NALAS Vice-President, Mayor of the City of Rijeka, Mr. Marko Filipovic welcomed a group of 11 cities, members of the EU Projects City Network in the Western Balkans at the study visit organised by NALAS from 2-6 October 2023 in Rijeka, Croatia.  

Mayor Filipovic and his staff presented the practices of the City of Rijeka in development and implementation of EU projects in infrastructure, energy efficiency, culture and social services. The City of Rijeka, together with its public utility companies, institutions and other partners, managed get to the top of the list for absorption of EU funds, thanks to which the City undertakes huge infrastructure projects in water supply, waste management, district heating, etc. “These, as well as the many culture, youth, tourism and social projects changed the face of the city in the past 30 years, from an industrial to a liveable city, interesting for foreign investments”, said Mayor Filipovic.

Besides presenting the good practices that the City of Rijeka has in EU project development and implementation, the staff of the city unselfishly shared the key challenges that need to be taken into consideration from the perspective of city administration and showcased the cooperation with the civil society and other local actors in EU project development and implementation.

The 11 cities from WB6 were mostly impressed by the way Rijeka successfully transforms old, abandoned buildings, giving them a new life in the sphere of culture, social care, youth engagement and entrepreneurship development. ”Rijeka – the City that flows – is a fantastic inspiration”, said one of the Study-Visit participants.

They also had the chance to visit the neighbouring Opatija and exchange with Mr. Goran Pavlovic from Opatija’s Tourist Board. Walking along the famous Lungo Mare, the cities learnt about the magic that Opatija used to become a real pearl of Kvarner Bay, known for the its fantastic sceneries, perfectly matched with exquisite cuisine. Mr. Pavlovic also presented their product Feel&Taste, that has been developed within Interreg project.

In the spirit of the EU Projects City Network for the Western Balkans, we hope for many future cooperation and twinning opportunities of the 11 cities with Rijeka and Opatija.     


The EU Projects City Network in the Western Balkans was initiated and is led by the City of Sarajevo. It is supported by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the German Cooperation (GIZ), with the technical assistance of NALAS.