Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Diversity and integration

Weekly Focus - 03.02.2011

Bosnia and Herzegovina to welcome local authorities from all over South-Eastern Europe
Local authorities from South-Eastern Europe have, for the first time, the opportunity to get together to discuss new ways of dealing with social inclusion, energy efficiency, sustainable tourism.and town twinning at the occasion of NEXPO 2011.
This first edition of NEXPO, a regional municipal fair to take place on 10 and 11 March 2011 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is entitled 'Innovative communities open for all". It will notably allow for municipalities to learn from one another and explore new ways of using ICT tools with a number of representatives of associations of local authorities, government officials, consultants, contractors, and investors, among others.
A workshop will notably be dedicated to ways of developing municipal action plans on energy and to the extension of the Covenant of Mayors to the Western Balkans (see previous CEMR article).
NEXPO 2011 is organised by NALAS, the City of Sarajevo and the Association of Municipalities and Towns of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the support of the Association of Municipalities and Towns of Republic of Srpska. Both aforementioned associations are member associations of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR).
Local authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and CEMR
CEMR has two member associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina: the Association of Municipalities and Towns of Republic of Srpska (ALVRS) and the Association of Municipalities and Towns of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (SOGFBIH).
The Bosnian and Herzegovinian ALVRS and SOGFBIH work together to promote democratic and efficient local government in their country. They advocate and protect the common interest of municipalities at the state level, so as to give local governments a voice, as well as offer a platform for the exchange of know-how and best practices.
Both associations provide members with professional services and support so that they may meet the specific needs of their citizens. They also strive to improve inter-municipality and international cooperation, all the while developing the local self-administration system.
The ALVRS was established in 1998 and is currently presided over by Dragoljub Davidovic, Mayor of Banja Luka, the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The association helps its members, notably financially, in the organisation of activities and events.
While the SOGFBIH advocates local interests at the state level in collaboration with ALVRS, it also does so at the Federation level. The association, headed by Husejin Smajlovic, Mayor of Zenica, and founded in 1973, provides support to its members so as to help them build their capacities in the long-term, thus reinforcing local autonomy.
Local and regional government in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a federal state divided into two entities, the Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which are respectively composed of 63 and 74 towns and municipalities. Bosnia and Herzegovina is also divided into ten cantons, all of which function under the Federation's legislation.
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