Islam Jusufi, 33, belongs to a new generation of well-trained Macedonians. He has studied and worked in Ankara, Washington, Amsterdam, Sheffield, Budapest, Brussels, Strasbourg, Moscow, Geneva and Beijing, focusing on international relations and politics.
In 2001 he joined the cabinet of late Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski as an adviser on NATO and EU affairs. Trajkovski was a moderate, reform-oriented politician who played an important role in resolving the 2001 conflict. He died in a plane crash in 2004.
Today, Jusufi works for the European Union in Skopje, managing EU assistance programmes. He has a lot of hope for his country:
"In 2001, there was a new goal emerging, it happened to be European integration, and this is the challenge now. How fast we are going to get to this goal. It has to happen, not just for the sake that we have the Balkans integrated in the European Union, but for the sake of