DRAGANA SOTIROVSKI – NEW MAYOR

August 21, 2020

The members of the City of Nis Assembly elected Mrs. Dragana Sotirovski from Serbian Progressive Party as the new Mayor of the City of Nis. Dušica Davidović, from Serbian Progressive Party, was elected Deputy Mayor.  Niš City Assembly also elected 9 members of the Niš City Council Board. The future councilors of Niš City Council Board are: Slobodan Randjelović, Sonja Milojković, Adriana Anastasov, Nenad Stanković, Marija Randjelović, Predrag Stojanović, Vladislav Marijanović, Miroslav Djokić and Branislav Kačar. The members of the city parliament also adopted the proposal to elect Igor Novaković as the Deputy Speaker of the City Assembly.




CITY OF KECSKEMET DELEGATION VISITED NIS

October 21

 

Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic received the delegation from the City of Kecskemét from Hungary. The Hungarian delegation is led by Deputy Mayor Jozsef Gaal who is also the president of Bacs –Kiskun Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  “In addition to all the joint activities I would like to draw your attention to Nis Spa, from the point of view of possible cooperation, because Hungary is a country of developed spa tourism, and we can offer a lot to potential investors,” said Mayor Bulatovic. Jozsef Gaal said that there were interested Hungarian investors, ready to invest in spa tourism in Serbia and that they would be provided with the necessary documentation, and then concrete meetings were to follow. There is also a possibility of faculty-level cooperation in scientific fields, since the member of the Kecskemét delegation was Jozsef Karpati, the Head of the Cabinet of the Dean of John Neumann University in Kecskemét.




PUPILS OF PRIMARY SCHOOL NJEGOS VISITED MAYOR

October 16

 

Within the European Local Democracy Week (ELDW) the City of Nis Office of the Mayor organized the visit of the members of Pupils’ Parliament and senior classes of the Primary School Njegos to the City Hall. The pupils met with Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic and had the opportunity to get acquainted with the work of City of Nis management, to hear personally from the Mayor what his job looked like, how the decisions were made and to ask him specific questions. The students were most interested in what the Mayor could do for citizens, for schools, but also how the local leaders could contribute to a better quality of life in Niš. Also, the pupils the elementary school Njegos had suggestions for concrete activities for the Mayor, such as the construction of new swimming pools, the opening of the zoo, the expansion of the capacity of the city  Stadium, but also the increase of salaries, better equipping of schools and provision of digital textbooks for all pupils. The European Local Democracy Week (ELDW) is a pan-European event which aims at boosting local democracy and citizen participation. It is an initiative coordinated by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. Local authorities from all the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe, and their associations are invited to register and organize public events to promote and foster democratic participation at grassroots level. It  is  fundamental  for  an  established  and  functioning  local democracy  to  promote  education  for  democratic  citizenship  among young people and children. Moreover,  by   engaging  children  and  youth,  local  authorities  will understand  better  their  needs  and  will  be  able  to  develop  more targeted responses for and with the younger generation, thus building a  more inclusive  democratic  local  community.




E-PARLIAMENT TAILOR MADE FOR NIS CITY ASSEMBLY

October 12

 

Switzerland has been pioneering support to the development and modernization of local assemblies in Serbia. Most recently, through the project “Strengthening the Oversight Function and Transparency of the Parliament – Phase 2”, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Switzerland supported the introduction of digital platforms to modernize the work of local parliaments. Nis City Assembly Speaker Rade Rajkovic and Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic met with UNDP Resident Representative Francine Pickup and Swiss Cooperation Office Representative Sascha Müller as part of the implementation of the E-Parliament project. The City of Nis Assembly is the first in Serbia to use software version adapted to the work of Nis parliamentarians. The system ensures greater efficiency of the Assembly’s work, saves money and allows for more users to simultaneously search for information, while having access to documents at all times. In addition to these benefits for the members of the parliament (MPs), e-parliament also makes the work of local assemblies more transparent and accountable for citizens. Apart from the development of the e-parliament, Nis was supported in preparing amendments to the Rules of Procedure regarding the City assembly’s transition. The Rules of Procedure will enable Nis City Assembly to adapt its work to digital way of working, as well as electronic voting, thus significantly reducing the time and cost of assembly sessions. Overall, the Swiss Government and UNDP assistance for the Nis Assembly encompasses 78 tablets, as well as expert support with a total value of 150,000 EUR. It is estimated that the City of Nis will thus save over 2 million dinars annually, which is the amount of savings in printing assembly materials. Also, by eliminating the need to print and submit documentation from the session to each Member individually, significant savings will be made. “Strengthening the Oversight Function and Transparency of the Parliament” Project is supported by Switzerland with 1,7 million EUR with the aim of achieving a more transparent and efficient work of the National assembly and local assemblies across Serbia.




