Novi Pazar, Raška, 15 March 2024

EU projects in Novi Pazar and Raška

The first Creative Europe Festival "Moving boundaries" has been opened today in Novi Pazar, thus marking ten years since the launch of this initiative. Through Creative Europe, the main EU programme to support the culture and media sectors in which Serbia participates like EU member states, more than 300 organisations from Serbia received grants worth more than 24 million Euros.

"Cultural ties are stronger than political, economic and all other ties, they connect the past, the present and the future and culture, along with the media, is of particular importance in the European Union. Creative Europe is the largest EU programme that supports these sectors, and the reason why we are in Novi Pazar, which is a city with a lot of culture and history, is to find a way to include partners from all over the country in this programme," said Nicola Bertolini at the opening of the festival. 

"The opening of the first Creative Europe Festival is an important cultural event for the city and a message about the need to decentralise culture. The themes covered by the Festival, gender equality and inclusion, are of particular importance for every local community and society, and I am sure that our cultural workers will use this opportunity to establish international cooperation in the field of culture and receive significant assistance from the European Union in these areas”, said Mayor of Novi Pazar, Nihat Biševac.

The theme of the festival in Novi Pazar, organised through the cooperation of the Creative Europe Serbia Desk at the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, the City of Novi Pazar and the Novi Pazar Cultural Centre, was inclusion and gender equality.

"By organising the first Creative Europe Festival in Novi Pazar, we become partners in ensuring decentralisation and equal distribution of European Union funds in the field of financing cultural projects. We are here to work together, to encourage local self-government, cultural institutions, the non-governmental sector to apply and in the end receive substantial funds for projects in the field of culture", pointed out Alma Rizvanović, advisor at the Ministry of Culture.

Thanks to the Creative Europe programme exchanges and cooperation among cultural workers have been established and a number of festivals and exhibitions were founded, while the audience in Novi Pazar had the opportunity to see exhibitions of women's comics realised as part of the “Women Power in Comics” project - WomCom. This exhibition, following European values, promotes female comic artists, while fostering gender equality.  The Creative Europe programme public calls designed for young artists, organisations, cultural workers and students were also presented at the Festival.

In Novi Pazar Nicola Bertolini and the Novi Pazar Mayor also visited two enterprises, furniture production Tade-Cnccut doo, and the textile production Harema, which through the EU PRO Plus programme received the EU grants to procure new equipment and improved their business.

The Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Nicola Bertolini, ended his visit to southwestern Serbia in the municipality of Raška, where he and the Mayor Nemanja Popović saw the renovated health centre in Baljevac.

"Raška and Baljevac are the examples of how the European Union gets closer to citizens. The reconstruction of the health centre in Baljevac came at the right time for all residents and represents an important contribution to the community. Our visit to this area, including Novi Pazar, is part of the effort to bring the EU closer to the citizens and provide support to all parts of Serbia" said Nicola Bertolini, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Serbia.

"Thanks to the support of the EU of almost 180,000 Euros, we reconstructed the health station in Baljevac and procured an ambulance, while we implement all the projects for the citizens of the municipality of Raška", said the Mayor of Raška, Nemanja Popović, and added that successful cooperation with the EU will continue in the future.

As Bojan Milojević, director of the Raška Health Centre, said, the health centre in Baljevac now provides significantly better health care for about 6,000 patients from Baljevac and its surroundings.

In Raška, Bertolini visited the dental practice Ana Dental 036 and the company Planinsko blago, which also improved their businesses with EU support.