On September 21, 2018, in the Government of the Republic of Macedonia were signed contracts for national co-financing of grants for 40 projects implemented through Interreg - EU IPA Cross Border Cooperation Program between the Republic of Macedonia and Greece, among which are the projects "HELP - "Integrated Operational Center for Humanitarian Aid" and "Combine2Protect" - "Common Strategies for the Protection of Biodiversity and Sustainable Development of the Bilateral Network of Protected Areas", currently implemented by their project partners and the Center for Development of the South-East planning region.
Agreements for co financing with the amount of 15% of the total value of the project were signed by the Minister of local self-government of Macedonia, Suhail Fazliu and the Head of the Center for development of the South-East planning region, Ms. Zhulieta Gjurkova. The remaining 85% of the finances needed for the implementation of the projects are provided by the EU through the IPA Cross-Border Program between the Republic of Macedonia and Greece.
The projects realized by the Center for development of the South-East planning region aimed at improving the quality of life of the citizens of the South-East planning region through environmental protection, infrastructure development, as well as strengthening cross-border economic development.
"The benefits of implementing projects from EU funds adapted to regional needs and conditions are great because they lead to more balanced, territorially directed regional development, and in addition, through joint planning and implementation of projects in partnership with cross-border countries, cross-border relations that are strengthened, exchanging significant experiences. They also contribute to strengthening capacities, introducing innovative solutions and procedures, sustainable economic development.
Such cross-border projects could not be successfully implemented without national co-financing. As an example, the Center as an institution is financed from the budgets of the municipalities that are part of the South-East planning region and the Ministry of Local Self-Government only for the current costs and does not have an additional co-financing budget with which it could participate in the realization of larger projects.
With other words, if there was no national co-financing, municipalities and other institutions with lower financial capacity, the majority of non-governmental organizations and centers for development of the planning regions were not able to participate in the application and implementation of this type of project due to the inability to provide own participation.
Therefore, on this occasion, I would like to extend my gratitude to the Ministry of local self-government and the Government of the Republic of Macedonia for the conduct of such a policy, for the support and the opportunity for all of us to participate and successful implementation of IPA projects. The Center for development of SEPR, and of course, the municipalities will continue to work diligently to maximize the absorption of European funds and realize as many projects as possible, in order to provide a better and quality life for the citizens in the region ", pointed up Ms. Zhulieta Gjurkova, Head of the Center for Development of the South-East planning region in her address to the participants of the official event on the occasion of the signing of the co-financing agreements.
In addition, you can see the whole event here.
Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) is part of the package for external relations. IPA and other elements of the package are a great opportunity for streamlining and simplifying the procedures of the European Commission and improving the coherence and coordination of the activities of the Commission.