Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic met with the newly appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Austria in Serbia Mr. Nikolaus Lutterotti. The meeting was the occasion for the Mayor Bulatovic to present to the Ambassador the projects implemented by the City of Nis, economic and scientific capacities, cultural, historical and tourist potentials of our city. During the discussion it was pointed out that Austria was one of the biggest and most important foreign trade partners of Serbia; however business, scientific and cultural cooperation could be intensified. His Excellency Ambassador Lutterotti stressed that Nis was the first city outside of Belgrade that he visited since he took office four months ago. He pointed out that he was familiar with the work and plans of Austrian companies in this area and thanked the Mayor for the successful cooperation and assistance that Austrian businessmen could always count on. The Ambassador also emphasized the importance that Austrian diplomacy gave s to the process of Serbia’s accession to the European Union, and especially now, while chairing the EU Council of Ministers, and stated that the position of the Government of Austria and Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was that Serbia and the entire Western Balkans should be part of EU and that, on way to achieving this goal, Serbia could count on the support and assistance from Austria. The meeting between Mayor Bulatović and Ambassador Lutterotti was also attended by Goran Jovanović, the owner of the Serbian-Austrian company Tagor, recently in the capacity of Honorary Consul of the Republic of Austria in Nis.

Blockchain links Serbian diaspora and their families back home

Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic and Ms. Steliana Nedera, acting Resident Representative of the UNDP Office in Serbia signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the City of Nis on the implementation of the pilot project Blockchain-based diaspora remittances in the City of Nis. The National bank of Serbia fully endorsed the test (pilot project) to be conducted by UNDP, since the Bank itself has been planning to also test and potentially introduce blockchain technologies for diaspora remittances. Thus the City of Nis has become the first city in Serbia that is included in the blockchain system that UNDP is implementing in several countries which, according to Mayor Bulatović, is the proof that Nis is on the right path to achieving one of the most important goals, which is to become the City of Advanced Technology.

The goal of the project is primarily to connect the Serbian diaspora and their families in the homeland, and UNDP designed it to test how this type of advanced technology can be of use to citizens as well as to government and local governments. The pilot project focuses on the transfer of money through the use of blockchain technology, from individuals abroad to individuals in Serbia, i.e. in Nis, whereby these services will be cheaper, more transparent and tailored to the needs of citizens. The City of Nis was chosen because of its close and strong connections with the diaspora, as well as the openness of the city administration for the application of new technologies. UNDP partnered with the AID:Tech Ltd., a private company from Ireland, well known and recognized for its innovative technological solutions for the humanitarian and development sector, and the U.S. company Stripe, specialized in safe online payments.

UNDP’s pilot involves participation of up to 200 recipients and senders of remittances, who have been selected through a public call to voluntarily take part in this initiative. The recipients will get digital voucher ID cards, and they will be able to use the funds that they receive to pay for utilities and purchase groceries in three transparently chosen local retail stores in Nis. The expected value of all the participant transactions is estimated at $20,000.Tracking what people buy is part of the testing, so that in the future potential senders could automate money transfers to pay for utilities and merchandize directly. All the data gathered for the purpose of testing will be used with the consent of the participants and with the consent of the city of Nis local authorities, while taking into consideration the Law on Personal Data Protection. The pilot anticipates that it would be possible to track the type of items purchased, but not by whom they were purchased. Administrators will be able to view the aggregated data showing where the funds are being directed via blockchain digital assets, e.g. 50% of all the funds sent to Nis will be used to pay for utilities and 50% for the merchandize.

The use of open-source blockchain platform, provided pro-bono by AID: Tech Ltd, is expected to bring several benefits, for a number of beneficiaries: ensure traceability and transparency of the inflows of diaspora remittances into Serbia; channel diaspora remittances towards socially responsible purchases; enable easier and cheaper money transfer for the remittance senders, by avoiding the intermediaries. The goal is for the transaction costs to be less than 3% in average, compared to the existing, much higher costs paid via traditional banking sector and/or financial service companies; secure the privacy of individuals, since personally identifiable information is held off-chain in accordance with the GDPR, while individuals are identified on the blockchain through unique digital identifiers; enable creation of digital IDs that can be used for other money transfers (such as, for example, social welfare) and other purposes.

