who has worked closely with Sneska Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic during the first 15 years of her service to Europa Nostra -, stated in his congratulatory message: “She made an immediate, positive impression on our then President, Hans de Koster. From the beginning, it was clear that we had recruited somebody who was devoted to her work, highly intelligent, a good organiser, a good linguist, tactful and an excellent contact person: in short, a remarkable personality. Since joining us, she has worked steadily to improve Europa Nostra/EU relations to good effect and has helped to raise Europa Nostra’s international reputation”.

In her thank-you message sent to the Executive President, the Vice-Presidents, the Board and other key figures of Europa Nostra who have contributed to her Silver Jubilee ‘Liber amicorum‘, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović responded:

“I am deeply moved by the beautiful ‘liber amicorum’ to which you all contributed with so much generosity and friendship. Let me thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for your beautiful words and wishes! On reading your messages, I have had a flashback of half of my life which I have given to Europa Nostra. How many extraordinary memories of extraordinary people, extraordinary places and extraordinary projects across Europe. I have surely given a lot to Europa Nostra, but I have received from Europa Nostra – and from all of you – so much more! Therefore, I wish to assure you that my Silver Jubilee ‘liber amicorum’ has given me renewed inspiration and energy to continue to serve – with as much passion and dedication – the cause of Our Heritage and the cause of Our Europe during the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018 and beyond.”

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