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Interview with the Mayor of the Urban municipality Celje, Bojan Šrot
10-11 / 2009

Bojan Šrot was the president of the Slovene People's Party and elected for the Mayor of Celje for the third time in 2006. Celje has more than 50.000 inhabitants and is an important economic, cultural, administrative and educational centre between Ljubljana and Maribor.

In September 2009 you participated at the first Communal forum in Velden amWoerthersee. What is your evaluation of this interregional meeting of communal politicians ?

I participated at the Forum together with my cooperator from our municipal administration , who is the leader of the Department for environment, spatial planning and communal affairs. I think such meetings on the interregional level are very useful. Also the themes of the Forum were good and I expect that this Forum will be traditional in the future. I find it good, because there is the place for establishing of different contacts. Also the presentation of “good practices” is something what is helpful to every Mayor, regardless if he/she is coming from Slovenia, Italy or Austria, from a big or a small community. The problems are very similar many times. This is the reason why I am supporting such a meeting with the exchange of experiences. The presentation of “good practices” was very important for us. From this point we are always comparing our position with the positions of others. In one way we are competitors, however we like to share positive experiences with the others and we expect the same from the others,too. Personally I was very impressed by the presentation of alternative energetic sources; the green energy is a popular theme today and the one with a great future. New generations of wind power plants were presented. Also our municipality has two power plants in its possession; plant on gas depot , additionally this year we are finishing the trial operating of the newly built heating plant which is producing energy from the communal waste.
I hope next year this Forum will be even more rich and wide-ranging in its contents, with even more participants, although I was very surprised by the number of the participants this year.


Which are the projects and where do you see the possibilities of the actual cooperation with one of the Carinthian urban municipalities?

The cooperation is more intense in the border region. Municipality Celje has up till now no partnership cooperation with one of the Carinthian municipalities. Several times we visited the municipality/town Spittal an der Drau, at the occasion of the tourist events and in the connection with the medieval history. However I have already established contacts with the representatives of the AACC with the intention to cooperate with a municipality comparable to our. In this way a positive synergy could be obtained with the exchange of experiences- for instance from applying for the European funds to solving specific local problems. I see good opportunities and our wish is to connect the civil sphere- culture, education, sport - to form and widen contacts, not only among local politicians but also among people who live in one or another town. This is the reason which makes partnership lively and long-lasting.


Urban municipality Celje is a member of the AACC, too . You cooperated with the AACC in the project of building the infrastructure and reviving tourism at the Šmartinsko jezero (lake).
Are there some other mutual projects planned?

Our municipality is a member of the AACC for some years. We have extremely good experiences with the project of revitalisation and building of the tourist infrastructure at the mentioned lake. Here we cooperated with the AACC and the Austrian experts. We all know that Carinthian lake tourism is a real brand name. Your people have numerous experiences. Usually such neutral view connected with the local structure is very useful. One part of this project is already finished. An unbelievable movement happened around the lake. Today there are so many visitors that the walking paths are too narrow. Many local people started to believe that the lake is representing a tourist opportunity so that it could be a source of additional income -together with the farm tourism. At the moment the municipality is building a walking path from the town to the lake, next year we expect the government to accept the governmental locational plan , so that all ideas given by the experts could be introduced at the place. I expect it would be possible to finish the walking paths and all other infrastructure next year what would enable the development of the business initiatives. Experiences are very positive and we are grateful that we were able to visit two destinations in Carinthia with our people who live at the lake. I have to admit that actually this excursion caused a change in the thinking of people, especially of the younger ones. They are now seeing their opportunity in the tourism, too.
I am convinced that in the future we will- in cooperation with the AACC- finalise some more projects, maybe not only on the field of tourism but on some other fields,too. Ideas are present, opportunities too, and I believe to implement them – under condition of our mutual activities.

Interview, photo and copyright: Mirko Štukelj
Photo 1: View on the beautifully arranged market in front of the National hall, where is also the administrative seat of the urban municipality Celje
Photo 2: The popular vegetable market place near the National hall


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