Eurothink held the conference “With local councils for prevention to improved local cooperation”
Today, October 25, in the “Alexander Palace” hotel, Eurotink-Center for European Strategies held a conference on the topic “With local councils for prevention to strengthened local cooperation” which brought together several representatives of municipalities, organizations and institutions, who articulated their commitments to promoting the importance and advancing the work of the mechanism of local councils for prevention.
With this event, the eponymous project that Eurotink implemented in the past months, with the support of the US Embassy in Skopje, closed, and within which Eurotink worked directly with three selected municipalities to improve the work of their local councils for prevention (LSP).
The opening address was given by Mr. Eric Meyer, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in North Macedonia. In the first panel, led by Mr. Dimitar Nikolovski from Eurotink discussed the significance of the LSP concept as mechanisms for institutional cooperation to solve local problems and challenges. In the panel discussion, Mr. Kostadin Kostadinov, mayor of the municipality of Strumica, Mr. Ivan Mitrovski, the deputy mayor of Kisela Voda municipality, and Mr. Valbon Limani, President of the Gostivar Municipality Council. They talked about the successes and challenges faced by the local councils for prevention in their municipalities and about the achieved cooperation with Eurotink in order to improve the work of these mechanisms.
At the same time, the publication that resulted from the observation of the work of the three LSPs and which contains “lessons learned” that should serve as a roadmap for all local units interested in implementing this concept was also promoted.
The second panel discussion was focused on arranging the forms of cooperation between the various institutions that are involved in the work of the LSP and the importance of creating a structure that will support the efficient functioning of this mechanism. Speakers in this panel were Mr. Aleksandar Stojanovski from Eurotink – Center for European Strategies, Mrs. Jaklina Prosaroska, Senior Police Advisor in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia, Mr. Aleksej Gavrish, police adviser at the OSCE Mission in Skopje and Mr. Besim Dogani, from the Network of Strong Cities – Regional Hub of the Western Balkans.
As a conclusion of the conference, the necessity of introducing a legal obligation to establish local councils for prevention at the municipalities was emphasized:
“Despite long-term efforts to establish LSP in the municipalities, the concept is still on the margins of the activities of the local authorities and the interest in its development is low. The main obstacle in the implementation of the LSP is located in the absence of an enabling structure for the establishment of the LSP in all municipalities and its placement on a voluntary basis.
Hence, the formation and active functioning of LSP is necessary to be regulated in the national legislation as an obligation, instead of just an opportunity, for local authorities, with mechanisms for active engagement of all stakeholders. This would be the easiest and fastest regulated and established through intervention in the Law on Local Self-Government. This process should start with direct actions and steps taken by all concerned social actors, with the aim of raising the level of mutual cooperation, which should be aimed at solving local security challenges and other problems and issues.” – Eurotink points out.
In that context, a draft Memorandum on Cooperation was presented at the event, an initiative that should represent a first step towards formalizing inter-institutional cooperation within the framework of LSP. The essence of this initiative is structuring the engagement and obligations of the various stakeholders in LSP.
The project “With local councils for prevention towards improved cooperation” was implemented in the period from September 2022 to October 2023 and included cooperation with three municipalities – Strumica, Gostivar and Kisela Voda – within the framework of which activities were implemented for the development and strengthening of local prevention tips. Educational and self-evaluation tools for LSP intended for municipalities emerged as products of the project.
You can watch the recording of the conference at the following link: https://fb.watch/nUSZ3WIlNj/