- The embassies of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden in Serbia, under the auspices of the Nordic Council of Ministers, organized a series of events on the topic of the circular economy, in Novi Sad, Kragujevac, Niš and Belgrade. The aim of the conferences was to raise awareness of key local partners about the importance of the circular economy, strengthen the determination to continue implementing the principles of circular economy in Serbia, and transferring Nordic experiences and knowledge in this important area. As pioneers of sustainable development and the circular economy, the Nordic countries fully share the European Commission’s vision of a European Green Deal and a greener, non-toxic and more efficient production process. The partners of the Nordic embassies in the project are: the Nordic Business Alliance (NBA), the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED), the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, the Chamber of Commerce of Vojvodina, as well as the cities of Novi Sad, Kragujevac and Niš.
- With the great support of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Danish Ministry of Culture, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark organized an exhibition and lecture on modern Danish architecture in cooperation with the City of Nis and the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture of the University of Nis. The exhibition’s authors are Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Association of Danish Architectural Firms and DANISH™, a platform for the promotion of Danish architecture and urban planning. The exhibition presented examples of modern, sustainable architecture of well-known Danish companies. From socially sustainable projects aimed at creating interactions to environmentally sustainable emission reduction projects by converting energy from sun, water and wind to electricity. After the opening of the exhibition, students and all interested had the opportunity to hear the lecture by Jakob Matzen, a former member of the City of Copenhagen Urban Planning Team, who shared the experience in the area of town planning in Denmark. Also, after the lecture, with the support of the Danish Ministry of Culture, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark the Danish documentary film “Great Architecture on a Small Planet” produced by the Danish National Television and the production company The Thin Green Line, was screened also for the gathered public. This documentary deals with examples of Danish architecture and urban planning from Copenhagen to Buenos Aires, as well as today’s challenges, such as climate change and increasing urbanization.
- The Center for Issuing Building Permits was opened in Nis, as well as the City Call Center within the project “Improvement of the Work of City Services and Management Capacities” in the City of Nis. The project was funded by the European Union through an Exchange 3 program implemented by the Standing Conference of Cities and Municipalities. The City of Nis implemented this project in cooperation and with the support of the non-governmental organization Balkan Development Team from Nis and the City of Aarhus from Denmark, which technically assisted with the implementation of the project.
- The cooperation between the Nis City Administration for Agriculture and Rural Development and the Danish Development Project Supporting the Development of Fruits and Berries in Southern Serbia. The main outcome of the Danish intervention will be to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Serbian fruit and berry production, especially in the south of Serbia which will have a direct impact on increasing export revenues and improving the trade balance. The program will be implemented over 4 years. The Danish financial contribution will be a maximum of € 5,360,000, supplemented with national sources from line ministry and municipalities as well as from private co-financing. The program itself is divided into two major components: capacity building of agricultural advisory services, training, enhancement of cooperation between producers, including sub-components for development and enhancement of cooperation across the value chain from producer to consumer and exporter, including market research and marketing cooperation. The program will focus on the entire value chain for certain types of fruit and berries in southern Serbia. This component will include technical support for introduction of new proven and selected fruit and forest varieties, new methods of modern production, harvesting and processing, including a sub-component of strengthening quality control, risk analysis, monitoring safety and certification of selected fruit and berry types. The grant scheme component will focus on investing in new production methods and improving quality and competition.
- The project “External and Internal Networking of SMEs” is the support to improving the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises in national and export markets. This support will be reflected in improving the local business environment, through the direct involvement of representatives of the private sector and small and medium-sized enterprises in the development of local economic development policies, as well as in creating conditions for retaining and expanding existing businesses. The project has a total value of 1,490,000.00 RSD, of which LEDIB will finance 1,250,000.00 RSD and the City of Nis 240,000.00 RSD through salaries of project team members. During the project realization, the internal and external business climate in the city will be improved with the help of all available instruments, such as raising the level of internal networking between local SMEs, intensifying the connection of domestic companies and foreign direct investments from the Nis region and improving the external cooperation between City of Nis, local business community and foreign direct investment.
