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. The NALAS Secretariat, based in Skopje, is responsible for the overall coordination and the implementation of the activities.
NALAS was created in 2001 following the first Forum of Cities and Regions of South-East Europe (Skopje, November 2000), organised by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. The Network was established under the auspices of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe (Working Table 1) and the Council of Europe. During the first years, NALAS functioned as an informal organisation with regular meetings, seminars and training programmes. In July 2005 NALAS became an officially registered association with its seat in Strasbourg. The NALAS Secretariat was established in March 2007.
Networking 16 members
Gathering 9000 authorities
Observer status in the Committee of the Regions of the European Union
Observer status in the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
NALAS promotes the process of decentralisation in cooperation with central governments and international organisations, considering local self-government as a key issue in the current process of transition affecting the various countries in South-East Europe. NALAS builds partnerships in order to contribute to the reconciliation and stabilisation process in the region and henceforth contributes to the process of the European integration of the whole region.
NALAS initiates and carries out regional initiatives for its members and helps the associations to become viable representatives of local authorities vis-à-vis central government. NALAS aims to provide services to local governments for the benefit of the citizens in the region and wishes to develop itself as the knowledge centre for local government development in South-East Europe, recognised among all relevant stakeholders.
In line with its action plan, the NALAS Secretariat organizes task forces on specific themes important to local government in South-East Europe. NALAS focuses primarily on local finances, urban planning, waste management, institutional development and energy efficiency. The task forces on each of these topics develop the different projects and concrete activities.
In its efforts to strengthen local governance in South-East Europe, bringing it in line with the European standards, NALAS operates in accordance with the principles set forth in the European Charter of Local Self-Government and works with a wide array ofinternational partners and donors. NALAS is closely affiliated with the Congress of the Council of Europe, but NALAS has also acquired observer status to the Committee of the Regions (EU), and has good working relations with FEDRE, LGI, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, the Austrian Städtebund and the Council of Europe’s Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform.
From the start, NALAS received substantial funding from the Swiss Development Centre (SDC). The German Technical Assistance (GTZ) contributes predominantly to the many concrete projects developed by the NALAS task forces. The Open Society Institute also provided funding for NALAS.
NALAS President for the period 2016-2017 is Mr. Naim Ismajli, Mayor of Shtime Municipality and President of the Board of the Association of Kosovo Municipalities (website).
Mr. Ismajli has graduated at the Faculty of Economy in Pristina, at the Department of Management and Informatics, and has in 2008 defended his master thesis in developing a local development strategy.
Mr. Ismajli has started his professional career in the education sector, working as a professor and deputy director of a school. Then, Mr. Ismajli continued his career in the local government, as a Director of the Agriculture, Forestry and Environment Department, and a Chief Executive Officer in the Municipality of Shtime. As of 2007, he has been elected a Mayor of Municipality of Shtime and is serving his second term.
NALAS has a rotation Presidency system, with a President and three Vice-Presidents, who later become NALAS Presidents. The Vice-Presidents are elected by the General Assembly and represent NALAS at various events. In addition, they support the work of the Executive Bureau.
Current NALAS Vice-Presidents are: Mr. Mićo Mićić from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Darko Fras from Slovenia and Mr. Koce Trajanovski from Macedonia.
Mr. Mićo Mićić
Mr. Darko Fras
First NALAS Vice-President
The first NALAS Vice-President, Mr. Mićo Mićić, is Mayor of Bijelina and President of the Association of Local Governments of the Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mićo Mićić graduated at the Faculty of Physical Education of the University of Sarajevo in 1981. After the studies, in the period from 1981 to 1996, he worked as a professor of Physical Education in Secondary Education Centre Kalesija and Technical School "Mihajlo Pupin" in Bijeljina. From 1996 to 2000, he worked as a Head of Department of the Veterans and Disabled Persons in the Municipality of Bijeljina. After the elections in 2000, he was elected as Minister for Refugees and Displaced Persons in the Republic of Srpska Government. He performed this duty until 2003. From 2003 to 2005 he worked as a Minister of Labor and Veterans and Disabled People’s Protection.
In October 2005, at the local elections, Mr. Mićić was elected for Mayor of Bijeljina Municipality, and re-elected in 2008. After Bijeljina got the City status, at the local elections held in 2012, Mr. Mićić was elected the first Mayor of the City of Bijeljina. Since he became head of local administration, Bijeljina has been developing rapidly and has become one of the main centers of economy of Republic of Srpska and the whole Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In 2013, Mr. Mićić has been elected as a President of the Association of Municipalities and Towns of the Republic of Srpska.
