Since 1992, Switzerland has been providing support to Macedonia’s political, social and economic transition. The new strategy aims to further this support in the next four years through a pragmatic approach that strongly focuses on results.
“I am pleased that Switzerland has provided support to Macedonia over the last 25 years. A lot has been achieved, but we are keen to further help Macedonia build more accountable institutions, create more inclusive jobs, improve the quality of public infrastructure, and protect the environment”, stated the Ambassador of Switzerland, Sybille Suter. She added: “Today Switzerland ranks among Macedonia’s largest bilateral cooperation partners and Switzerland is committed to continue developing its relationship with Macedonia by furthering its diplomatic and development activities in the country.”
The new Swiss Cooperation Strategy 2017-2020 foresees financial commitments of 76 million Swiss francs. Its overall goal is to support Macedonia in its reforms to meet European standards and values and build a socially-inclusive democracy and market economy, while ensuring sound governance of natural resources. The three Swiss portfolio priorities are democratic governance at central and local levels, sustainable economic growth and employment for youth and other socially excluded groups and sound natural resources governance and equitable access to quality public utility services.
The expected results of the new strategy include among others greater transparency and accountability of municipal bodies, the creation of 4’400 new jobs, as well as access to water services for 115’000 additional people. “Central to all our efforts will be addressing the needs of the most vulnerable groups of citizens in Macedonia, as there is no genuinely prosperous society that is not an inclusive society”, stressed Ambassador Suter.
The launch event was held on 31st May 2017 at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Skopje. A great number of partners attended the event, including MPs, Government officials, as well as representatives of civil society organizations, the private sector, and the international community.