Our third Vice-President Jasna Gabrič was awarded the title of “Mayor of distinction” in the 2018 World Mayor Prize, alongside for instance the Mayors of Lille, Paris, Tunis, Cologne and Fort Worth, for her work in her city of Trbovlje, Slovenia.

Reacting to the award Gabrič said:

I’m proud that together with my team we achieved so much, and that our work in Trbovlje is recognized all over the world. It is amazing and a good confirmation of what we do on a daily basis for our citizens. I think the World Mayor Organisation sees us as a good example because of the projects we run in our city, which are different, modern and truly unique in our local environment. Our city is finally getting out of the assumptions of being an old, rusty, industrial and mining city. 

People hail her as a wind of change in the testimonials of the World Mayor website, bringing optimism to her city. As the youngest female Mayor elected in 2014 in Slovenia, and re-elected with 67% of the vote beating six other candidates during the October 2018 municipal elections, she’s one of the most hard-working Mayors around. She improved the lives of her citizens by reducing the unemployment rate to under 10% (coming from 21%) while at the same time building a multicultural community leading to the transformation of a forgotten, less developed old mining city into one of the most developed cities in Slovenia.

Mayor Gabrič was also the only member of the European Committee of the Regions on this list, making her inclusion and recognition all the more exceptional. She recently shared her own inspiration story of rising to power as a woman during the “Europe For Her” conference, empowering women in politics at the local level. The advice she gives young female politicians is to:

be proud to be a woman, stand up for themselves, be strong and confident. And most important of all: results counts. Only that way will you earn the trust and respect from your colleagues in politics and be successful in what you do”

This year’s edition was dedicated entirely to women in local government, featuring the achievements of female mayors from across the world and honouring the best of them.

The recognition will not change anything for Mayor Gabrič:

It’s a confirmation and recognition that me and my team we’re doing something right and that we’ll continue to work hard. And I am of course more proud than ever to be the Mayor of Trbovlje.

With this recognition Jasna Gabrič follows in the footsteps of our President Bart Somers, Mayor of Mechelen, who won the World Mayor Prize in 2016 for his outstanding achievements in welcoming refugees during recent years and for his long-term integration of immigrants from different cultures, religions and social backgrounds.

Mayor Gabrič interviewed in the Slovenian media