- Within the project Improvement of the Work of City Services and Management Capacities in the City of Nis, through a series of activities, during the past months, the City of Nis continued to work on establishing the City Call Center and Building Permit Issuing Center in cooperation and with the support of the Balkan Development NGO team from Nis and the City of Aarhus from Denmark. For four days the expert team members from Denmark worked to educate the selected representatives of the city administration and the public utility companies on the importance of call center in the communication and organization of functioning of the city, as well as on the training of operators who would work in those call centers.
- Local Democracy Agency for Central and Southern Serbia (LDA) and the Office of the City of Aarhus in Nis presented a series of Danish films in June and July in the European Corner. The selection of Danish documentaries, dramas and comedies gave the audience the opportunity to understand the character of Danish society, culture and mentality in general. The films were especially interesting for young people from Nis because they presented the living conditions of young people in Denmark and present problems for Danish youth.
- Organized by twin cities, Aarhus and Nis, an exhibition entitled “Days of Aarhus in Nis” was held in the European Corner. The exhibitors participating in this exhibition were the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark in Belgrade, the Archaeological Museum of Aarhus, the Museum of the Old City of Aarhus, the University of Aarhus, the Museum of Modern Art, the official tourism organizations of Aarhus and Denmark – Visit Aarhus and Visit Denmark, Region of Aarhus – Office in Brussels , Danish Parliament – EU Office, International High School for the EU, Local Economic Development Program in the Balkans (LEDIB) and Danish furniture company based in Nis – Ergomade.
- The City of Nis, the City of Aarhus and the Local Democracy Agency for Central and Southern Serbia signed the Partnership Agreement on the Aarhus City Institutional Support Program for the City of Nis and the LDA Office. Within the Association of Local Democracy Agencies (ALDA) in 2001, the LDAS Local Democracy Agency was opened in Nis. The City of Nis was one of the founders and host of the LDA and the City of Arhus joined through the activities of its Office for International Cooperation and the Employment Department. The program included the employment of City of Aarhus staff (salary and accommodation costs in Nis for a 6-month engagement) at the LDA and through its work engagement supporting the Office for Local Economic Development and the Office for European Affairs. The project lasted until 2012.
- The City of Nis established Capital Investment Unit with the financial support of the LEDIB program. The task of this Unit is to continuously inform the public about investing in capital facilities, to promote the overall image of the city and certain specific initiatives and activities, as well as constant monitoring of investments, data analysis and their use for the purpose of undertaking future steps and initiatives in the field of planning and construction. This means that investors will be able to receive information and resolve their requests in a faster and easier way. The Capital Investments Unit will facilitate communication between local government and investors, standardizing procedures, improving working methods and improving employee codes of work, which is the main goal realization of this project. By equipping the premises and engaging ten educated and competent persons for the work at the Unit, favorable conditions are created for the provision of services to end users. The purchase of the equipment was financially supported by the LEDIB program.
- The Protocol on Twinning and Establishing Cooperation between the City of Nis and the City of Aarhus was signed and it implied institutional support through the engagement of the staff of the City of Aarhus in the organizational units of the City of Nis. Areas of cooperation: economic development, project management, European integration, employment.
- In accordance with the assessed needs of the Nis City and Nis City Municipalities, and with the capacities of City of Aarhus to contribute to the solution of the observed problems, the City of Nis and City of Aarhus established cooperation in the area of resolving the unemployment problem in Nis City. City of Nis and City of Aarhus agreed to work together on the development of the project – Job Centre in Nis within which the City of Aarhus would transfer to the City of Nis its positive experience related to the decreasing the unemployment by providing support to the development of small and medium sized enterprises.
- The MoU on capacity building was signed between the LEDIB Program and the City of Nis, on the basis of which the following projects were realized: Promoting entrepreneurial skills in vocational secondary schools, Preparation of the Tourism Development Strategy of the City of Nis, Establishment of a capital investment unit, SME Weekly Bulletin as part of local daily newspaper.
- The Local Economic Development Programme in the Balkans (LEDIB) is a five-year program to support local economic development with a focus on the development of the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector. The development goal of the program is the socially balanced economic development and job creation in Nisava District in Serbia.