MEG project: Establishment of Local Economic Development Professionals’ NetworkDec 13, 2017
The inaugural meeting of Local Economic Development Professionals Network was held in Banja Luka. The Network is established within the Municipal Environmental and Economic Governance (MEG) project, while the founding members are delegated representatives from 18 partner local governments participating in the MEG project. The Network is established and will act with the aim to support exchange, transfer and application of knowledge, experience, skills and best practices of local governments’ economic development professionals, to establish mechanisms for continuous strengthening of pertinent economic sector activities, as well as to enhance communication with and professional influence on relevant institutions, nongovernmental organizations and the general public community of experts.
“In order to strengthen capacities of local governments in the area of economic development and to reinforce influence of professionals and practitioners on legal regulations and procedures, it is essential to establish a platform which will allow systematic and continuous dissemination of knowledge, experience and best practices, as well as adopting new skills and extending professional influence”, said Goran Štefatić, MEG project manager.
The Network is a voluntary association, with open membership to all municipalities and cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the local governments can freely participate by delegating their representatives. Currently, the Network has 29 delegated representatives of municipalities and cities across BiH, and its goal is to bring together at least 50% of local BiH governments by mid-2020, as well as to ensure that all levels of government recognize the platform as valuable and important interlocutor in all issues pertinent to the local economic development. At the inaugural meeting, Vedran Lakić from the City of Tuzla was elected president and, Danijela Miletić from the Municipality of Gradiška as vice-president of the network.
"I believe the establishment of the network is the first step towards adopting a common approach to policy and regulatory changes in the area of local economic development", said Danijela Miletić, vice-president of the network.
During 2018, the MEG project will perform the function of the Secretariat so as to ensure the necessary support to the network on its path to sustainability.
MEG project, financed and supported by Government of Switzerland and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in BiH, supports local governments in improving quality and availability of public services and communal infrastructure in 18 municipalities and cities, and improves livelihood for at least 700.000 citizens.