Upon successful cooperation and completion of the IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Programme North Macedonia-Albania 2007-2013, the IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Programme North Macedonia-Albania 2014-2020 was established as the new cross-border programme under IPA II.
The Cross Border Cooperation (CBC) Programme between North Macedonia and Albania under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II) overall objective is to stimulate a balanced, inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development in the cross-border area.
IPA II supports Cross-border cooperation with a view to promoting good neighbourly relations, fostering union integration and promoting socio-economic development.
The legal provisions for its implementation are stipulated in the following pieces of legislation:
- Regulation (EU) No 231/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 establishing an Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II);
- Regulation (EU) No 236/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 laying down common rules and procedures for the implementation of the Union’s instruments for fi nancing external action and
- Commission Implementing Regulation EU no 447/2014 of 2 May 2014 on the specific c rules for implementing the IPA II regulation.
This Cross Border Co-operation Programme covers the period 2014-2020 and it has been designed on the basis of a detailed analysis of the situation in the programme area. The development situation of the Programme Area derives from a set of historically, demographically, politically, geographically and economically driven factors, which cannot be overcome in a short period of time.
The proposed intervention and activities stem from ‘problem tree’ combined with strategic balance sheet analysis and limited resource of the Programme. It aims to address the most important problem nodes and strategic opportunity identified through socio-economic and SWOT analysis, namely: i) low levels of economic activity along with mismatch of supply and demand in the labour market, ii) underdeveloped and obsolete environment infrastructure and iii) potential in tourism development and cultural exchange.
The Programme concentrates on three IPA II Regulation thematic priorities deriving from needs-opportunity analysis. These are, namely:
- Encouraging tourism and cultural and natural heritage (opportunity-driven);
- Enhancing competitiveness, business, trade and investment (needs and opportunity-driven) and
- Protecting the environment, promoting climate change adaptation and mitigation, risk prevention and management (needs driven).
The Programme specific objectives are:
SO 1: The potential of tourism is developed by promoting cultural heritage and values
SO 2: The SME productive capacity and access to markets are strengthened
SO 3: The awareness of a greener economy, cleaner environment and climate change is enhanced
Technical Assistance: Effective, efficient, transparent and timely implementation of the programme and awareness raising.
The total size of Cross-Border Area in the two countries is 19,969 km2. The Republic of North Macedonia’s regions account for 52.5% and Republic of Albania’s regions make up 47.5% of the size of the CBC Area.
The six regions that comprise the Programme Area have a population of 1,427,675of which the Republic of North Macedonia accounts for 54% of that number and Republic of Albania- for 46%.
The eligible regions on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia include 27 municipalities and there are 12 districts (with 17 municipalities) on the territory of Republic of Albania that fit in the Programme Area.