- The City of Nis participated in the International Real Estate Fair EIRE 2013, held in Milan, Italy, organized by the Agency for Foreign Investment and Export Promotion of the Republic of Serbia with the support of the Consulate of the Republic of Serbia in Milan. The City of Nis took the opportunity to present its investment potentials at one of the leading European fairs in the field of investments and real estate.
- Within the state program of commemoration of the anniversary of the Edict of Milan, the opera Troubadour by Giuseppe Verdi was performed at the Summer Stage of Nis Fortress. The Embassy of Italy in Serbi financially helped the realization of this concert.
- The 20 most successful works of students of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture in Nis under the title “National Ethno Construction” were presented within the exhibition at the EU Corner. The exhibition is part of the project Enhancing the Capacity of the City of Nis for Ambient and Ecotourism, realized by the City of Nis as part of the project Enhancing Ecological Tourism in the Territories of Shkodra, Nis, Kraljevo, Niksic and Peja within the SEENET Program: International Network for Cooperation between Italy and Southeast Europe. The developer of the project is the City of Trento, Trentino Region, Italy, and the local partner in the project is the Nis Tourism Organization. The students of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, in cooperation with the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, have prepared preliminary designs and replicas of valuable buildings, houses from this area, which would be used in the realization of the second phase of the project – construction of an ethno village in Sićevo.
- Nis City Mayor Milos Simonovic and Luka Leti, the representative of the Italian region of Trentino, signed the contract for the implementation of the project “Strengthening the Capacity of the City of Nis for Ambient and Ecotourism”. The project was approved under the SEENET program: an international network of cooperation between Italy and Southeast Europe, as part of the program “Strengthening eco-tourism in the territories of Shkoder, Nis, Niksic and Peja”. The aim of the project is to improve the living conditions of the population in the rural area and to protect the natural resources, as well as to improve the accommodation capacities, the inclusion of the City of Nis in the network of environmental and eco-tourism, sensitization of the local population, promotion of tourism. The complete project documentation for the construction of 11 residential buildings and ethno restaurants with an information reception will be prepared by the Institute for the Protection of Monuments. The facilities will be located on the land belonging to the City of Nis, l in the village Sicevo. Preliminary projects will be jointly prepared by the experts from the Institute for the Protection of Monuments and 10 students at the final year of architecture or postgraduate studies, five from Nis and five from Italy. The total value of the project is € 151,141. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Italy is financing the project with € 104,819 and the contribution of the City of Nis is € 46,322. The project implementation period is 36 months.
- Thhe Italian Cultural Center from Belgrade and a representative of the National Museum of the City of Milan participated in the conference entitled Directions and Modalities of International Cooperation of the City of Nis in the Field of Culture. The conference is part of the project “Development of the Program Basis and Promotion of the Nis City Office for International Cooperation in Science, Education and Culture”. The first day of the conference was the final step before the establishment of the Nis City Office for International Cooperation in Science, Education and Culture. Its purpose was to hear, after initial internal consultations, the opinions and suggestions of important partners outside the city – representatives of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, cultural attachés of embassies and cultural centers in Serbia, representatives of the donor community and local experts in the field of cultural policies. The second day of the conference was dedicated to the presentations and exchange of experience in the field of research, protection, valorisation and promotion of the cultural heritage of Constantine cities: Trier (Germany), Arles (France), Milan (Italy), Izmit (Turkey), Carnuntum – Petronell (Austria), York (United Kingdom) and Nis (Serbia).
- The Settlements and Integrated Local Development Program (SILD) is a continuation of the SIRP Programme. The SILD program is being implemented at the regional level in partnership with the Italian Government and, besides Serbia, it will focus on Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The program fund amounts to EUR 7 million, of which EUR 3.8 million has been allocated to Serbia. SILD aims to contribute to sustainable and inclusive cities by supporting integrated urban development, with a particular focus on devastated neighborhoods, in line with Task 11 of the Millennium Development Goal 7 related to adequate housing and improvement of poor urban areas, and through compliance with standards and European Union practice. SILD is aligned with national sustainable development strategies and the social inclusion policy framework. SILD will act as a catalyst for the sources of capital investment provided by European Union financial institutions such as the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) and others. The SILD aims to identify an integral approach that combines social housing and integrated urban development within the perspective of social inclusion. In Serbia, the Program will be implemented in partnership with 11 cities/municipalities (Bor, Cacak, Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Leskovac, Nis, Novi Sad, Subotica, Uzice, Valjevo, Vranje) and with significant participation and coordination of the Social Inclusion and Poverty reduction team of the Office of the Vice President for European Integration. It will also be implemented in partnership with relevant competent ministries, including the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, a former partner of the SIRP Program, and other national institutions such as the Standing Conference of Cities and Municipalities (SCTM).
- Within the SIRP Addendum Program, the City of Nis and UN Habitat signed the agreement on the implementation of the initial phase of the project of implementation of the City of Nis Development Strategy. From December 2008 to May 2009, the Working Team, consisting of local consultants and local administration representatives, with the technical support of UN-HABITAT, formulated a review of the City of Nis Development Strategy and the Operational Program for the period 2009-2011. The Operational Program is an overview of concrete activities and projects with a financial structure for their implementation, based on the City of Nis Development Strategy and national strategic documents, harmonized with the European Development Documents. The operational program will focus on the implementation of development policies.
