06 July 2015, 15:06

World Bank-Austria Urban Partnership Program

Local self-governments and the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (SCTM) are important partners in planning all activities which will help towns and municipalities in Serbia better protect themselves against natural disasters we are more and more exposed to, said Marko Blagojević at the conference on improving local self-government capacities in Southeast Europe. 

Blagojević stressed that prevention was very high in the list of the Government’s priorities, adding that it unfortunately took fifteen years, including damage totalling 1.7 billion euros and 119 disaster-affected municipalities, for us to start engaging ourselves in protection against all sorts of natural disasters.

He underscored that the new legislation on managing natural disaster risks and reconstruction in the wake of natural disasters was expected to be on the MPs’ agenda in autumn.

State Secretary in the Ministry of Administration and Local Self-Government Ivan Bošnjak stressed that local self-governments were often allocated roles which, unfortunately, were not accompanied with adequate resources. He underlined the importance of efficient management of the available capacities, noting that the good practice of the Southeast European countries would help improve and strengthen local self-government capacities.

SCTM Director General Đorđe Stanišić said that the purpose of the World Bank and Austria’s Urban Partnership Program was to strengthen the capacities of local-self governments in Southeast Europe and prepare the selected representatives at local level, employees in administration and technical staff to work using practical decision-making tools for efficient urban development management and comprehensive and sustainable growth.

He underscored that the aim of the workshop organized today was to remind us of what was expected from local self-governments, but also to hear what the local self-governments want so that the Urban Partnership Program would be implemented in the best way possible.