Is Bratislava, a historically multicultural city, as diverse as it used to be? Do foreigners have a loud enough voice in local government?
Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo, elected for the post with no previous experience in municipal government in 2018, answered these and some other questions in a discussion with foreigners earlier this week. When he first ran for mayor, Vallo took a different approach than his predecessors and main competitors in the election by addressing the community of foreigners living in the Slovak capital in his election programme. Vallo, whose first term as mayor ends in the autumn of 2023, declared that making Bratislava a more integrated city is a priority for him until the end of his term.
He said so during the first public debate with foreigners in English, the Q&A with the Mayor event that took place on September 21 as part of the multi-genre festival [fjúžn] organised by the non-governmental Milan Šimečka Foundation.
“An important question is how are we going to use the energy of foreigners to improve the future of Bratislava,” Vallo told the discussion participants.
Organise better, mayor says