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The City of Bijeljina

Europe has spoken - Ljubiša Petrović is the Most Roma Friendly Mayor again

For the second time during his term, Bijeljina Mayor Ljubiša Petrović has been awarded the recognition of The Most Friendly Roma Mayor in Brussels, which is presented on the occasion of International Roma Day. The award is a result of the dedicated work of the Administration of the City of Bijeljina, led by Mayor Ljubiša Petrović, with a clear goal of continuous progress to create better living conditions for all citizens of Semberija, regardless of ethnicity.
Commenting on the award, Mayor Petrović emphasized that he is proud of his stance not to divide people based on religion, affiliation, orientation, skin colour, and that he strongly opposes rhetoric that promotes ethnic intolerance.
“I believe that these are the foundations of culture and the essence of humanity, and that if we do not adhere to these principles, we cannot be good people, worthy representatives of our people, and leaders in society,” said Petrović. He emphasized his pride in the fact that Europe has officially recognized Bijeljina with this award, highlighting it as a model local community when it comes to relations with minority communities in society.
Bijeljina is among the cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the largest Roma population, and significant steps have been taken over the past three years to improve the quality of life for Roma and their inclusion in all spheres of society.
The City Administration, together with the partners, has been working over the past three years to address housing issues for Roma, providing ongoing support to the Day Centre for children at-risk and the citizens’ association Otaharin. Support for events promoting Roma culture and traditions also continues.
An important step forward in supporting the youngest members of the Roma community is the provision of free meals in schools.
Regarding future projects, construction is underway for a shelter for children at-risk, with a significant number being children of Roma ethnicity.