The City has, in parallel, initiated the process of establishing a blockchain regional center with the following interested parties: Faculty of Electronic Engineering, University of Nis, Faculty of Economics, University of Nis, NiCat cluster of advanced technologies Nis, Young Ambassadors Nis, Cofound.it Serbia, and Center for Innovative Youth Entrepreneurship Nis. Having in mind the potentials of blockchain technology, the above-mentioned organizations agreed on the following goals: advocacy for regulations that will contribute to the development of blockchain technology and eco-system of digital entrepreneurship at the regional and national level; capacity building for the development of blockchain technology (Training and Education, Research and Innovation) and initiation of a project with a high social, economic and environmental impact at the regional level,  providing knowledge and conditions to existing IT companies and potential startup companies for project development using existing Blockchain platform.



The 11th International Student Folklore Festival, which has gathered more than 500 participants from eight countries, Greece, Georgia, Bulgaria, Bolivia, China, Costa Rica and Mexico and the performances in seven cities in Serbia this year, was officially opened last night in Nis. In short – half of the world in the southeast of Serbia! Their hosts are the Student Cultural Center Nis and the Academic Folklore Ensemble Oro. Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic welcomed the participants and organizers of this significant cultural event at Nis City Hall with a wish to feel good in our city. “The City of Nis recognizes the social and cultural significance of this festival, and will do its best to be a good example of how love, peace and tolerance among young people should be spread, and art is the best way to accomplish this,” said Mayor Bulatovic. The Director of the Student Cultural Center, Dragana Petković, said that the Festival has been growing and developing for years, and so, apart from Nis, concerts will be held in the municipalities of Bela Palanka, Vladičin Han, Knjaževac, Ćuprija and Ražanj.


On the occasion of the second anniversary since being elected Nis City Mayor, Darko Bulatovic gave an interview to daily newspaper Politika.

 Bulatovic: Nis Has  Future

In the past two years, significant development results were achieved, the enormous debts and the number of unemployed have been reduced, and the conditions for further development were created, Mayor Bulatovic said.

Since July 11th, 2016, when, following the spring elections, the current executive city government was formed, very important results were achieved in Nis in terms of development and improvement of the lives of citizens. These are the words of Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic who particularly pointed out that Nis had changed its image in a really short time period, which could be seen at every step. Nis is also the driving engine of all the most important economic, cultural and sporting events in the South and Southeast of Serbia, and it is on the best way be the leader again in the development of this part of our country.

In the past two years, due to the support of the prime minister then, and now the president of Serbia, Aleksander Vucic, we have achieved the most in the field of economic development, largely by our own engagement and extraordinary cooperation with the state authorities and ministries in the Serbian government. Recently the City of Nis has been awarded the title Champion of Local Economic Development by Serbian Development Agency and the National Alliance for Economic Development, whose chairman of the board used to be PM Ana Brnabic. This recognition has come to us for the best practice in attracting foreign investors. The business environment in Nis has been completely changed – new factories and production facilities have been opened, the number of unemployed people is now around 26,000, and in 2012 as many as ten thousand more fellow citizens were unemployed. At the end of summer we expect the announced arrival of new investors in Nis. At the same time, we managed to free ourselves from the huge amount of debt owed due to unplanned spending of money from the city budget and, which, it was known, two years ago was over 50 million euros. Rigorous savings, good planning, increased revenues and reduced expenditures and with significant financial support of the state to our budget, we reduced the city’s debt by about 2.5 billion dinars, and kept fulfilling our regular obligations. And, most importantly, the City of Nis did not take any new loans.

Significant results in Nis, Bulatovic emphasizes, have been achieved in all areas of life and work:

Nis actively engaged in the beginning of the realization of the Railway Corridor 10 project, the airport’s operations improved with a record increase in the number of passengers, almost all city public companies and institutions operate without problems. The New Clinical Center has been opened, and the City Health Care Center, the largest primary care institution in Serbia, has been renovated. In cooperation with the University of Nis, much is being done to activate educational potentials and thanks to that Nis is already highly positioned as one of the largest centers for the development of advanced technologies in Serbia. At the same time, numerous problems have been resolved in the utility service system and transport infrastructure, as well as in the area of ​​child and social protection and in the continuity we are solving all the problems of citizens so that we could provide better living conditions and a higher standard for our citizens.

In the end, Nis City Mayor especially stressed that everything was done in order to continue the development of the city without the delay:

I have to point out that because of the overall measures undertaken to overcome the challenges of the long-term crisis and positive results on creating the conditions for further development, the city also received the award from the British Financial Times which recognized Nis as the European City of the Future”. And on the World Bank Doing List Nis ranked top positions according to the time needed for obtaining the construction and other permits and thus City of Nis has been giving full support to the Serbian government’s policy of attracting investment and economic development. This, as well as the constant support we have from the state authorities and the people who lead Serbia, most of all, obliges us not to stop, said Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic in the interview for the Daily Newspaper Politika on the occasion of the secondary anniversary of his term of office.

