XI NALAS Assembly

IMG_2764Over one hundred representatives of local governments and local government associations from the whole South-East Europe (SEE) met in Prishtina on 14 and 15 April 2016 for the XI NALAS General Assembly and a thematic session on Increasing Municipal Investment Capacities in SEE.
The thematic session on Increasing Municipal Investment Capacities explored how capital investments at local level can support SEE municipalities to transform into sustainable communities for the benefit of their citizens, and also the role good governance of municipal finances plays in building investors’ confidence. The welcomed speeches had Mayor Emil Draghici, NALAS President, Mr.Naim Ismajli, President of the Association of Municipalities of Kosovo, Mr.Palmreter Sabin, senior operations officer of the World Bank, as well as Mr.Kelmend Zajazi, Executive Director of NALAS.
Four panel discussions within the conference talked about the challenges in creating sustainable communities through capital investment projects in Southeast Europe, as seen through the prism of five NALAS’s working groups; the creation of investor confidence through good governance and self-assessment of municipal finance; experiences of municipalities of Southeast Europe in the successful attraction of investments and improvement of municipal infrastructure as well as on the possibilities for financing municipal investments in this region.

Pristina - skupstina nalasaSpecial attention at the Conference caused a presentation of Mr.Branislav Djuranovic, Mayor of the Municipality of Danilovgrad, who participated at the meeting as a delegate of the Union of Municipalities of Montenegro. Through the exposure to the panel that dealt with attracting funds and improving the municipal infrastructure, Mayor Djuranovic presented the experiences of Municipality of Danilovgrad in attracting private, domestic and foreign investors, and emphasized the importance of timely adoption of spatial planning documents, the efficient municipal administration and stimulating communal fees.
This affirms the intention of the local government to reducing the cost of implementation of investment projects provide long-term sustainability of budget revenues and positive economic impact on the local community, primarily through the creation of new jobs. Mayor Djuranovic commented on the level of investment in the Municipality of Danilovgrad recent years, noting that the investment cycle, not only continues but also increased bearing in mind the projects that are currently under implementation and planning.
He also stressed the importance of attracting grants from the EU funds, transferring experience of local government in the preparation and implementation of EU projects, which gives local authorities the opportunity and the chance to provide a grant for the implementation of significant projects, which means improving the quality of life of all citizens.
Mayor Djuranovic stressed the importance of cooperation with the Government of Montenegro, Union of Municipalities of Montenegro, as well as the role of NALAS in supporting local communities in Southeastern Europe in overcoming the challenges that local governments are facing in need of constant improvement of services provided to citizens.

An official part of the XI General Assembly of NALAS discussed and adopted documents of the importance for the functioning of NALAS, but a number of recommendations and materials of importance for local governments in South East Europe. The session was opened by Mr.Emil Dragici, President of NALAS, Mr.Breda Pecan, Vice-President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and Mr.Shpend Ahmedi, Mayor of Pristina. They emphasized the role of NALAS as an important partner to local governments in South East Europe and all international organizations and institutions that are dedicated to the development of local democracy and the creation of effective local communities.
Delegates adopted the Report and Financial Report for 2015, as well as Program and Financial plan for 2016, and discussed certain documents relating to migration and refugee crises; strengthening gender equality at the local level; and solid waste management in rural and coastal areas. According to the rotation system, Mr.Naim Ismajli, Mayor of Shtime (Kosovo) was elected new president of NALAS in the coming one-year period.
A Memorandum of Understanding between NALAS and IAWD (International Association of water companies in the area of the Danube River) during the XI Assembly of NALAS was signed.