- Nis City Housing Agency and UN Habitat signed the agreement on cooperation on the project – Initial steps in the process of relocation of the Roma settlement in Nis – which refers to the development of the urban and architectural project of the new settlement and the preparation of the project for settlement relocation.
- The national conference under the title Organized Crime – Dossiers of Serbia was organized in Nis, by the NGO Protekta and the City of Nis. The National Conference is part of the European Citizens’ Campaign against Organized Crime. FLARE Network, the first non-governmental European network fighting against organized crime, which was joined by NGO Protekta, launched an international campaign against organized crime on 21 March in Napoli, Italy, at a major anti-mafia rally organized for 14 years in a row to commemorate victims of organized crime. More than 100,000 people took part in the event, and Serbia was represented by NGO Protekta from Nis and the NGO Generator from Vranje. Within this campaign, 33 different events are organized by NGOs, members of the FLARE Network, in 28 countries in Europe and the Middle East. The City of Niš joined the organization of the campaign for the fight against organized crime. The campaign has three main objectives: to influence the European Parliament to declare March 21 as the International Day for Remembrance of Organized Crime Victims, to influence the European Parliament and national and local institutions to support civil society and non-governmental organizations in the fight against organized crime, to influence the European Commission, the Council of Europe and the national institutions of Europe to introduce at European level legal norms and regulations governing the social use of property acquired through criminal offenses.
- In cooperation with the Italian non-governmental organization UCODEP and the National Employment Service, the Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Empoli Valdelsa County Development Agency in Italy, within the framework of the SEENET program of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Tuscany region, the Information and Communication Center was opened for entrepreneurship development.
- The Help Desk has been opened for all necessary information from public utility company Mediana and Naissus. This service was realized within the project Improving the Quality of Services in the Public Sector of the City of Nis. The participants in the project are the City of Nis, the Italian NGO UCODEP, the PUC Naissus, the PUC Mediana, and the project was funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Italy and the Region of Tuscany, under the SEENET program. The value of the project is 39,970 euros.
- SIRP – the Housing and Permanent Integration of Refugees Program in Serbia – aimed at developing sustainable solutions to housing and integration problems for low-income refugees and other vulnerable households and to build capacity at the municipal and republic levels for reapplication and upgrading. The Government of Italy funded the program implemented by UN-HABITAT. The program covered seven selected municipalities/cities: Municipality of Čačak, City of Kragujevac, Municipality of Kraljevo, City of Niš, Municipality of Pancevo, Municipality of Stara Pazova and Municipality of Valjevo.
- In March 2005, the Memorandum of Understanding was signed between UN Habitat and the City of Nis for the construction of 78 new housing units for refugee families and socially deprived persons as the first phase of the € 1,019,200 investment, representing a donation from the Italian Government. Pasi Poljana settlement was started in June 2006. Cities and municipalities participating in the program, including the City of Nis, committed themselves to provide construction land and communal infrastructure. In November 2008, keys were given for the flats in Poljana Paca to 60 refugee and 15 socially disadvantaged families from Nis
- Nis City Housing Agency was established in 2003 during the preparatory phase of the SIRP program, as a legal successor of the Solidarity Housing Construction Fund of the City of Nis, in order to implement local housing policy, manage and maintain public, rental and social housing fund. UN Habitat and Nis City Housing Agency worked together to prepare the City of Nis Housing Strategy, which was adopted in 2006 and has been the basic instrument for planning, budgeting and implementing the housing policies of the City of Nis.
- In October 200, Nis City Assembly adopted the Decision on preparation of the strategy of the City of Nis Development Strategy. The City of Nis established the Development Council, a project management body chaired by the President of the City of Nis Assembly, consisting of 191 members, including representatives of all political parties, five city municipalities and local NGOs. The Working Group of 21 members was also appointed, composed of representatives of the Cabinet of Mayors, City Administration and Public Enterprises, Chamber of Commerce, Financial and Banking Sector, NGOs, Media and Government Services. Eight local consultants were selected to work on the strategy: sociologists, economists, urban planners and environmental experts from the University of Nis and from the Institute for Urban Planning of the City of Nis. UN-HABITAT – United Nations Human Settlements Program, ERVET, a specialized development agency in the Emilia Romagna region in Italy, provided technical assistance to the City of Nis in the preparation of the Development Strategy. In December 2007, the City of Nis Assembly adopted the Development Strategy.
- The cooperation agreement was signed between UN Habitat and the City of Nis on pilot project for the development and improvement of the Municipal Territorial Information System, TIS in Support of Rural Development – Village Identity Card. UN Habitat provided IT equipment, software and training worth € 15,000.
- Within the framework of the UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services) program called “City to City”, Nis has started negotiations on possible cooperation with the Italian district of Empoli. Cooperation under this program refers to the support to local economic development, paying particular attention to promoting small and medium-sized enterprises and improving public services, with a particular focus on environmental protection aimed at protecting human health.
- COOPI (Coperazione Internazionale) started its activities in Serbia at the end of March 2000. The headquarters were established in Nis and in June the same year the representative office was opened in Belgrade. Two micro projects were completed in Nis, which included the distribution of garbage disposal containers and the installation of a water treatment pump on Oblačinsko Lake (Merošina). In the same year, the project was launched to distribute funds and building materials for the adaptation of the private accommodation of IDPs, refugees and social cases in Nis, with a total of 100 interventions. Funding for this project was obtained from the UNDP (United Nations Development Program) under the Humanitarian Assistance to Municipalities program.