Toma Todorovic, Politika


The City of Nis has joined the ROMACTED Programme Promoting Good Governance and Roma Empowerment at Local Level, which, with the support of the European Union in Serbia, is implemented by the Council of Europe, on the basis of the agreement between the European Union and the Council of Europe. ROMACTED results from the experience of the ROMED and ROMACT programmes and will reflect upon the adaptation of these methodologies and activities to each beneficiary and selected location, in order to fit into the policy cycle and the dynamics and reality of each municipality, and thus bringing an additional input to existing policies and practices for an effective and more inclusive functioning. One of the leading guidelines in the methodology of the programme is that participation in local governance can only be effective if it is context-appropriate. Thus, a preliminary mapping, assessment, baseline survey and research are done in each selected municipality so as to facilitate the adaptation of the programme and its support and monitoring of the process. In addition to the Strasbourg-based team, the programme will have project officers in the Council of Europe offices in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey and a national support team from Roma civil society in each of the beneficiary countries. The aims of the programme are to: strengthen political will and support local development through capacity-building of local authorities and effective participation of Roma citizens in local plans and projects; empower the Roma citizens- on the individual level (assisting people to practice their basic rights and to expand their capacity and skills), as well as on the community level (assisting people to get organized to voice their interests around community problem-solving);  improve and expand the institutions’ commitment, capacities, knowledge and skills in working for Roma inclusion, putting into practice the concepts of good governance.

So far, in cooperation with the Roma community and local self-government, the following actions have been successfully carried out: cleaning the railway crossing in the settlement Beograd Mala in cooperation with the Serbian Railways, water supply at the Roma cemetery, as well as the connection of the chapel to the water supply network in cooperation with City Municipality Crveni Krst and PUC Naissus, clearing the wild landfills in cooperation with PUC Medijana. Further plans related to the Roma population will be directed to solving many problems in various areas: water supply, sewerage infrastructure in Roma settlements, traffic signs and safety, systematic solution of wild landfills in settlements, assistance in renovating several residential buildings for the most vulnerable Roma population, cleaning and maintenance of railway crossroads around settlements, education, scholarships, prevention of drug addiction, assistance in securing the equipment for the collectors of raw materials which could be found at the landfill. “Local self-government is ready to answer with its all the available capacities to the problems of our citizens with the obligatory active participation of members of the Roma community”, said Nis City Council Member Tijana Djordjevic Ilic, and announced that in addition to the above Program, a Protocol on Cooperation was signed aimed at improving living conditions of the Roma population in settlements.



The Western Balkan Investment Framework (WBIF) will support with a total of € 5.5 million in grants for the development of design and technical documentation for the construction of the railway bypass around Nis and the modernization of the Nis-Presevo-Border line with Macedonia. Decision on financial support for the preparation of technical documentation for these two projects WBIF Management Board delivered upon the proposal of the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure. Of the total amount, two million euros were approved for the development of a project for obtaining the building permit for a one-track railway bypass around Nis, as part of the modernization of the railway line on Corridor 10 from Nis to Dimitrovgrad, while € 3.5 million was designated for the preparation of the feasibility study and a study on environmental impact assessment for modernization of the railway on Corridor 10, section Nis-Presevo-Border with Macedonia, according to a statement from the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure of Serbia.


