More than 1000 attendees and the green agenda mark the September Gathering

On Thursday, 8 September, NALED members and partners met together at the traditional September Gathering at the White Palace, to celebrate the successes achieved over the perevious year, and mark the beginning of a new reform season.

The event brought together more than 1,000 guests, including the Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabić, Deputy Prime Minister Branko Ružić and Minister Tatjana Matić, leaders of state institutions, local governments, numerous ambassadors, businesses, representatives of international and donor organizations. 

For the first time, the September Gathering had a host city - the City of Niš in partnership with its Science and Technology Park. 

This year's gathering was inspired by green agenda, and the guests had an opportunity to visit the Green exhibition and the Recycling yard and learn more about NALED's environmental projects. 

In cooperation with cities and municipalities from throughout our country, the guests had the opportunity to taste the Flavors of Serbia, including more than 250 various local specialties, wines, rakija and other drinks. 

The event was opened by the President of NALED Managing Board Vladislav Cvetković, the Mayor of Niš Dragana Sotirovski, the Ambassador of Sweden Anika Ben David, and the Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabić.

Cvetković welcomed the guests and expressed his gratitude for the support and commitment to reform implementation. 

- Since its establishment back in 2006, our organization strived to position itself as a unique platform for dialogue, acknowledging the interests of all parts of society. From a small and committed team, we managed to grow into a recognizable advocate and initiator of comprehensive reforms, that make Serbia a better place to live and work in, said Cvetković. 

The Prime Minister Ana Brnabić highlighted the joint work on reforms, thanking NALED and donors for the help in their implementation. 

- We have some very challenging times ahead of us, but as a strong optimist, I have to say that, when you face big challenges and obstacles, the success you achieve is more significant. So I am looking forward to even bigger and stronger successes we will build together in the year ahead of us, said Brnabić.

Dragana Sotirovski, the Mayor of Niš, stressed that the friendship between NALED and this city lasts for nearly 15 years, reminding about fruitful cooperation in various fields. „Together we launched many initiatives, we improved the local administration through Business Friendly Certification in South East Europe, accelerated the construction permitting procedure, supported innovators from Niš and improved the conditions for environment protection. We are one of the first four local governments in Serbia to join the project “Glass packaging waste management in the Western Balkans” and with the support of GIZ and NALED we set up 300 recycling bins in our city“, said Sotirovski.

The Amabassador of Sweden, Anika Ben David stressed that cooperation with NALED has been intensified over the previous years, in several areas important for improving the business conditions and the quality of life in Serbia, the transparency of public administration and support to vulnerable groups, and announced further joint work on establishing sustainable development. 

The event included the traditional Top member award ceremony, presented to members for their engagement and contribution to the organization's work and results. This year's Top member selected among businesses was Željko Tomić, the President of eGovernment Alliance and the Director of OSA Computer Engineering, for his active promotion of the Alliance and its goals among members and the wider public, as well as the work on improving digitalization in Serbia. This year's laureate among local governments was member of NALED Managing Board and the Mayor of Leskovac Goran Cvetanović, for his support in implementing numerous initiatives and the organization's mission, as well as the establishment of the Business Friendly Municipalities Club. 

Major support in organizing the September Gathering was provided by event patrons, Huawei, Coca-Cola HBC Srbija and UniCredit bank, as well as the event partners and friends, including A1, Apatinska Brewery, DM drogerije, Imperial Tobbaco, Pepsico, Steel Impex, Aigo,  Atlantic Grupa, Niskogradnja Radosavljević, Nites, Lidl, and the City of Čačak. Medigroup was in charge of taking care of guests' health, while Delta Motors provided transport offering their hybrid vehicles. 

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