Sustainable water management for Southeast European countries. IRE-Chairman held speech in Vienna.
The 12th NALAS (Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South-East Europe) General Assembly Meeting was held in Vienna on 19 April 2017, to discuss issues of sustainable water supply provision and management for the development of South-East European countries. Over 50 participants, South-Eastern European mayors, delegates, partners and supporters from different countries of Europe and non-EU countries were present.IRE-Chairman Dr. Schausberger highlighted in his opening speech that the “NALAS is a very important strategic partner for the European Union, especially for the Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission. An enlargement strategy and the accession of new Member States are the EU’s most powerful foreign policy tools“. Furthermore the Special Advisor of Commissioner Hahn emphasized, that local governments’ capacities in the legislative, financial and administrative sphere have to be further developed: “In all the ongoing processes the local and regional authorities are playing a key role. A comprehensive strategy for development is only possible if it is declared and guaranteed at regional and local level. In order to be successful in these endeavors, local authorities are primarily necessary, above all mayors, who represent the foundations of a society.”
From left to right: Dr. Franz Schausberger (IRE Chairman and Special Advisor to EU-Commissioner Hahn), Mico Micic (New NALAS President) and Darko Fras (NALAS Vice-president)
Two important policy positions were voiced by the General Assembly: Firstly, the importance of promoting local self-management from the Western Balkan countries as key players in the EU integration process and secondly, the need for capacity development for the water and sanitation sector in South-Eastern Europe. This resulted in a new strategic plan for the period 2018-2022 to support the sustainable development of the local economy, innovative growth, job creation and regional cohesion. With these priorities, Mr. Miro Maric took over the role of NALAS President for the next few years.
.NALAS is a network of associations of local authorities of South East Europe. The Network brings together 16 Associations which represent roughly 9000 local authorities, directly elected by more than 80 million citizens of this region. NALAS promotes the process of decentralisation in cooperation with central governments and international organisations. For more information please visit: www.nalas.eu