EU Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Head of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Special EU Representative, visited today the City of Zenica and met with the Mayor Fuad Kasumović and his associates.
Following the words of welcome, Mayor Kasumović has presented the current situation with a special emphasis on the long-standing issues that are of crucial importance for normal city functions like district heating, drinking water and waste water system, stray dog shelters and so on.
Given the fact that Zenica has no loan taking or guarantee giving capacity at the moment, Mayor asked Ambassador Wigemark to try and help find the way out of this situation, particularly in light of the forthcoming establishment of the joint venture company between ArcelorMittal, Finnish equipment manufacturing company and the City of Zenica to cover the energy production for ArcelorMittal and provide a stable source of heat for the city district heating system.
In addition, thanks to the city administration efforts, stray dog problem has been largely curbed, but this has required major allocations from the city budget. There are plans to have the local Animal Right NGO take over the operation of the Shelter and, once this takes place, EU is expected to help with its funding and take off the heavy burden from the local budget.
Also discussed was the matter of EU-oriented education for newly employed administration personnel to help the Department for Local Development become as efficient as possible in their dealings with the international financial and relief institutions.
Finally, the new „Movement for Europe“ initiative was discussed where Mayor Kasumović plays a prominent role. Ambassador Wigemark has said the EU are following the developments very closely and would like to have the non ethnic-based political forces playing more important role in the political life of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Later today, Ambassador Wigemark and the German Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Ms Christiane Constanze Hohmann met with the local entrepreneurs and offered support in their efforts to upgrade their businesses and become more visible in the market.