Marija Cvetković, President of the Municipality of Gadžin Han

We Have Great Plans

Despite having good climatic conditions, a low level of pollution and diverse land – making it an ideal place for both tourism and agriculture – Gadžin Han remains among the ranks of undeveloped municipalities with high unemployment

Marija Cvetković, President of the Municipality of Gadžin Han

The leadership of the municipality hopes that, with the help of the Government of Serbia, it will be able to create better conditions for life and work. 

“We would like to create the conditions for the employment of young people, in order to put an end to their departures, but also older citizens, who represent the majority. We have great potential for the development and improvement of agriculture, but also tourism, though we cannot exploit that potential by ourselves,” says Marija Cvetković, President of the Municipality Gadžin Han.

Small and impoverished municipalities like yours are unable – due to a lack of budget funding – to compete for European IPA projects, and those funds would mean a lot to you. Can the Serbian Government help you?

– Our municipality is very dispersed, sprawling over an area of 324km2 and encompassing 34 villages. As a small and undeveloped municipality, resources from IPA funds would, of course, mean a lot to us, as would assistance from the national government. We can’t do a lot with our budget, but we hope that the relevant ministries, each within their own area of competence, will help improve living and working conditions for the residents of our municipality.

The Strategy for the Sustainable Development of the Municipality of Gadžin Han for the 2012-2020 period was adopted seven years ago. What else can be done prior to it expiring?

– We implemented a major and important job for all citizens, and particularly for farmers, during the previous period. The Municipality financed a flood protection project for the Zaplanja watercourses, but we lacked the funds to procure equipment needed to reduce the risk of floods and prevent their occurrence, so we applied for the Interregional IPA Bulgaria-Serbia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme, in partnership with the Republic of Bulgaria’s Municipality of Dupnica.

The municipality of Gadžin Han was once known for the cultivating of tobacco, while today ever more families are opting to grow medicinal herbs that don’t require large investments

Prior to the expiry of the Strategy for the Sustainable Development of the Municipality of Gadžin Han, much more can be done – despite only a short period of time remaining – in all areas of strategic priority as listed in the document. We can and want to deal with road infrastructure, the regulating of industrial zones, the construction of water supply and sewage networks, and the development of tourism and agriculture.

I must emphasise that – when it comes to road infrastructure, water supply and sewage networks – the Municipality of Gadžin Han has developed technical documentation that will ease the realisation of projects in these areas.

Construction and Infrastructure Minister Zorana Mihajlović has announced that reconstruction of the old motorway near Gadžin Han will be carried out this year. How important is that for your area’s development?

– The renovation of the old motorway is very important for Gadžin, as it connects our municipality with the cities of Leskovac and Niš, which is also very important for the development of tourism, as well as attracting investors. Without good roads and regulated infrastructure, we can expect neither investors nor tourists and so we will – as I noted in the previous answer – work towards creating a stimulating ambience.