During his mandate, Mr. Mićić has received many awards, such as: "the Best Manager of BiH in the field of local governance" for 2008 and 2012, "European Mayor of Republic of Srpska" in 2012, "Gold Medal - Leader of the local government of the decade" in 2012, etc.
Second NALAS Vice-President
The second NALAS Vice-President, Mr. Darko Fras, is Mayor of Sveta Trojica v Slovenskih Goricah in Slovenia and member of the Board of the Slovenian Association of Towns and Municipalities.
Mr. Darko Fras graduated at the Faculty of Law of the University of Maribor in 1998. He started his professional career at the Institute for Local Self – Government and Public Procurement in Maribor as a Counsellor in organization and operating of municipal authorities.
He was Head of Municipal Administration for six years until 2006, when he was elected a Mayor of the Municipality of Sveta Trojica v Slovenskih Goricah. He is also an active board member of the Slovenian Association of Towns and Municipalities.
Darko Fras was a member of the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia and President of the Commission for Local Self-government and Regional Development from 2002 since 2012.
During his practice he has been involved in several international projects such as East West Parliamentary Practice Project as a permanent associate. He has also contributed in the cooperation with countries and Parliaments from Russia, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro (www.ewppp.org).
Mr. Fras is a member of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation - Transatlantic Leadership Academy and member and permanent associate of the Transatlantic Union of Politicians and Economists (www.sllf.org).
He is also very active in all professional and political discussions on regional development and local self-government. During his professional career, Mr. Fras has acquired international experiences and knowledge of the functioning of local self-government and regional development in Austria, Germany (Bavaria), Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and France, and expertise in functioning of the Parliaments in the countries of ex-Yugoslavia, Russia and Armenia.
2015 - 2016
Mr. Emil Drăghici
Mr. Emil Drăghici is Mayor of Vulcana-Băi, Dâmbovița County, Romania (website), President of the Association of Communes of Romania (website) and Prime Vice-President of the Romanian Federation of Local Authorities.
Mr. Emil DRĂGHICI graduated the Law Faculty of the Ecological University from Bucharest and he completes a PhD in Administration Sciences at the National School of Political and Administrative Studies from Bucharest. Starting to work for Vulcana-Băi city hall in 1978, in the bookkeeping department, he became the main accountant of this department and then, in 1990, director of the Taxes and Fees Department of the General Direction of the Public Finances of Dambovita County, after 2 years of working in this organization. In 1990 he became the Mayor of Vulcana-Băi commune, being elected for the sixth time in 2012.
As of 2005, Mr. Emil DRĂGHICI has been an observatory member of the Romanian delegation to the Committee of Regions in Brussels and from January 2007 he became full member of the Committee of Regions. He is alternate member of the Policy Committee of the Council of European Regions and Municipalities – CEMR - and member of the World Council of the United Cities and Local Governments – UCLG.
In Romania Mr. DRĂGHICI is a very active collaborator of the Ministry of Public Administration, Ministry of Finances, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Agriculture, working with different commissions for developing, adapting and changing normative acts which affect local public administration activity. His activity as lobbyist is very well known in Romania, being recognized by central administration as reliable partner.
He is also a member of the Commission for local loans licensing and approval and member in different national and regional committees dealing with rural and regional development.
|2014 - 2015|
Mr. Đuro Bukvić
Mr. Đuro Bukvić, Mayor of the Municipality of Lukač in Virovitica-Podravina County in Croatia (website) and President of the Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Croatia – UORH (website) served his mandate as NALAS President between 2014 and 2015.
Mr. Bukvić spent the biggest part of his working life in the business environment as a sales agent, and since 1999 as an entrepreneur and general manager of a private company, developing thriving projects. He was elected a Mayor of Municipality of Lukač in 2005 and he is now serving his third mandate. His entrepreneurial spirit contributed to the economic development of the area which is proven by the number of private companies that increased from 4 to 50. In addition, during his mandate 20 million EUR have been invested in municipal infrastructure.
In late 2013 Mr. Bukvić has been elected as a President of UORH for the second time, and in 2012 as the Chair of KOLOS – Coordination of Local Self-Governance in Croatia established together with the Association of Cities in the Republic of Croatia.
