Leskovac, 24 May 2024

EU supports education and tourism development in Leskovac, continues cooperation in environmental protection

The Head of Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Serbia, Nicola Bertolini, and the Mayor of Leskovac, Goran Cvetanović, visited Leskovac today to review projects supported by the EU aimed to improve educational conditions for children and enhance the city's tourist offerings. They were implemented through the Cross-Border Cooperation Programme between Serbia and North Macedonia and the EU PRO Plus Programme, in collaboration with the Ministry of European Integration.

During a visit to the primary school "Bora Stanković" in Guberevac attended by over 200 pupils, which was renovated with the support of the EU through the EU PRO Plus programme, Nicola Bertolini said that "Education and environmental protection are the two most important aspects for the development of society. By supporting such projects, we create better conditions for our children, better conditions for education so that they can live better and face global challenges.  In this goal, we count on everyone's support, and we especially appreciate the role of educational institutions such as these in Leskovac. Through quality projects, we strive to bring Leskovac closer to the European Union, thus ensuring a better future for our children because only united can we achieve these goals”.

The Mayor of Leskovac, Goran Cvetanović, underscored that with the support of the European Union, a number of projects were implemented in the education, culture, health and environmental protection sectors. He emphasised that, with further support through the EU PRO Plus programme, two new projects focused on waste management and recultivation of the closed Brst landfill will soon commence.

"Cooperation with the EU is not only based on material resources, but also on the exchange of knowledge, ideas and experiences. We are open to new ideas and partnerships, because we believe that only together with Europe as a partner can we achieve great goals,' concluded Mayor Cvetanović.

Bertolini and Cvetanović also visited the student hostel in Vučje, equipped through the Cross-Border Cooperation Serbia-North Macedonia project "Rural tourism - a new perspective of youth mobility". Through this initiative jointly implemented by the local high school "Svetozar Krstić - Toza" and the high school "Mitko Pendžukliski" from Kratovo in North Macedonia, two school hostels and kitchens were equipped, a school tourism company was launched, and almost 1,000 students had practical training for their future jobs. 

"This project is aimed at young people who are the future of Europe, Serbia and North Macedonia." And in the future, we should all turn to rural tourism, natural beauty and healthy food," said Nicola Bertolini, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation.

“With the support of the European Union and the efforts of both schools, Vučje now has a student hostel, and this significant investment of 200,000 Euros will contribute to the development of our educational system. Our task is to continue investing in the education and development of young people, because they are the future of our city and our country, and this hostel can become a place where new ideas will be born, friendships will be made, and a better future will be built for all of us," said the mayor of Leskovac, Goran Cvetanović.

The Mayor of the municipality of Kratovo, Todorče Nikolovski, highlighted the potential that both Kratovo and Leskovac have in the field of tourism to be developed through similar projects.

On this occasion, the directors of the two secondary schools, Stanko Ranđelović and Aleksandar Hristov, signed a twinning charter, thus confirming continuation of successful cooperation in the future.

The representative of the EU Delegation while in Vučje saw how the City of Leskovac, through two projects of Cross-Border Cooperation Serbia - North Macedonia, "Connecting Pearls" and "Land of Legends", implemented with the municipality of Kriva Palanka from North Macedonia, improved its tourist offer. A pedestrian path leading from hydroelectric power plant to the waterfall on the river Vučjanka was built along with the mapping of tourist attractions, and construction of the children's playground.