The Regional Safety Strategy Working Group from the municipalities of Jablanica and Pcinja districts last week visited the government of the Autonomous Province (AP) of Vojvodina in Novi Sad to learn best practices from the area.
The twelve-member working group met with the president of the Assembly Safety Board, Mr. Miroslav Španović and Ms. Stojanka Lekić, the Chair of the Committee for Gender Equality of the Assembly of Vojvodina. After an hour-long talk, the delegation met with Secretary for Inter-Regional Co-operation and Local Self-Government, Mr. Branislav Bugarski. At the end of the day the delegation visited the head of the European Affairs Fund Office of AP Vojvodina, Mr. Andrija Aleksić.
In a two hour session with the Board, the guests were introduced to the methods applied in the multi-ethnic environment of Vojvodina where minority rights are respected to the full extent in all municipalities. Mr. Španović stressed that the AP Government pays great attention to ethnic relations and that these are very good, according to a recent opinion poll among the citizens of Vojvodina which also showed that child safety and traffic safety are the main concerns of citizens.
"Activities of the Secretariat for Inter-Regional Co-operation and Local Self-Government have two key goals: first, in the area of Inter-regional co-operation with neighbouring countries Romania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the second focus is the co-operation with other European regions, for example in Italy, Austria and Germany", said Mr. Bugarski.
Peacebuilding and Inclusive Local Development (PBILD) – a joint United Nations initiative in South Serbia -coordinator, Mr. Svetislav Paunović, informed Mr. Bugarski that strengthening capacities of local self-governments, institutions and civil society, as well as co-operation in the area of crime prevention and urban safety are main goals that the United Nations wants to achieve through its Safer Cities work.
The Chief of the European Affairs Fund offered help, co-operation and partnership through the Vojvodina Office in Brussels for easier access to European funds, future projects as well as assistance in the field identifying and writing projects for pre-accession funds of the European Union.
The second day of south Serbia delegation study tour to Vojvodina continued with the visit to Safety Council of municipality of Bečej where the visitors exchanged experiences with Bečej local practitioners.