As a football player in his early years, Bukvić is infatuated with sports and healthy life-style and is now a Vice-President of the Croatian Football Federation and member of UEFA's Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee, acting in a vast array of fields from disability sport to anti-racism and education for health and peace.
|2013 - 2014|
Mr. Anton Peršak
Mr. Anton Peršak, Mayor of the Municipality of Trzin in Slovenia and member of the Presidency of the Association of Municipalities and Towns of Slovenia served his mandate as NALAS President between 2013 and 2014.
Mr. Peršak graduated comparative literature and literary theory at the Faculty of Arts and theatre and radio directing at the Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Slovenia. He started his career in politics with joining the Slovenian Independence Movement in the 80's. Fighting for democracy and independence of Slovenia, he has been one of the co-writers of the famous “writers constitution” in 1988. Mr. Pershak has been a Member of the Parliament from 1990-1996 and is state councillor since 2002. He has also twice been elected as vice-president of the Association of Municipalities and Towns of Slovenia.
One of the best indicators of his competence is the fact that Mr. Peršak remains Mayor of Trzin, one of the most developed municipalities in Slovenia, since 1999. In his attempt to make Trzin the first low-energy municipality in Slovenia, he follows a strategic development plan with emphasis on life-quality, integration of housing estate and economic growth, as well as his excellent sense for the needs of its residents. For this reason municipality of Trzin enforced low-interest rate loans for better façades isolation and window exchanges, improved the energy rates of public buildings, and took care of gas supply and the use of biomass. These efforts culminate in the construction of a kindergarten with the use of solar and geothermal energy.
|2012 - 2013|
Mr. Özgen Keskin
Mr. Özgen Keskin, the Mayor of the Bursa/Yıldırım District Municipality in Turkey and an Executive Committee member of the Union of Municipalities of Marmara served his mandate as NALAS President between 2012 and 2013.
Mr. Özgen Keskin graduated at the Turkish Literature Department of Education Faculty and holds a masters degree in Turkish Language and Literature at Atatürk University. Starting his career as a teacher of Turkish Language and Literature in different cities of Turkey and a school director, he has also served as a director of National Education. He is the author of eighteen books. He served as Deputy Mayor. He took part in some NGO's such as head of Union of Writers and Intellectuals Organization. He was appointed to Regional Directorate of Foundations in 1997. He was elected as Mayor of Yıldırım Municipality at the local elections in March 2004, where he is still a mayor.
|2009 - 2012|
Mr. Vladimir MOSKOV
Mr. Vladimir Moskov, mayor of the Municipality of Goce Delcev in Bulgaria was president of NALAS between 2009 and 2012. Mr Moskov, a Bulgarian national, graduated pedagogy at the Neophyte Rilski University in Bulgaria.
The Municipality of Goce Delchev is located in the south-western part of Bulgaria, along the river Mesta. The municipality covers one town with the same name and 10 villages. The total territory is just over 315 square kilometres and is inhabited by approximately 33 000 citizens. Mr Moskov has been mayor of Goce Delchev since 1995, after being president of the municipal council since 1993.
|2005 - 2009|
Mr. Tarzan MILOSEVIC
Mr. Tarzan Milosevic, currently Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Montenegro, was president of NALAS between 2005 and 2009.
Mr Milosevic was mayor of Bijelo Polje from 2002 to 2010 and has also been a member of the Parliament of Serbia and Montenegro between years 2003 and 2006, president of the Managing Board of the Union of Municipalities of Montenegro during years 2003 to 2007, member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe between 2003 and 2007 and member of the OSCE Parliament on behalf of Assembly of Serbia and Montenegro between 2004 and 2006. He is also a member of the Managing Board of the Agency for promotion of foreign investment in Montenegro.
We have many challenges ahead of us. Let us turn them into great opportunities. To turn the challenges into opportunities will be possible if we are ready to meet our responsibilities. This refers to delivering good governance in our cities and municipalities. We have to be aware of the fact that European standards can be implemented only if our local authorities are able to deliver high quality services and to promote cultural, social and economic development at local level, through appropriate political leadership. On the other hand, our regional cooperation can really help to overcome dividing lines within the region. We can do something that is very difficult for representatives of national level: unite through cooperation the region of SEE based on values such as democracy, human right, solidarity and tolerance.
More than 2,500 years ago, during the Athenian Golden Age, Pericles, looking at the Acropolis, said: “They will say of us that we have created the most beautiful and happiest of the cities.” A happy and prosperous society is our main goal, and democracy is the only way of achieving it.
