Representatives of four municipalities : Banja Luka, Novi Grad, Sarajevo, Tešanj and Višegrad, signed today in the Building of Delegation of the EU to BiH in Sarajevo, a Memorandum of Understanding which is a part of the project ‘Strengthening Local Democracy’ which is financed by the EU and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), reports Fena.
The third phase of the project is worth 2 million EUR, and the aim is to strengthen the cooperation between municipalities and civil society organisations.
The four aforementioned municipalities were chosen to continue with the implementation of the project because of the results made in previous two phases.
Chief of Operations of Delegation of the EU to BiH Holger Schroeder attended the signing ceremony, together with deputy resident representative of UNDP Zahira Varana and deputy minister of justice of BiH Srđan Radulj.
Schroder said that the memorandum is a framework for cooperation of municipalities and civil society which obliges them to work more transparently and to manage budgets more responsibly.
He said that the local, citizens-oriented self-management is very important to the EU and to BiH noting that the project is an example of the efforts of the EU in this field whose aim is to improve permanent partnership between civil society and local authorities.
Varani noted that these two phases showed the determination of local authorities to improve the quality of live in their cities and municipalities.
‘Local government has a very important role in this process. Civil society is an important partner of the government that can help in solving issues relevant to citizens’, added Varani.
Radulj greeted everyone present and noted the excellent cooperation of BIH Ministry of Justice and UNDP and added that the Ministry is dedicated to improving the quality of life in local communities.
Radulj said that further development of civil society is a must, especially in the context of EU integrations, because civil society is important for development of democratic society.
In the last two phases of the project ‘Strengthening Local Democracy’ around 40 municipalities and 200 initiatives of civil society were included in the project, whose implementation started in 2009, and the EU has allocated 5 million BAM for its realization.