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Mile Milenkoski Milefsky Award winner 2023

IBRU, Durham University’s Centre for Borders Research, has awarded its sixth annual Raymond Milefsky Award to Macedonian borders expert Mile Milenkoski.

Mr Milenkoski combines a background in surveying and geodetic engineering with a diplomatic career in border management. 

After using his technical skills to take a leading role in the delimitation and demarcation of the border between the Republic of North Macedonia and Serbia, Mr Milenkoski proceeded to work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia to develop and implement cross-border management initiatives with both Serbia and Kosovo. He also has participated in a number of initiatives on borders and security while serving as a member of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia’s mission to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Mr Milenkoski’s work has been particularly attentive to the ways in which a state’s approach to border management is impacted by its affiliations with international groupings, its level of recognition, and its role in the ever-present histories of conflict and cooperation that so often impact efforts at border management. Each of these variables have been notably present in the Balkan region, and the multifaceted Balkan environment has informed Mr Milenkoski’s approach as a border professional as well as his successes in advancing border practice.

In granting the award, IBRU Director Philip Steinberg noted, “We often forget that an effective border requires effective, collaborative management as well as agreed delimitation, and this level of consensus can be difficult to achieve given the differences and rivalries that invariably occur across borders. Mile Milenkoski’s work has shown the value of an integrated approach that crosses the borders of border studies as well as the borders between countries.”

The Milefsky Award is made possible by a bequest from the estate of Raymond Milefsky, a long-time borders expert with the US Department of State who was a frequent tutor at IBRU training workshops. The award includes a cash prize of £745.

The Milefsky Award is made annually to an individual or organisation that has advanced boundary-making or cross-border cooperation. Nominations for the 2024 award will open in January 2024.