Kick-off conference “EU for Municipalities”

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.

Practical training for management of EU funded grants” for the Grant Beneficiaries under the 3rd Call for proposals of the IPA CBC Prograame, organized in Struga, North Macedonia on 29 and 30 March 2022

In order to increase the capacities of grant beneficiaries for managing projects awarded under the 3rd CfP, a two- day training session was organized in Struga, North Macedonia. The training provided through the presentations, mainly on the rules for implementation of the grants, reporting, grants-financial aspects, the EU communication and visibility requirements, monitoring, evaluation and control etc.  The co-financing rules for IPA partners & VAT procedures, recommendations to all coordinators, general implementation rules, basic principles of the CBC project were just a part of the topics discussed by the participants and trainers (EUD and JTS representatives). The training aimed to enhanced knowledge and practical skills of grant beneficiaries to implement their projects in line with the provisions of their CBC grant contracts. More specifically training results included: Improved knowledge of the fundamental rules and principles that govern the implementation of their grant contract; Increased capacities for successful day-to-day management of their grant contracts; Improved knowledge of the beneficiaries about the fundamental principles of procurement procedures; Enhanced practical skills for preparation, implementation and evaluation of tenders according Annex of grant contract. The training was delivered by the representatives of Delegation of the European Union in Skopje supported by the Joint Technical Secretariat of the programme.

Interns for the IPA Cross-border Cooperation programme Republic of North Macedonia – Republic of Albania 2014-2020

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT

 

The Ministry of Local-Self Government in the Republic of North Macedonia and Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in the Republic of Albania, as the operating structures of the IPA II Cross-Border Cooperation programme Republic of North Macedonia – Republic of Albania 2014- 2020, in the framework of this programme are  publishing Public Announcement for Candidates for Vacancies:

 

  • 1 (one) intern for the IPA II Cross-border Cooperation programme North Macedonia – Albania for the JTS office in Struga,
  • Terms of Reference for this position can be downloaded from the following official websites: http://ipacbc-mk-al.net; www.mls.gov.mk; http://punetejashtme.gov.al;

 

Candidates should provide the following documents in electronic version:

  • CV;
  • Copy of diploma ;
  • Other documents on applicant will.

 

Documents must be submitted to the following email address:

jts_mkal@yahoo.com

 

Deadline for application:

Interested candidates must submit the application documents via email  until 09.04.2022 until 15:00 o’clock.

Only those applications which will arrive by the closing date to this announcement will be considered for review.

 

Additional information can be obtained via e-mail to: jts_mkal@yahoo.com

 

Terms of Reference – ToR

Announcement for engaging Expert to prepare the technical specifications for the tender for procurement of two solar boats that will operate in Ohrid Lake, provided by EU grants under the Cross-Border Cooperation Programme between the Republic of North Macedonia

The Ministry of Local-Self Government in the Republic of North Macedonia and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in the Republic of Albania, announce the vacancy for hiring expert(s) for preparing the technical specifications for the tender for procurement of two solar boats that will operate in Ohrid Lake, provided by EU grants under the CBC Programme North Macedonia and Albania.

For more information please consult the Terms of References ToR

Deadline for application is: on 31th of March 2022, in the following electronic address: jts_mkal@yahoo.com

Announcement for engaging Expert(s) to prepare a feasibility study for the selection of the legal concept of the operating company that will operate two solar boats in Ohrid Lake – IPA CBC Programme North Macedonia – Albania

The Ministry of Local-Self Government in the Republic of North Macedonia and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in the Republic of Albania, announce the vacancy for hiring expert(s) Experts for preparing a feasibility study for selection of a legal concept of the operating company that will operate most profitably the two solar boats in Lake Ohrid under the IPA CBC programme North Macedonia – Albania.

For more information please consult the ToR

Deadline for application is: on 31th of Маrch 2022, in the following electronic address: jts_mkal@yahoo.com

Announcement for engaging Expert(s) to prepare a Report on environmental impact assessment for the implementation of the strategic project idea “Ohrid-lake-Bridging Two countries toward One destination” under the IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Programme North Macedonia – Albania

The Ministry of Local-Self Government in the Republic of North Macedonia and the State Agency for Strategic Programming and Aid Coordination in the Republic of Albania, announce the vacancy for hiring Expert(s) for preparing to prepare a Report on environmental impact assessment for the implementation of the strategic project idea “Ohrid-lake-Bridging Two countries toward One destination” under the IPA CBC programme North Macedonia – Albania.

For more information, please consult the Terms of References (ToR)

Deadline for application is: on 31 of March 2022, in the following electronic address: jts_mkal@yahoo.com

News from the project “SMART-CUL-TOUR”, implemented under the 2nd call for proposals of the IPA CBC Programme North Macedonia – Albania 2014-2020

Project name: “SMART-CUL-TOUR”.