- Mr Milosevic at the NALAS General Assembly in Podgorica on 15 December 2006
|2004 - 2005|
Mr. Goran ANGELOV
Mr. Goran Angelov, currently general director of the public enterprise for waste disposal "Drisla", is the first president of NALAS, serving his mandate between 2004 and 2005.
Mr Angelov became president of NALAS during his mandate as a Mayor of the Municipality of Vinica, where he served two 4-year mandates. As a Mayor, Mr Angelov was also elected to be President of the Association of the units of local self government of Republic of Macedonia - ZELS in 2000 and was closely involved in the policy reforms within the decentralization process. In 2001 Mr. Angelov was an appointed member and Chief of the Macedonian delegation at the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities at the Council of Europe and vice president of the Ad Hoc Working Group for South-Eastern Europe.
From 2005 until 2009 Mr. Angelov was a general director of a private consulting company, Urban Rural Consulting. He has 10 years of experience managing the processes of municipal development and process of increasing the awareness of the necessity of the implementation of the process of decentralization in Republic of Macedonia as a step towards increasing the democratic values of local self-government and bringing the local decision - making process closer to the citizens.
The NALAS Secretariat is based in Skopje, Macedonia and is responsible for overall coordination and implementation of the activities of the Network, in line with its Strategic Plan and Annual Operation Plans.
|Varshavska 36 A
|+389 2 3090818|
Kelmend Zajazi, Executive Director
Kelmend Zajazi heads the NALAS Secretariat as of March 2007. In the past 10 years, Zajazi worked with the USAID programs on Local Government Reforms and Democracy Network Program in Macedonia with Development Alternatives Inc. and the Institute for Sustainable Communities respectively. During 2001 – 2003, he also worked at the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office in Skopje where he supervised programs in the area of health, social welfare, etc; while in the period 2006 – 2007 he was the adviser of the Minister of Health for several projects which launched the reforms of the health sector in Macedonia. Zajazi has received his M.A. in Public Policy and Management at The University of Pittsburgh in 2005 and holds a medical degree from the Medical Faculty in Prishtine. He is the author of several publications in the area of good governance and the development of the civil society in the SEE region. His main interests are related to issues concerning institutional development, strategic planning, project cycle management, etc. email@example.com
Jelena Janevska, Knowledge and Communications Manager
Jelena Janevska joined NALAS Secretariat in May 2012, from the position of United Nations Communication Officer for Macedonia. She has over 16 years of professional experience in the development area, focusing primarily on democracy building, rule of law, civil society development, decentralization and local development, working for: UN, DPK International/USAID, Center for Institutional Development, PEP International/SIDA, Institute for Sustainable Communities/USAID and the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe. Ms. Janevska is a university lecturer (Modules: Crisis Communication, Business Communication) and has extensive consultant and training experience. She holds a MSc degree in Local Development from the University of Trento, Italy, and a BA degree in Journalism and Communications from the University in Skopje. firstname.lastname@example.org
Milena Garthley, Program Officer
Milena Garthley is responsible for the NALAS Task Forces on Urban Planning and Energy Efficiency and is the main contact for EU issues. She provides support on programme and project management and administration, event management, collection and analysis of information. She graduated the Moscow Academy for Fine Chemical Technology and is a registered PRINCE2 Practitioner. Before joining NALAS team, Milena Garthley worked as a Head of European Projects and Programmes Department for Dobrich Municipality. email@example.com
Natasha Ilijeva-Acevska, Program Officer
Natasha Ilijeva Acevska is coordinating the Task Force on Fiscal Decentralization. She is also involved in the organization of NALAS NEXPO 2011. Natasha has solid local government experience - having been a training expert for ZELS, a fellow of the LGI fellowship programme on improving local government, a local expert in public awareness and a senior communication expert for several EU projects, and a policy reform specialist for several USAID projects. firstname.lastname@example.org
Boran Ivanoski, Project Officer
Boran Ivanoski joined NALAS in September 2013 as Project Officer. He has extensive experience in public administration reform, inter-municipal cooperation, regional development and capacity building of local government in SEE. Mr. Ivanoski has more than 15 years of experience in training needs assessment, curricula development, training delivery and evaluation of training for national and local authorities. He has practical experience in conducting functional analysis, organisational design as well as establishment of Human Resource Management setting in the central government institutions and Local-self Government Units. Mr. Ivanoski has worked with UNDP on Good Governance Programme, but also CARE International, International Rescue Committee, UNICEF etc. After 3 years working for NALAS focused on assessing territorial attractiveness and monitoring, solid waste and water management, and disaster risk management, he has acquired a deep understanding of the challenges of the local authorities in SEE. Mr. Ivanoski holds a master degree in Human Resource Management from the University in Skopje. email@example.com
