Filip Temelkovski, Mayor of the Municipality of Kisela Voda, at the Action – Integration conference spoke about citizen participation and democratic reforms, and about how municipalities can contribute in that respect.
“Currently, we are having meetings with citizens, in urban and local communities, where we are discussing the budget for 2019. Once we finish these meetings, a series of meetings are planned with target groups, such as NGOs and civil society associations, so that we can include all of them together in the budget. That is one of the tools that we as a municipality have for involving citizens as much as possible in the decision-making”, stated Temelkovski.
Temelkovski spoke about the councils in the urban and local communities, which according to him, are used very rarely, and that their experience until now shows that there is much greater success in making decisions and solving problems in places where council members elected in urban and local communities like their work and municipality, then in places where people are placed in those positions just “for the sake of it”
“Unfortunately, we do not have a moratorium, but it’s just like we have one, since in these past four years not a single urban plan has been adopted that is in accordance with the general one. That means that more than 70 percent of the territory of the Municipality of Kisela Voda legally cannot have construction, and there is no construction, there is construction only on the periphery where we have the general acts and three detailed urban plans that have been adopted, and it would have been better if they weren’t”, stated Temelkovski.
According to Temelkovski, in terms of the increase of nationalism and how the municipalities should fight this, he stated that Republic of Macedonia has many good laws, but that nobody reads or applies them, and that in the very functioning of the municipalities, tools such as local communities, councils of local urban communities, open days or council for prevention, are provided.
“We can use that council for prevention in places where people who are recognizable in our municipality are anticipated, for the fight against nationalism and increase of discrimination, and everything else. When we speak also about gender equality, the law also anticipates that there should be a committee on gender equality within the Municipality of Kisela Voda, and we have that committee, which is functioning”, added Temelkovski.
“I might have been the only mayor who in the campaign that did not say that there would be no construction. To be honest, in the municipalities, especially in the Skopje municipalities, 70 percent of the revenues come from the construction, but there is a way for that construction to be normal and for it to create some standards with which you will also create sustainable development in the municipality, certainly also in the City of Skopje, while at the same time also respecting the norms for normal living”, stated Temelkovski.
The #ActionIntegration conference on European values, green alternatives and antinationalism was organized by CIVIL – Center for Freedom in cooperation with the Heinrich Bὅll Foundation from Germany.
Camera: Аtanas Petrovski
Editing: Bunjamin Kamberi