Lead applicant: Municipality of Bitola (MK)

Co-applicants: Municipality of Pustec (AL); National Institution for Protection of Cultural Monuments and Museum Bitola (MK); Regional Culture Directorate Korca (AL); Youth Cultural Center Bitola (MK).

Website: http://www.bitola.gov.mk/smart-cul-tour/https://muzejbitola.mk/en/smart-cul-tour/; https://mkcbt.org.mk/

Location: Pelagonija and Korce cross-border region

 

Smart-Cul-Tour partnership is an accelerator which encourages tourism, promotes and protects cultural and natural heritage, fosters cooperation between members of communities in the cross-border region, initiates exchange of knowledge and experience, with the aim of ensuring a balanced and sustainable socio-economic development in the cross-border region of Pelagonija and Korca. The project affects the protection and promotion of cultural heritage in the region and initiates cooperation between various entities, especially in the field of culture and tourism. Furthermore, it contributes to raising public awareness of the values of cultural and natural heritage, improves and increases their capacity, as well as accessibility for different target groups, especially people with disabilities. Cultural heritage is an expression of the ways of living developed by a community and passed on from generation to generation, including customs, values, places, objects and artistic expressions. Culture and cultural heritage reflect and shape beliefs, values and aspirations, thus defining people’s identity. It is important to preserve our cultural heritage, because it maintains our integrity as a nation (s).

The infrastructural elements of the Smart-Cul-Tour:

  • Reconstruction of the existing old school building and establishment of a museum in honour of the writer Sterjo Spasse in the village Globocani, Municipality of Pustec.

Sterjo Spasse is one of the most important Albanian writers, of Macedonian origin, in modern Albanian literature at the end of the 20th century and author of several novels and short stories. Sterjo fought for the use of a standardized variety of literary language in school curriculum, in newspapers and on the radio, he fought for a unified primer, he was a missionary of progress, especially in the countryside. In his honour, the old school building in the village Globocani, his native town, has grown into a representative space. In addition to the museum exhibition of Sterjo Spasse’s personal belongings, it is also a multiple purpose hall used for conferences, trainings; a venue for cultural and other events. Moreover, visitors are offered an opportunity to have special experience through virtual reality with equipment offered by the museum itself and augmented reality at 2 points in the museum that can be experienced using their own smart device (phone, tablet …).

  • Reconstruction/improvement of the infrastructure in the archaeological site Heraclea Lyncestis, in Bitola.

In addition, construction works have been carried out in the archaeological site itself in order to increase its accessibility and improve its offer. The implementation of these developments was supervised by the NI “Institute and Museum” – Bitola. Visitor-monitoring units have been set up at the entrance of the site, which enables the museum to maintain accurate records of the visitors of Heraclea. The path which leads from the site entrance to the ancient theater has been paved with stone. A lift and an incline ramp have been installed next to the path to facilitate the access of disabled people to the theater, which was impossible until now. The path is illuminated with photovoltaic lamps along its entire length. The lookout-terrace opposite the theatre has been reconstructed and now it offers an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the entire site. Visitors have the opportunity to relax and refresh. This space is equipped with benches, tables and chairs. From the terrace, you can enter the museum exhibition, which has been equipped with new cabinets and pedestal display cases and the exhibits have been reorganized. In order to utilise the theatre space better and take advantage of its versatile use, appropriate practical solutions have been applied to construct a stage of maximum area of 100m2. In particular, the damaged concrete base has been covered, which now enables the organization of events in which numerous folklore groups participate. The offer also includes inventive digital solutions, i.e. visitors have the opportunity to access a multilingual guide by using the application on their smartphones. Another novelty at the archaeological site is the possibility for visitors to have a unique experience at the ancient theatre through virtual reality with the equipment offered by the site and the augmented reality from 3 points at the site by using their own smart device (phone, tablet …).

  • Reconstruction of the access street, the so-called “Roman road”, including the pedestrian path to the archaeological site Heraclea Lyncestis in Bitola.

The dilapidated and damaged asphalt pavement has been removed and replaced with granite stones. On the right side, a pedestrian path of finer granite stones has also been built along the carriageway to access the site. It is illuminated with photovoltaic lamps along its entire length, to the entrance of the site of Heraclea Lyncestis. In this way, the so-called Roman Road, which is essentially a section of the former Via Egnatia, looks authentic and provides convenient access to the Heraclea Lyncestis archaeological site.

  • Establishment of a permanent exhibition at the Museum “Sterjo Spasse” in the village Globocani, Municipality of Pustec;
  • Renovated museum exhibition space and souvenir shop at the Heraclea Lyncestis archaeological site
  • Development of a multilingual audio guide for the archaeological site of Heraclea Lyncestis
  • Development and commissioning of appropriate equipment for virtual and augmented reality for the archaeological site Heraclea Lyncestis and the museum of Sterjo Spasse in Globocani;
  • Development, promotion and sale of integrated package tours of cross-border character;

News from the project “Flood Prevention for Environment Protection”, implemented under the 2nd call for proposals of the IPA CBC Programme North Macedonia – Albania 2014-2020

Project name: Flood Prevention for Environment Protection”.