AMBASSADOR OF FINLAND VISITED NIS

October 9

Finnish ambassador in Serbia Mr. Kimo Lahdevirta visited Nis. He met with Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic and the two officials discussed the possibilities of Finnish companies investing in IT in this area and improving cooperation in other areas with this Scandinavian country. Ambassador Lahdevirta said that Finland operates in Serbia through several companies, and especially emphasized the example of the brand “Kone”, which deals with the installation of lifts and escalators and has a business center in Serbia. After the meeting with the Mayor, the Ambassador Lahdevirta spoke about the priorities of the Finland chairing the EU Council in the second half of 2019.  During the presentation of the priorities of the Finnish EU Presidency the Ambassador also emphasized the importance of enlargement of the Union as well as the unity of the entire continent. “If we want to succeed in the future, I think we must all be together, not only EU member states but all European countries,” said Ambassador Lahdevirta. Finland took over the rotating six-month presidency of the EU Council from Romania on 1 July this year. Priority issues include strengthening shared values ​​and the rule of law, competitiveness and social inclusion, taking on the role of global leader in the fight against climate change, and overall protection of citizens’ security. After the presentation in the EU info corner, he officially opened the exhibition Finnish Innovative Design in the Officers’ Mess Building, which was realized in cooperation with the organization Young Ambassadors from Nis.




SLOVENIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS VISITING NIS

 

September 18

The delegation of the Parliament of the Republic of Slovenia visited Nis, where it met with Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic. In a cordial and friendly conversation, they exchanged views on the promotion of cooperation between the City of Nis and this former Yugoslav Republic. Mayor Bulatovic pointed out that cooperation was at high level, but that it could be improved further. He particularly referred to the establishment of air traffic on the Nis-Ljubljana route and the fact that the planes were mostly full, which greatly facilitated the further development of cooperation. On the Slovenian side, expressions of gratitude were expressed by Predrag Bakovic, the Member of Parliament and the President of the Friendship Group with Serbia.




NEW INFORMATION CAMPAIGN WITHIN HELP PROJECT IN NIS

September 16

 

A new cycle of information campaigns within the support for employment and self-employment provided by Help’s project “Supporting Socio-Economic Stability in the Western Balkans 2019-2020”. The first in a series of presentations was attended by Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic, Help’s Manager for Economic Development Masa Bubanj and Chief of the Office for Local Economic Development and Projects Milan Randjelovic. Based on the new project for providing support in equipment, all young, unemployed with a sustainable business idea that will provide a regular source of income for themselves and their families can compete.Priority is given to crafts and services and processing in agriculture. The new project cycle brings the opportunity to support at least 30 new micro and small businesses with grants in equipment with an average value of € 2,400.00, with regular business and professional training to increase the sustainability of business activities. The cost of direct costs for equipment to be supported in Nis under this project is € 72,000.00, with the City’s participation of 40%. In cooperation with the City, Help has so far supported 483 beneficiaries with grants for micro and small business equipment and seven cooperatives since 2005 through economic empowerment projects totaling € 1.9 million. The sustainability of supported businesses is more than 80%.




