Mayor of Kotor, Montenegro (March 2021)
Vladimir Jokić was born on January 24th, 1988. in Kotor, where he finished elementary and high school with excellent grades. He graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade, in the theoretical and legal field.
Jokić has been awarded at mathematical competitions – he is a multiple winner at regional IT competitions, awarded at European competitions in the same category; additionally, graduated and praised at the Clinic for Oration and Rhetoric of the Faculty of Law in Belgrade.
He speaks English and Italian. He has participated in several seminars, conferences and professional gatherings. He performed internship and professional training in “Ernst & Young” Belgrade in 2012, in jobs related to labour, business and tax law.
In the period from 2010 to 2014, he worked as a legal assistant in the law office “Petković” in Belgrade, where he especially specialized in the field of commercial and sports law.
Since 2014, he has been performing legal affairs in the accounting agency “Jokić 4V” DOO from Kotor. Since 2012, he has been a co-owner of the company “ABPM Sport Agency” DOO from Belgrade, which provides consulting services in the field of sports, law and economy and develops internet start-up projects.
He is the President of the Municipal Board of Democrats of Kotor, a member of the Main Board of Democratic Montenegro and a member of the Presidency of Democratic Montenegro.
1. What has been the impact of the nomination of your city on the World Heritage List?
The greatest impact of the nomination is certainly raising awareness of the importance of preserving the area in which we are privileged to live and which is our duty to manage, making the need for continuous providing of human resources, financial and all other solutions and all other means more visible. Moreover, the need for cooperation with UNESCO and its working bodies and exchange of experiences with other World Heritage cities with which we share similar challenges and problems is highlighted. Together with its surroundings, due to the unique mixture of different cultural influences Kotor has been inscripted on UNESCO’s list of World’s Heritage in 1979. Moreover, the transnational, serial nomination of Venetian fortifications from the 16th to the 17th century, which were candidates for enrollment in three countries: Italy, Croatia and Montenegro, was accepted at the 41st session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, held in Krakow from 02-12 July in 2017. Within the serial nomination of 15 nominated components of the Venetian defense system, six were entered: the fortified cities of Bergamo, Peschiera del Garda and Palmanova from Italy, the defense system of Zadar and the fortress of St. Nikola in Šibenik, from Croatia, and the Kotor Fortress from Montenegro which made Kotor a city with inscription on UNESCO list per two basis.
2. In your opinion, what is the vital role of a mayor when a city or a site in a city has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List?
Despite all the challenges we encounter, having the status of World Heritage Site as one of the cities and localities featuring universal cultural and natural values that belong to the entire humanity is indeed a great privilege. At the same time, it presents great responsibility and commitment of entire local community in respect of preservation and protection of values recognized by the entire world, as well as the strategic potential for development of local community and its citizens. Extraordinary universal value presents cultural and natural importance that overcomes national borders and it is equally important for present and future generations. Mayors have the opportunity to make a personal contribution to its preservation and promotion.
3. Concretely, what have been your actions toward the protection and enhancement of your heritage?
My mission is to strengthen the position of Kotor as one of the country’s most valuable cities with 70 percent of the country’s cultural heritage located at its territory and a meeting point of the region and the rest of the world.
Finding the balance between the development and preservation of natural and cultural heritage, which is, by the rating of the world, of a unique value, is certainly one of the biggest challenges that I am facing.
The Outstanding Universal Value of the Cultural and Historical Region of Kotor is embodied in the quality of the architecture in its fortified and open cities, settlements, palaces and monastic ensembles, and their harmonious integration to the cultivated terraced landscape on the slopes of high rocky hills.
However, the conditions of integrity are endangered by development and urbanization caused by ongoing transformation processes in the socio-economic structure of the area. The developments in the past couple of decades threatened to lead to the gradual yet irreversible transformation of the coastline.
During my term of office, my team and I gave and will continue to give serious contribution to preserve the Outstanding Universal Value of the Cultural and Historical Region of Kotor. In my opinion, the question of preserving the natural and cultural heritage of mankind that belongs to us for safekeeping is a civilizational one. The new quality in the future relationship between the state and local self-government will be reflected, above all, in the transparent and up-to-date resolution of open issues that the citizens are facing. One of the most important common goals is by all means the preservation of cultural heritage and status on the UNESCO list with all activities undertaken in the previous period as well as the next steps. Preserving this status, by which Kotor is recognized in the world, will be a priority for local and state authorities.
4. Do you hold special events to enhance your city’s heritage?
Ceremonial processions, traditional music festivals and events combined with modern manifestations are something that makes our city recognizable in the world and the region, along with thematic workshops, debates and events dedicated to heritage preservation. St. Tryphon’s Day, Fasinada, Days of Camellia, traditional winter carnival and Boka Night are certainly among the trademarks of Kotor. Modern Kotor is also recognized for its art festivals, among which a special place is occupied by KotorArt Festival which consists of Kotor Festival of Theatre for Children, Don Branko’s Music Days and the International ‘Klapa’ Festival held in Baroque town of Perast. In April 2018, Kotor was visited by representatives of Québec, Brussels, Kyoto, Vienna and other World Heritage Cities who gathered for a OWHC Board of Director’s meeting when a special session was held with the mayors of Dubrovnik, Mostar and Ohrid stressing our dedication to the importance of preservation of world heritage and upgrading the quality of life of citizens.
5. In your opinion, what makes your city such a special place?
The Natural and Cultural-Historical Region of Kotor bears unique testimony to the exceptionally important role that it played over centuries in the spreading of Mediterranean cultures into the Balkans. The Bay of Kotor is among the most interesting natural attractiveness and the only fjord of the Mediterranean. The beauty of nature made him one of world’s 25 most beautiful bays. In 2020, Daily Mail placed Kotor among world’s most beautiful ports while in February 2021, Kotor earned its place on the list of Best European Destinations. Modern Kotor is as place of every age and group, proud of its multiculturalism as one of its most distinguished features.
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