Lead applicant: Association Center for Civic Initiative Prilep (MK);

Co- applicants: Destination Management Organization (AL); Municipality of Mogila (MK); Municipality of Maliq (AL).

Website: www.fpep-cbc.mk.

Location: Municipality of Mogila in North Macedonia and Municipality of Maliq in Albania

The regions around the municipalities of Mogila in North Macedonia and Maliq in Albania are prone to adverse weather and climatic phenomena, especially heavy storms and rainfalls resulting in local flooding and landslides damaging roads, private properties and agricultural land. The rivers Devoll in Mailq and Crna Reka and Shemenica in Mogila are facing increased spatial and temporal variability of water resources which is among the key natural factors increasing the flooding risk, besides topographic and land characteristics, and a relatively dense hydrographic network in the most affected regions. Additional causes of the growing flooding risk include: a) reduced conveyance/discharge capacity of existing regulated river sections (e.g., because of poor maintenance of existing river regulations, conversion of floodplains/river corridors); b) aging/poorly maintained hydraulic/flood control infrastructure (e.g., drainage systems, embankments and levees); and c) operating regimes of existing multi-purpose dams/reservoirs not optimized properly to enable better flood risk mitigation. Agriculture, extending dominantly along rivers, is the economic sector most affected by floods. At the same time agriculture plays the most important role in securing income for households in the affected regions. The growing flooding risk makes agriculture a particularly vulnerable sector, which most directly influences socio-economic stability of communities.

In order to strengthen the resilience, the disaster risk preparedness and to prevent floods for protection of the environment, the livelihoods and the agricultural lands the project team has taken the following actions:

Improved public infrastructure

In order to ensure the protection of agricultural lands and livelihoods:

  • Drainage canals in both of the municipalities Mogila and Maliq in length of 6 km have been built;
  • 2 hydrological stations placed on the rivers Devoll in Maliq and Crna Reka in Mogila that measure the water level in the rivers;
  • Mobile application developed for early warning of floods and weather changes alerts;
  • Tools provided for cleaning of the canals.

Cross-border cooperation and joint approach

In order to establish a joint approach between both municipalities:

  • Action plans for floods management developed for the each of the municipalities of Mogila and Maliq;
  • A Joint risk management plan developed for joint approach and support for protection and management of floods.

Awareness rising and preparedness of the population

In order to motivate and prepare the agro-producers and local population for management and prevention from floods:

  • Specialised trainings for the agro-producers for flood management;
  • Community forums for inclusion of the community in the flood prevention and management;
  • Exchange visits among the agro-producers in the cross-border region;
  • Awareness rising and cleaning actions with students.

With this EU funded action, more than 12,000 people have been directly protected from flooding despite the frequent massive rain falling in these regions. The local population is now prepared and motivated to continue taking action for protection of the environment and protection of their agricultural lands and livelihoods not only from floods, but also from other natural disasters.

12th Meeting of the Joint Monitoring Committee of the IPA CBC Programme MK-AL 2014-2020

On 10th of February 2022, in Krusevo, North Macedonia, the JMC held the 12th meeting under IPA II CBC Programme North Macedonia – Albania 2014-2020. In this meeting, the most important topics discussed were related to: (1) approval of the Annual Implementation Report for the year 2021; (2) approval of the Annual Work Plan for the year 2022; (3) status of the strategic project idea. The JMC had approved the AIR for 2021 with the comments provided by DEU and the AWP for the year 2022. Also, both OSs should commit themselves by providing and fulfilling the conditionalities (bilateral agreement/legislation, environmental impact assessment) by the middle of 2022. The revised action plan and time schedule to be prepared by the OSs and submitted to DEU with all steps and actions to fulfill the conditionalities.

Meeting of the Joint Monitoring Committee of the IPA CBC Programme MK-AL 2014-2020 with the Mayor of the Municipality of Krusevo, North Macedonia for the presentation of the project “Krusevo and Elbasan – acknowledged tourism CB destination” implemented under the 3rd call.

On 9th of February 2022, the JMC had participated in the meeting with the Mayor of the Municipality of Krusevo, North Macedonia at the Hotel “Montana” premisses in Krusevo where was presented the project “Krusevo and Elbasan – acknowledged tourism CB destination” funded under the 3rd call for proposals of this CBC Programme. The Municipality of Krusevo staff made a presentation of the project objectives, activities to be organized, expected results to be achieved, the partnership etc through power point presentation. The JMC members asked several questions and wished to this project a successful implementation.