The City of Kruševac and the City Municipality of Vračar from Belgrade won this year’s award presented for the fifth year in a row by the Ombudsman, in cooperation with the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities – Association of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia, to towns, municipalities and city municipalities in the Republic of Serbia that have contributed the most during the past year to the development of all forms of accessibility in their territory, and/or their environment.
The award for continuous work on improving the accessibility of the urban environment was won by the City of Kruševac, for multiple initiatives related to timely planning and removal of obstacles, planning and construction of accessible facilities, and the reconstruction and adaptation of public facilities.
The award for innovative solutions in the field of improving the accessibility of information and communication was won by the City Municipality of Vračar, for an initiative covering activities implemented under an international cooperation project, and activities implemented during the introduction of the state of emergency due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The award for timely action aimed at continuous support to citizens during the state of emergency was won by the City of Kragujevac. The award for continuous work on applying accessibility standards was won by the Municipality of Svilajnac. The award for improving accessibility of content in the field of culture was won by the City of Sombor, while the award for improving the accessibility of public areas was won by the Municipality of Čajetina. Diplomas for participation in the Public call for presenting awards for contributions for all forms of accessibility in 2020 were presented to the cities of Leskovac, Loznica and Smederevo, and the municipalities Bela Palanka, Gornji Milanovac, and Knić.
A total of 12 towns, municipalities and city municipalities have applied to the public call for awards. The call commission shortlisted the participants based on the received applications and relevant documentation, thereafter organising visits to these public self-government units. At a session held on 11 June 2021 the Call Commission, based on a review of the material on the candidate initiatives submitted by the shortlisted municipalities, towns and city municipalities, as well as based on direct insight in the implementation of these initiatives during the visits, made their Decision on the winners of awards and prizes.
The Ombudsman wishes to promote in this way examples of good practices in the field of accessibility at the local level, and to achieve better cooperation with local self-government units in the Republic of Serbia, aiming to determine the state of play in the field of accessibility and reasons why regulations guaranteeing the right to the accessibility of public facilities and services for persons with disabilities and movement or communication impairment are not being fully applied. Furthermore, this initiative provides important information for formulating recommendations and plans to improve accessibility under the competence of towns, municipalities and city municipalities.
The presentation of awards, prizes and diplomas to local self-government units will be organised on 16 July 2021.