MEETING WITH THE HEADS OF UNDP AND UNHCR IN SERBIA

August 29

 

Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic met with UNDP and UNHCR representatives in Serbia about the assistance these organizations has been providing to the city in the implementation of projects of particular importance to national minorities. The meeting was also attended by Nis City Council Member for Social Care Issues Mrs. Tijana Djordjevic Ilic and Assistant Mayor Goran Milosavljević. Mayor Bulatovic emphasized the openness of the City of Nis to all projects that would improve the quality of life of minority communities and that excellent cooperation has been achieved so far.  UNDP Resident Representative to Serbia Ms. Francine Pickup highlighted the great experience that UNDP has in the implementation of projects all around the world. UNDP Strategic Plan focuses on key areas such as poverty reduction, democratic governance, peacebuilding, climate change and disaster risk and economic inequality. UNDP supports governments in integrating sustainable development goals into their national development plans and policies. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals involves partnering governments, the private sector, civil society and citizens to ensure a better living environment for future generations. The head of the UNHCR in Serbia, Hans Friedrich Schoder expressed satisfaction with the progress in the area of refugee care through existing programs and announced continued support to the Government of Serbia, the civil sector and local governments in addressing key refugee problems.

 




NIS AIRPORT GROWTH TREND CONTINUED

August 16

The press conference held at the Nis City Hall highlighted the role and importance of Nis Airport in the aviation world, as well as the importance of the City of Nis as the regional center of Serbia. Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic, as well as Director of PE Serbian Airports Mihajlo Zdravkovic and the director of Nis Airport Constantine the Great Dusan Knezevic emphasized that positive trends in the number of airlines, passengers and goods transported that confirmed that the decision to cooperate with the Government of Serbia and the line ministry and state institutions was justified and right. “The criticism that we want to close Nis Airport and banish the low cost airlines has simply proved to be political and completely incorrect. The arrival of the national airline, which opened 12 new routes, not only did not and will not drive other airlines out of Nis, but caused the opposite effect. The number of passengers is increasing, as well as number of destination that you can fly from Nis and the number of regular flights which again is proved by Ryanair which will start flying from Nis to Malta on November 8,”said Mayor Bulatovic. The director of PE Serbian Airport Mihajlo Zdravkovic said that, in recent months, it has been clearly shown that the existing capacities of the airport are in every sense exceeded and that the number of employees has to be increased quickly, as well as the technical capacity for accepting aircrafts, and it is already being intensively worked on. In addition he announced the reconstruction and significant expansion of the departure/arrival building to give passengers greater comfort and much better conditions at the airport. The introduction of a new flight from Nis to Malta confirmed the trend of air traffic development, said also the director of Constantine the Great Airport Dusan Knezevic, who emphasized that in July alone more than 35,000 passengers went through the Nis airport and that, according to current indicators, the number of passenger in August would reach 50 000. He added that in addition to 12 Air Serbia flights and the new Ryanair flight to Malta, Wizz Air would increase the flight dynamics from 2 to 4 to Malmo from April next year. “In addition to the arrival of new airlines, new flights are being introduced by airlines with whom we have long-standing cooperation, which proves that the development of air traffic at this airport has a positive growth trend, and that the projection of about 420,000 passengers annually in 2018 will be realized.” said Director Knezevic.




CITY OF NIS TOGETHER WITH 210 EUROPEAN CITIES FIGHTING AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE

August 14

City of Nis has joined a group of 210 cities across Europe, representing 62 million citizens, whose mayors and leaders demanded that the European Council and Member States intensify EU commitment to climate change, show global leadership and take an ambitious approach to lead rapid advances in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The open letter, signed by the leaders of cities from 21 EU member states and 7 neighboring countries, was published ahead of the Future of Europe conference in Sibiu, Romania (https://energy-cities.eu/policy/cities-call -for-a-more-sustainable-and-equitable-european-future/). Their demands include: developing a fair and inclusive European long-term climate strategy that will increase resilience to climate change and ensure that greenhouse gas emissions are more than halved by 2030 by 2020 and reach zero net emissions by 2020 2050; advance the EU climate and energy targets by 2030 and targets set at national level to ensure a rapid, equitable and climate-resilient energy transition in line with the above objectives; aligning the next long-term EU budget with this strategy, eliminating fossil fuel subsidies and making climate action a priority in all funding programs; obliging all EU Member States to set binding zero net emission reduction targets and other targets above. “As Nis City Mayor I am extremely proud to add my name to this letter signed by mayors from all over Europe,” said Darko Bulatovic, Mayor of Nis. “Our citizens have the same concerns as citizens of all Europe, concerns for their children and for their future. The City of Nis is ready to lead by example the energy transition towards a carbon-neutral future, but we need the support from our government and from all levels of EU to ensure that these ambitious but necessary goals are met. “