Honoring the city of Kotor (Montenegro) and its Mayor Vladimir Jokić

Kotor became a member of the Euromed Network of Cities at the General Assembly  held in the city of Nice in November 2016, in line with its continuous effort to improve the quality of life of it citizens, continue the communication with EU bodies as well as numerous activities within international organizations that promote the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.

At this ancient city,  a unique cultural heritage has been created, receiving the influences of the Mediterranean, West and partly East. In the past 16 centuries, Kotor has had an uninterrupted continuity of the city which during that period had maintained the characteristics of a political, religious, economic, trade, educational, healthcare and maritime center. Furthermore, Kotor is among the leading Montenegrin municipalities in the field of international cooperation and EU integration being a member of international associations of cities based on UNESCO principles of development for locations of universal value, multi-ethnic principles of spreading the culture of peace and integrative principles of the EU. In this context, Kotor has been one of the first and most successful Montenegrin municipalites and a reliable partner in the field of implementation of European transnational projects. It has a regular communication with EU bodies and international organizations. Aware of the benefits of macro-regional cooperation we are welcoming the possibility of promoting it at the level of the Mediterranean.

Cooperation of Kotor with other coastal cities such as Dubrovnik, as well as the possibility of cooperation with other Mediterranean cities in order to create conditions for continuous sustainable tourism, is something that Kotor will strive for in the future. This cooperation should also include the areas of culture, entrepreneurship and education in terms of targeted exchange and webinars in these areas but also in the field of transport infrastructure and maritime development, particularly the use of ports for tourism and passenger tourism, in order to exchange experiences and examples of good practices among Mediterranean cities, sharing the similar challenges.

Within Euromed Cities Network, Kotor is open for developing the cooperation within bilateral and multilateral cooperation projects, in accordance with the priorities of cooperation of the new era that this network has entered, including smart and green cities, climate and security risks, culture and heritage. As a World Heritage City and one of the places on the planet Earth with universal values that belong to all mankind, Kotor is also open to partnerships and exchange of experiences in the areas of waste management, cultural heritage management and sustainable mobility in port cities.

Preventing or reducing the environmental damage and achieving sustainable use of the marine environment remains a major challenge for the Mediterranean.Cruise tourism, particularly in the pre-Covid era was developing very fast, within which the large Mediterranean ports welcomed each year more than a million tourists individually. Infrastructure, tourism and entertainment are interrelated and were developing on very densely populated and built coast. In my opinion, the first and basic fact that we must keep in mind is that Kotor and similar cities in fact need cruising tourism. In other words, if we have a port, we also need ships in that port so that it would, in the true sense of the word, be a port. On the other hand, we also have to control the number of ships and the way they arrive in Kotor, which is the fact the wider public agrees on. Last but not least, it is necessary to position our city in a way that Kotor is presented as a destination that is in fact prestigious. Besides Venice and Dubrovnik, Kotor should be the third prestigious cruising destination on the Adriatic coast, and we should say that ‘sometimes less is more’ and find the right measure in everything. While our city certainly has a need for cruising it also has to balance its way from preserving its universal natural and historical heritage to the sustainable development and here lies a big space for dialogue and exchange of experiences between similar cities along the coast.

Having this in mind, there is also a need for an integrated approach to the maritime economy at the entire Mediterranean. It is said for a reason that the seas and oceans are the drivers of the economy and they certainly have great potential for innovation and development. However, a better understanding of the environmental pressures created by human activity is needed as well as the establishment and implementation of measures with the aim of mitigating them. It is highly important to provide an integrated approach at different levels with multiple actors for the undertaken activities to be relevant followed by the initiatives that  involve different stakeholders and it leaves room for cooperation among the Mediterranean cities.

See you soon,