This IPA CBC Programme 2014-2020 is the result of joint programming exercise work carried out by the participating countries’ representatives, including relevant stakeholders from the central and local level institutions of the programme area, local organizations and different stakeholders. The programming process of this IPA II CBC Programme had commenced in July 2013. The entire programming course was based on common experience of the process that had taken place for the period 2007-2013.

The development of this Programme Document was steered by the Joint Task Force under the leadership of the Operating Structures (OSs). Thus, the programme is managed by both OSs, the Ministry of Local Self Government in MK and for the Ministry of European Integration in AL. The work of the JTF was facilitated and supported through CBIB+ Technical Assistance Project, funded by the EU that brought international best practice into the process. Working sessions of the OSs and JTF were held throughout the whole programming phase in order to ensure effective communication leading to the identification of the Thematic Priorities to be addressed for the development Strategy of the Programme Area and setting up the appropriate implementing and monitoring structures.

Furthermore, other relevant social and economic partners were invited to actively participate in the programming process for IPA II CBC Programme for 2014-2020 MK-AL. The purpose of this was three-fold:

  • Inform the wider public on the state of preparation of the programme for the cross-border cooperation including indicative fields of eligible activities to be supported under the programme;
  • Contribute to SWOT analysis and identification of priority needs and opportunities for CBC interventions; and
  • Provide the broader public with an opportunity to express their opinions and to provide valuable inputs to the programming process. Public consultation was organised before finalisation of the Programme document.

In addition to those the partnership principle was applied through co-ordinate individual consultations with 80+ civil society organizations, chiefly for SWOT analysis and thematic prioritization, and participation of key regional and local stakeholders in consultative workshops.

The Cross-border cooperation Programme MK-AL for the years 2014-2020 was adopted on 11th December 2014.


The Programming process of the IPA III (2021-2027) CBC Programme between North Macedonia and Albania was materialized by official submittal of programme documentation to EC on 17th of July 2021. This process was intensive, where several important activities have been implemented such as the fourth meeting of the Joint Task Force responsible for strategic planning and programing of the IPA 3, the second public consultation meeting, coordination meetings, etc. Several important documents had also been prepared, discussed, and approved, including responses to EC comments on the first, second and last third versions of the programme documents. On 16 July 2021it had been submission of the 3rd version of the programming document to EC.

As part of the strategic vision approach of the IPA 3, “Ohrid Lake – Bridging two countries towards one destination” was inserted to the IPA 3 programme document. Four technical meetings were organized via Zoom with the participation of the representatives from institutions such as Ministries, Municipalities, Customs, OSs, DEU, project partners and JTS. Progress was made related to the maturity of this strategic project idea during 2021 and is ongoing with other activities to be undertaken by providing and fulfilling all the necessary conditionalities.