Distinguished Prime Minister Kurti, distinguished Minister Krasniqi,
Excellencies (Ambassador Harnmarck and Groendahl),
Dear ladies and gentlemen,
Allow me to first welcome the Kosovo Government’s promise, also reflected in its Programme, to Advancing local self-government policies and legal framework as part of a broader commitment to put every citizen of Kosovo at the centre of its actions.
As Switzerland’s representative, I can say with confidence that strengthening the capacities and increasing the financial means of municipalities is key to ensure that citizens receive better services and enjoy higher living standards.
It is as such not a coincidence that Switzerland has been promoting democratic governance in Kosovo, including – if not especially – at the local level since 2006.
Improving local governance requires obviously substantial and coordinated efforts.
In this respect, allow me to praise the exemplary cooperation we have enjoyed with the Kosovo authorities, in particular the Ministry of Local Government (and its Department for Municipal Performance), as well as with Sweden and Norway.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Municipal Performance Grant initiated under the Demos project has proven a tremendously efficient instrument thanks to the collective endeavour of municipals officials and assembly members.
Your respective citizens are certainly grateful for your engagement and must recognize that their taxes have been well invested.
Switzerland is particularly pleased that the new Government, under Prime Minister Kurti’s leadership, decided to institutionalise the Municipal Performance Grant Scheme.
Switzerland trusts that the awards delivered today will inspire and motivate other municipalities to further improving their performances to the benefit of their citizens.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The pandemic has taken a great toll on people’s life and has deeply affected a large number of Kosovo citizens.
Amidst the hardships exacerbated by the pandemic, however, several municipalities have demonstrated their ability to innovate, enhancing for instance citizens’ engagement in public life thanks to the digitalization of services.
We look forward to further encouraging majors of Kosovo and their teams closely cooperate with citizens with a view to turning local policies into actions, and visionary ideas into tangible results.
Congratulations once again to today’s awarded municipalities for a well-deserved grant.
Thank you for your attention