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Ljubljana becomes greenest city in Europe

On 10 March 2016, Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, has formally turned into Europe's Green Capital 2016, the EU title it was awarded for its sustainable development over the past ten years. The City of Ljubljana celebrated with events throughout the day.
In the morning brunch with prominent speakers Đorđe Balašević, Tomo Križnar, Janez Škrabec, Emil Tedeschi and Dr Aleksander Zadel was held in the Estates Hall of the Ljubljana Castle titled "Responsibility today – solidarity with future generations." Among other issues, they pointed out that everyone has to contribute to a better life and protection of the environment.

Then followed the mayors’ round table "Cities of the future. How to be a solution not a problem.", which included, in addition to the Mayor Zoran Janković, mayors of Belgrade, Budapest, Istanbul and Sofia as well as the European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport Violeta Bulc. Participants agreed that political decisions in the environmental field are insignificant unless they resonate in people’s lives, and the Mayor Zoran Janković additionally stressed that changes require very good planning and, above all, courage. The climax was the evening opening ceremony of the Ljubljana, European Green Capital 2016, at Stožice, where many environmental projects of previous years were recounted. Guest speakers were Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia Dr Miro Cerar, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport Violeta Bulc and the Mayor Zoran Janković. Dr Miro Cerar emphasised, among other issues, that in times when pollution in many cities is on the rise, Ljubljana is even cleaner and greener, and that is why we can proudly call it the green capital of Europe. European Commissioner Violeta Bulc highlighted that for years Ljubljana has been assuming the leading role in numerous innovative projects, also in the field of mobility, and that ensuring sustainable development is important for a green city to be a smart city, as well, open to innovation. European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella stated that all Europeans can be proud of their cities, but only a few can boast they live in a green capital. He added that coming generations expect and are entitled to a healthy environment, and we owe them that. The Mayor Zoran Janković pointed out that for him this day is a day of gratitude and a day of pride. He further accentuated the need for solidarity, towards fellow people and future generations, so we can leave behind nature preserved in the same state as it is now. He added that we will be able to tell our grandchildren – yes, you will inherit a city of which you will also be proud and can develop. "I am proud Ljubljana is green, clean, safe and friendly. Or simply put – for me the most beautiful city in the world," said the mayor in the conclusion of his speech to the audience at the opening ceremony. On this occasion, the Open Kitchen introduced itself at Stožice, and by doing so started its fourth season. At the stands visitors got a taste of dishes prepared from local and ecologically produced ingredients. And renowned fashion designer Nina Šušnjara designed a shopping bag for Ljubljana, European Green Capital 2016, Bag.For you. Under the trade mark SUSNYARA a unique fashionable shopping bag was created, produced from sustainable and recycled materials as an alternative to single use bags.

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