Young mayor: “We do not receive a municipality from the older generation but it was lent to us by the youngest one”
Michal Chovanec, Mayor of Bacúch (Slovakia) and member of CEMR Young Elected Officials Committee, shared the initiative on social enterprise that his municipality is leading, mainly to support vulnerable and disadvantaged population groups, during a workshop on the localisation of the SDGs in times of crisis organised by CEMR and PLATFORMA in the context of the UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, held in Geneva (Switzerland) on 29-30 March. ,
City representatives that were part of the URBACT Global Goals for Cities pilot network from Manresa (Spaoin) and Tallinn (Estonia) spoke about the challenges faced by local and regional governments during the recent crises, namely COVID-19 and the consequences of the war in Ukraine.
“In my opinion, one of the goals of sustainable development in municipalities and regions is to support vulnerable and disadvantaged population groups, meaning young people, school graduates, the unemployed, people over 50 – who are starting to face troubles getting a job –, people with disabilities and many other groups,” said Michal Chovanec. He further explained: “One way to help them is through a social enterprise which the municipality can establish in order to employ these groups and help them in their various life situations. Thanks to the support from the government through partial subsidization of wage costs, tax breaks and other benefits, municipalities in Slovakia can fulfil this goal.”
The Slovakian mayor also stated: “As a young local leader, I follow the motto: We do not receive a municipality from the older generation, but it was lent to us by the youngest one, for whom we must create living conditions so that it can stay here and progress.”
This workshop highlighted the fact that awareness-raising is crucial to reach the goals of the 2030 Agenda. It also made clear that local and regional governments need to be supported with appropriate tools, such as the Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities (RFSC), a web application to guide cities on their own path towards sustainability.