The recent Preparatory Meeting of the NALAS Forum of Women Mayors in South East Europe, held in Podgorica from 1 to 3 July 2024 focused on the discussion how to make the Berlin Process gender-sensitive, by bringing the perspective of local governments from the Western Balkans. The meeting also aimed to plan and set the agenda for the next session of the NALAS Forum of Women Mayors, addressing pressing issues relevant to gender equality and regional cooperation.

Photos: Bojan Gnjidic Photography

Key topics discussed included the importance of combating gender-based violence and enhancing social security standards to boost women’s participation in the regional labour market. The participants also explored strategies for increasing women’s inclusion in decision-making processes related to EU accession. Additionally, the discussion delved into the role of reconciliation as a precondition for EU accession and examined how this perspective could significantly contribute to this process. This preparatory meeting enabled the future collaborations and initiatives among women mayors in the Western Balkans, reinforcing the commitment of women mayors in the region to drive progress and foster inclusive and gender-sensitive policies.

This Preparatory Meeting was supported under the UN Women project “Promoting Gender Responsive Policies and Budgets: Towards Transparent, Inclusive and Accountable Governance in the Republic of North Macedonia” (phase 2) implemented with financial support by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the programme “Promoting Gender Responsive Governance in North Macedonia”, with financial support by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).