“The European Union throughout Serbia supports projects that help vulnerable groups of the population, those that help young people stay in the country, and when such projects also have ecological aspects like here in Kraljevo, then it is a good example for all local self-governments in Serbia. The revitalisation of Mataruška Banja will enable economic development and therefore keep young people staying here," said Nicola Bertolini and thanked the city of Kraljevo and UNOPS for this project because, as he said, all projects that consider water and giving it the right significance is the basis for creating life.
"The European Union has once again helped the City of Kraljevo with 360,000 Euros that we will use for the reconstruction of the water supply network in a length of over five km, so that the gerontological and rehabilitation centres, residents of the Mataruška spa, as well as all guests, will have safe water supply. This is great news for Mataruška Banja, for the new owners of the natural spa, but also for all the people of Kraljevo, because with the revitalization of the spa, economic activity and employment of young people will be encouraged," said the Mayor of Kraljevo, Predrag Terzić.
The revitalisation of Mataruška Banja project is one of 18 economic infrastructure projects that will be implemented in the coming period with a total EU support of 4.6 million Euros in order to improve conditions in infrastructure and tourist zones and thus create a more favourable business environment for investments. In Mataruška Banja, in addition to the reconstruction of the water supply network, a children's playground will be arranged and new park furniture and waste bins will be purchased.
During his stay in Kraljevo, the representative of the EU Delegation visited the Kraljevo Association for Helping Persons with Autism, which, with EU support, is working on establishing a day care service for persons with autism, which will significantly improve social inclusion and living conditions for 14 beneficiaries and their families.
In Kraljevo, Bertolini also met with representatives of the Regional Chamber of Commerce of Moravički and Raški districts, which with the help of the EU of 30,000 Euros implemented a project that enabled 35 small and medium-sized companies improve their knowledge in the field of using "green energy".
During the morning, Nicola Bertolini and the Mayor of Užice, Jelena Raković Radivojević, visited the works on the reconstruction and energy rehabilitation of the dispensary for lung diseases and tuberculosis, which are being implemented with the support of the European Union in the amount of almost 180,000 Euros, while the participation of the city amounts to over 260,000 Euros.
"After my visit last year in which I expressed great satisfaction how the City of Užice takes care of the most vulnerable people, now a year later I can still see the same spirit and improvement in the projects we are jointly implementing and where we can see that we share the same principles of the European Union. Taking care of the most vulnerable people is the first principle on which the European Union is based, and this City shows that we can achieve a lot together, while the health and education sectors, which we support here, are the basis of every society", said Nicola Bertolini.
The Mayor of Užice underlined the importance of the support of the European Union in the implementation of large projects throughout Serbia, as the budget resources of local self-governments are limited. "Through the EU PRO Plus programme, the EU supports two important investments in the City- the energy rehabilitation project of the anti-tuberculosis dispensary, where over 150,000 people were cared for during the Covid-19 pandemic, and which will continue to provide health care for patients suffering from tuberculosis and respiratory. The second project is the first rural kindergarten in Karan, where currently we are procuring the equipment and furniture," said Mayor Jelena Raković Radivojević.
In Užice, the head of the cooperation department also met with representatives of civil society from western Serbia to discuss the challenges and opportunities that civil society faces.