“Having in consideration that we are striving towards Europe, it is normal to respect the European values, to have mutual respect, elementary human rights, rights of all communities…that is the future, not only of Kumanovo and Macedonia, but also of the region. My wish is for Kumanovo to be a real and true European city one day”, stated Maksim Dimitrievski, Mayor of the Municipality of Kumanovo, in a conversation with CIVIL Media on European values, democratic reforms and green initiatives.
The Mayor himself decided to have the conversation outdoors, at the square, which until recently, despite the green areas, did not have any benches or garbage bins.
“In the past we had a green culture, we used to plant new seedlings, forested, cared for the pollution…but now the situation is different and we will try in this period to change this. We started with the implementation of the project “Plant a life for life”. Every newborn in Kumanovo receives a seedling and the newborn’s family nurtures that seedling, just as they care for their newborn child.
We are implementing environmental actions, cleaning illegal landfills, creating new green areas…I have to conclude that our conduct is at a very low level and we will have to do a lot more in the area of education. We need to preserve what we have, because man is the greatest polluter in society, to try to minimize that and raise culture to the highest level. The municipality, on the other hand, needs to put up urban equipment, like we are planting today, and for this garbage can that we see behind us, to be filled with waste inside of it and not everywhere around it…We will also try to keep the riverbeds clean, to overcome the pollution…”, highlighted Dimitrievski while speaking about the level of environmental culture and awareness and the changes that are necessary for maintaining and protecting the environment.
“There is overall urban chaos to which not even Kumanovo is immune. Projects are made without plans. We made several decisions with the Council, on my proposal, with which we reduced the construction coefficient in the construction of collective dwellings, residential buildings, in order for it not to be more than 50 percent of the total area. That means that if you have a thousand square
meters of land, you can construct with a building permit 500 square meters at the base with permissible height, while the rest of the land can be used for a green area, yard, playground…we simply want to return what was in the past”, stated Dimitrievski.
We also spoke about interethnic relations with the mayor, and how much they influence the building of culture of unity regarding the same needs, including also ecology and environmental protection as a common good.
“We all acquire the development of environmental awareness from our earliest childhood, and that is an element of our upbringing, and later also of the additional education in the educational process, where in schools we should be taught how we as citizens should behave responsibly and raise the awareness on environmental culture. But also the feeling of unity, that what is public belongs to us. Kumanovo as a multiethnic place, regardless of all the tests in the past and all the temptations we were subjected to, it overcame that, and the citizens want to live together regardless of which ethnic structure they belong to…”, stressed Dimitrievski.
Dimitrievski, through everyday communication with all the citizens of Kumanovo regardless of ethnic, religious or political affiliation, hopes that he will succeed in showing them that we need to learn from each other more and more, so that we can return the level of relationship that there was in the past among our ancestors.
The conversation is part of the project “Action – Integration”, which CIVIL is implementing in partnership with the Heinrich Bὅll Foundation from Germany, dedicated to the promotion of European and green values, democratic values and anti-nationalism.
Photo: Маја Ivanovska
This post is also available in: Macedonian