On the Annual General Assembly of the Balkan Network for Local Democracy which took place on the 22nd of June 2022 in Novi Sad, Serbia, the Network got a new President. The Delegate of Local Democracy Agency Zavidovici, BiH, Sladjan Ilic, previously having sat in the Governing Board, was elected as the new President of BNLD.
Dear Mr. Ilic congatulations on the new position in the BNLD Network. You come from the LDA Zavidovici (BiH), an organization which with over 20 years of experience in good praxis of mediation, promotion and protection of human rights in a pluralistic and multicultural society. How will you implement these good experiences in the future BNLD projects?
Sladjan Ilic: Thank you for the congratulations, the position of president in the regional network is recognition of the successful work of our organization in the past period. I hope that with my experience, work and contacts, I will contribute to the development of our regional network and that we will succeed in creating initiatives to establish greater mutual contact, exchange knowledge and good practices that can serve everyone in the region.
What do you think are the biggest challenges in the work of this Network?
Sladjan Ilic: Each of our members faces their own local challenges, which is also reflected in the work of the network. Many of the problems we face are common to the entire region and through our actions we can contribute to the development of policies and practices that will help solve common problems. First of all, it is necessary to find a common interest and activities that will further connect and support us in the work for a better future of the entire region.
According to the life cycle of the Network, what do you think, where is BNLD now (in which phase: Vision, Start Up, Adolescence of growth, Maturity, Stagnation or decline, Review and transformation)? What is the most important action for BNLD Network to enter the next phase of it’s development?
Sladjan Ilic: Most of the members have existed as individual organizations for a long time, BNLD is a young network that is entering adolescence. Now the most important thing is to maintain the continuity of regional work and strengthen our own capacities through the implementation of larger projects. Further development of the network depends on the success of the proposed and implemented activities.
What are the biggest chalenges for you as the President of the BNLD Network?
Sladjan Ilic: The biggest challenge is definitely to find a way for financial sustainability of the network and its members. In addition, we need to find a way to help each other overcome the obstacles we encounter every day.
According to the current situation in the world does the BNLD Network has a good Crisis strategy? What actions are more needed for better preparation?
Sladjan Ilic: Members of BNLD have been around for many years and so far we have managed to find a way to adapt to the difficulties we have encountered. We must engage more in strengthening and using our own resources in our work to strengthen civil society and local authorities, and find appropriate sponsors for regional cooperation activities and support for the implementation of democratic processes in our communities.
What will be the main BNLD Network output for current year?
Sladjan Ilic: BNLD will continue to work on promoting the principles of good democratic governance, active civic participation, local development and cooperation between civil society organizations and local authorities in the Western Balkans. This year, we are particularly devoted to promotion of the commitment to responsibility, transparency and integrity of CSOs.
Thank you for your time and answers! We wish you a productive and prosperous mandate!
Sladjan Ilic: Thank you!