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The President of ZELS, Petre Shilegov as of today, takes the function of the President of NALAS too
12 април 2019
 

 

Petre Shilegov, President of ZELS and Mayor of the City of Skopje, today assumes the function of President of the Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South-East Europe (NALAS). This was established at the fourteenth session of the General Assembly of NALAS, which was organized today, on April 11th, 2019, in the grand hall of the Council of the City of Skopje, in Skopje. It is a rotating presidency that has established NALAS for a period of one year. Respectively, Shilegov takes this position from the current President, Darko Fras, mayor of the Municipality of Sveta Trojca from the Republic of Slovenia, and next year, at the fifteenth session of NALAS, he will hand it over to Tatiana Badan, Mayor of the Municipality of Selemet from Moldova, which now became the first vice president of NALAS, a function that was executed last year by Shilegov.

NALAS is comprised of 14 local government associations, representing about 9000 local governments, directly elected from over 80 million citizens in Southeast Europe. ZELS is a member of NALAS since its official establishment in 2005, and actively participated in its creation, which started in 2001. Within the General Assembly of NALAS, which has 32 delegates, ZELS has three delegates, and apart from the President of ZELS, Petre Shilegov, delegates are also the two vice-presidents of ZELS: Visar Ganiu, mayor of the Municipality of Cair and Mitko Janchev, mayor of the Municipality of Kavadarci. NALAS promotes the decentralization process, contributes to the process of reconciliation and stabilization in the region and in this context contributes to the process of European integration of the entire region.

In assuming this position, Shilegov said he will continue the so far strategic goals and activities of this very important network of the associations of the countries of Southeast Europe. He pointed out that the support in the exchange of information, the good practices, the legislation and implementation of local governance in the countries of the region is very important for all local authorities in the region. During his one-year period of his chairmanship of NALAS, Shilegov said he would make efforts to ensure the unification of the local self-government associations in Albania and that after the May elections in Greece, he would make efforts to ensure the membership of the Association of Local Self-Government Units of Greece in NALAS. – “We expect a dynamic period, the work in NALAS and ZELS is to achieve standards that will facilitate the work of mayors, decentralization and democratic processes in all the countries of Southeast Europe" - Shilegov stressed.

The Vice President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Johan Van Den Hoyt, addressed also to the attendees and pointed out that democracy is the key to any country, and has been under threat of populism in recent years. It is therefore necessary for the institutions to have greater transparency, openness and public accountability in order to restore the confidence of citizens and this is most visible and effective if it happens at the local level. Hoy pointed out the danger of reducing the budgets of the municipalities generally in the region, but also in European countries, as well as the more serious attempts for political pressure on local government, which is a key issue that needs to be paid more attention in the next period.

Ambassador of Switzerland to our country, Sybille Sutter Tejada, spoke about the support of local authorities given by the Swiss government, not only in our country, but also wider. The support of associations of local authorities is very important, because it should be the main driver of the processes of decentralization and the development of democratic processes in all countries. She pointed out that the Swiss government also supports the process of accession of our country to the European Union, pointing out that we represent an example of overcoming historical obstacles and establishing good neighborly relations.

The members of the General Assembly and the guests of NALAS, after the session will also visit the Municipality of Veles, where they will be introduced to the challenges of the functioning of the Macedonian local authorities, and will attend the presentation of the new Development Strategy 2019-2030. Tomorrow, on April 12th, 2019 (Friday), in organization of NALAS and the World Bank - Austrian Urban Partnership Program, the conference - "Cities as drivers of economic growth - Vision 2030" will take place at the hotel "Marriott" starting at 9:00 am. The conference will consider the role of cities and local authorities in economic development, how this role can be strengthened for the benefit of the citizens of Southeast Europe and what are the best examples from which cities can learn. The meeting aims to contribute local governments to impose themselves as partners of the European Commission and the Regional Development Council in implementing the regional economic development agenda resulting from the Berlin Process.



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