Miodrag Kolić, Project Manager
Miodrag Kolić is currently a Project Manager responsible for implementation of the projects “Local Leaders in SEE: Lead for change” and “Asset Management for water and sanitation sector in SEE”. Prior to this position, he was Programme Coordinator at the Forum Coordination Unit of the SDC “Community Forums” Programme and Project Officer/Trainer at the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC). His professional experience is mainly focused on good governance, local community development, capacity building and training delivery for local authorities. He holds MBA and his education includes BS in Mechanical Engineering and Post-BA in Regional and Economic Development. firstname.lastname@example.org
Joakim Roth, EU Project Officer (GIZ/CIM)
Joachim ROTH joined NALAS in October 2015 as an integrated expert of the German International Cooperation (GIZ/CIM). His tasks as an EU Project Officer are centered in the positioning of NALAS vis-a-vis EU institutions and other relevant entities. He has more than 20 years of profesional experience with emphasis on democratization and descentralization processes, good governance and state modernization working for the German International Cooperation and EU institutions in Europe and abroad. He holds a MA in Political Science from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany and a postgraduate degree and Ph.D. in Political Science and Law from Aix-en-Provence University in France. email@example.com
Katerina Georgijevska, Finance Manager
Katerina Georgijevska is the Finance Manager at NALAS. She maintains the accounting system, prepares financial reports and makes sure that all NALAS activities run smoothly and are timely funded. She has a degree in economics and experience in banking, accounting and financial management. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sofija Karagjorgjeva, Finance Officer
Sofija Karagjorgjeva is responsible for NALAS financial activities and reporting. Before she joined the team, she worked as a Finance Expert for a World Bank project for energy efficiency within the Ministry of Economy and as Finance Officer for the Health Sector Management Project funded by the World Bank within the Ministry of Health. She has a graduate degree in economy and banking and has experience in financial management and accounting by working for government institutions, World Bank projects and non-profit organisations. email@example.com
Katerina Stojanovik - Aleksoska, Office Manager
Katerina Stojanovik Aleksoska facilitates the communication with the NALAS Members and takes care of all day to day office management and operations and logistic requirements for the events. Tina comes from EPRI (Economic Policy Research Institute) and Euro Balkan Institute where she was office manager and junior accountant. She has a BSc degree in management. firstname.lastname@example.org
NALAS Task Forces
At the heart of NALAS are the Task Forces, bringing together the best experts from the region, competent association staff and professionals employed in the local government administration. These practitioners are most typically heading a local government department and are exposed in the front lines directly facing the consequences and challenges coming from policies and laws which define the system of local government.
Each Task Force is coordinated by a "Host Association", while each ongoing project is led by a "Lead Association". The Host Association can also lead one or more ongoing projects.
|TASK FORCE ON ASSOCIATION DEVELOPMENT
Host: Association of the Units of Local Self-government of Republic of Macedonia
Liaison Officer: Dusica PERISIC
Zhenevska bb, P. fah: 32,
1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
Tel: +389 2 3099033, Fax: +389 2 3061994
|TASK FORCE ON ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Host: Association of Kosovo Municipalities
Liaison Officer: Sazan IBRAHIMI
St. „Gustav Majer" 5, 10000 Prishtina, Kosovo
Tel: +381 38 245732, Fax: +381 38 245733
|TASK FORCE ON FISCAL DECENTRALIZATION
Host: National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria
Liaison Officer: Ginka CHAVDAROVA
Golash Street, Geo Milev, 1111 Sofia, Bulgaria
Tel: +359 2 9434468, Fax: +359 2 9434431
|TASK FORCE ON SOLID WASTE AND WATER MANAGEMENT
Host: Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities
Liaison Officer: Zorica VUKELIC
Makedonska 22/VIII, 11000 Beograd, Serbia
Tel: +381 11 3223446, Fax: +381 11 3221215
|TASK FORCE ON URBAN PLANNING
Host: Association of Municipalities and Towns of Slovenia
Liaison Officer: Jasmina VIDMAR
Contact: Miha MOHOR
Partizanska cesta 1, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
Tel: +386 2 2341500, Fax: +386 2 2341503
|TASK FORCE ON SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
Host: Association of Municipalities and Cities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Liaison Officer: Vesna TRAVLJANIN
Musala 5/1, 71000 Sarajevo,
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tel: +387 33216502