The presentation of the project Updating Address Register in the Republic of Serbia was held in Nis today. The project is being implemented under the auspices of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, and is being implemented by the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, the Ministry of State Administration and Local Self-Government and the Republic Geodetic Authority. Nis City Mayor met with the representatives of the above mentioned institution and expressed his full support to the realization of this project which was very important for the citizens and pointed out that a lot had already been done regarding the renaming, so that there were no streets in Nis with the same name. When it comes to giving names to the streets in the rural area the Mayor said this was an opportunity to show respect and gratitude to many people, especially those who have lost their lives in war-related events in the past decades, primarily in the communities in which they lived, of course, with the consent of the family. The discussion also emphasized that the costs of the technical procedure, the making of signboards with street names and house numbers will be borne by the State, so that this process would cost the citizens very little. The only thing that citizens would have to do by themselves was to make changes in personal documents. According to the data of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 3,028,020 citizens have registered residence in the streets without a specific home number, out of which 2,676,898 citizens have been registered at the addresses for which no street name has been specified (known as “No Street bb”). The estimation is that, in the territory of Serbia, there are 47,000 street names missing as well as a million house numbers, said Vukasin Grozdic, Advisor to the Serbian Prime Minister. The address register has data on street names and house numbers and is one of the key state registers in addition to the register of companies, the register of the population and the register of real estate. The Republic Geodetic Authority is in charge of maintaining the address register, but the registration of the address is carried out on the basis of formal decisions of the units of local self-governments on giving the name of the street. The Law on Local Self-Government prescribes the original jurisdiction of local self-government in the allocation of the name of streets, squares and alleys. At the end of last year, the Government of Serbia formed a coordinating body for the improvement of the address register, which includes all relevant ministries and organizations. It is estimated that the total cost of updating the register and marking streets and home numbers will be 5 million euros. It is expected that at the end of 2018 a unified public procurement will be announced for all street and house numbers in the territory of Serbia. The marking will last from November to the end of April 2019. Local services and state authorities (police department, tax administration departments) will successively align their database with the updated registry.


Nis City Deputy Mayor Milos Bandjur met with the prominent Russian actors who were staying Nis during the manifestation Days of Russian Film. Artists from Russia used the opportunity to socialize with film lovers and respond to journalists’ questions, and after the press conference held at Nis City Hall the hosts and guests visited Nis Fortress. The Festival is held at Cinema Vilin Grad. The screenings of the movies are free. The Festival was opened by Pavel Drozdov’s film We Will Not Say Goodbye”, which the Serbian audience will see immediately after the Russian premiere. The citizens of Nis will have the opportunity to see the drama Coach directed by Danilo Kozlovsky, the war thriller We Will Not Forgive by Pavel Drozdov, the comedy I Am Losing Weight by Aleksei Nuzhnya, as well as the thriller The Gogol Beginning by Egora Baranova, the drama Dovlatov by Aleksej German and the fantastic story The Last Knight by Dmitry Djachenko and comedy Hello, Oksana Sokolova by Kiril Vasilyev.




July 4th

The exhibition entitled Children of Diana hosted at Army Hall speaks about a woman who saved more than 7,500 Serb boys and girls from the death in Jasenovac concentration camp during the Second World War. The exhibition was opened by the Commander of the Land Army Forces of Serbia, Lieutenant General Milosav Simovic. Authors Slađana Zarić and Ivan Mangov placed original photographs, documentary recordings and archival material in the atmosphere of the camp and presented authentically the suffering and horrors, and the rescue of Serbian, Roma and Jewish children. This exhibition is an opportunity for those who know who Dijana Budisavljevic is to learn more, for younger generations to learn about her heroism. This exhibition is another opportunity to find out what happened to our people. The exhibition is part of the project “Diana’s Children”, within which a documentary was broadcast at the national service station. The exhibition was attended by Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatović.


July 3rd

The City of Niš has been awarded the Local Development Champion Award for 2018/19 for best practice in attracting investors. In the framework of the joint project by NALED and the Development Agency of Serbia, awards were given to prominent individuals, towns and municipalities that contributed to the development of local self-governments, and besides Niš, awards were given to Šabac, Bečej and Kruševac. The awards were presented by the Vice President of the Government of Serbia and the Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlović and the Minister of State Administration and Local Self-Government Branko Ružić, and on behalf of the City of Niš this prestigious award, which testifies about the readiness and ability of Niš to respond to the needs of the  investors and businessmen and to create a positive business environment, was received by the Nis City Council Member for Economy Mihajlo Zdravkovic. “This is another award that proves that we are doing the right thing. Thanks to the full support from the Republic, we were ready to welcome investors and managed to open new factories. Our results are not just on paper, they are visible everywhere around us. On the present day, the number of unemployed in Nis is 26 041, which is 10 000 less than it was in 2012. Of course, this award shows us once again that we should continue to work as before. This is a new incentive, in addition to the award that we recently received from the Financial Times, and I believe that in the coming period we will have successful results, “Zdravkovic said. The awards of Local Development Championships were presented at the National Conference during the Local Economic Development, which included the results of the research on the capacities of local self-governments for local economic development, conducted in the framework of the joint project by NALED and the Development Agency of Serbia. Also, at the meeting, new mechanisms for supporting municipalities and cities were discussed to attract investments, establish better cooperation with the existing economy and tradition in choseing occupations in the function of economic development.