Signing of Co-financing Agreements” as a joint event of the EU for Municipalities and the Cross Border Cooperation programme North Macedonia – Albania

In the framework of the IPA CBC Programme Republic of North Macedonia – Republic of Albania 2014-2020, with the joint initiative of the Programmes, “EU for Municipalities” implemented in North Macedonia and the “CBC Programe North Macedonia – Albania”, implemented by the Operating Structures (OSs) of this programme (Ministry of Local Self-Government in MK and the State Agency for Strategic Planning and Aid Coordination in AL), with the support of the EU Delegation to North Macedonia, was organized the joint event, Kick-off conference “EU for Municipalities”. The event was attended by representatives from both OSs, “EU for Municipalities”, JTS, DEU, several Ministries, Municipalities representatives, as well as with participation of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). This activity took place on 23rd of March, 2022 in the premises of Hotel “Limak” in Skopje, North Macedonia. The promotional event consisted of two components “Signing of co-financing agreements” and “Presentation of thematic networks” and took place in hybrid form with physical presence and online on the “zoom” platform. The activity took place according to the agenda, where at the beginning there were given welcome speeches from officials from institutions from both countries such as EU Ambassadors, Ministers, Mayors, etc. The event continued with the formal signing ceremony of co-financing agreements between the representatives (Mayors) and the Minister of Local Self-Government in North Macedonia. For the CBC Programme MK-AL, 11 Co-financing Agreements were signed with the grant beneficiaries under the 2nd and 3rd call of this CBC programme.

The rest of the activity was related to the organization of three (3) panels as follows:

  • Discussion on Municipal Digitalization (launch of thematic networking).
  • Panel discussion on cross-border challenges of local authorities and overview of calls for proposals under IPA III.
  • Workshop on operational / administrative criteria and visibility requirements.

The second panel on cross-border challenges of local authorities and an overview of calls for proposals under IPA III, started with a brief presentation of the CBC Programme MK-AL, with the objectives, eligible programme area, thematic priorities, financial allocations, grants and projects funded, calls for proposals, etc. This panel discussion was also focused on sustainability, (a) the extent to which beneficiaries or institutions from partner countries will continue to meet the overall goal after the end of external support, and (2) whether the positive impact of the intervention will continue after the completion of the project. The panel highlighted the fact that local government units (municipalities) are the key institutions for the sustainability of project results. For this purpose, under the second and third call of the CBC programme MK-AL, in the guidelines and application criteria, it was necessary that each grant application had to include at least one local authority unit (Municipality) as applicant or co-applicant for each country. Topics of discussion focused on cross-border cooperation, the challenges encountered during the implementation of projects under the Program and the measures taken to meet these challenges, as well as suggestions and recommendations for calls for proposals and perspectives under the upcoming IPA III Programme.

In this panel participated as follows:

  • Mr. Goce Toleski, Head of the JTS, IPA CBC Programme North Macedonia – Albania in the role of moderator.
  • Mr. Pali Kolefski, Mayor of Pustec municipality
  • Mr. Zoran Nogaceski, Mayor of Debrca municipality
  • Ms. Anna-Maria MAGYAR, Member of County Council of Csongrád Megye, the CoR rapporteur on the 2022 EC Enlargement Package.

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