Macedonia

Switzerland’s transition assistance in Macedonia is based on mutual interests in attaining socio-economic development, stability, security and European integration. Significant progress has been made since Macedonia gained independence in 1991, but the country still lags in some areas of reform, such as decentralisation, rule of law, economic development and public services.

Map of Macedonia
© FDFA

According to the most recent census (2002), the population comprises several ethnic groups: Macedonians (65%), Albanians (25%) and other minorities such as Turks and Roma. Despite a solid democratic framework, the system has been undermined by the sluggish pace of reform, a non-inclusive approach to state-building and a decline in freedom of the press. This is manifested in a weakening of parliamentary and judicial control and in institutional corruption and political interference. Economic growth remains stymied by the recent downturn and high unemployment, particularly among women and young people. Macedonia has been a candidate for EU membership since 2005 but is slow to implement the reforms necessary for accession.

Democratic governance

The programme seeks to strengthen democratic governance through measures to increase social inclusion, public accountability and parliamentary control over the executive. Swiss cooperation also fosters citizen participation in local and regional decision-making as well as civil society involvement in representing the population’s needs and concerns.

State and Economic Reforms

Economic development

Switzerland’s support in the economic sector is aimed at improving employment prospects and achieving sustainable economic growth. It helps job seekers to access the labour market through vocational education and training programmes that are geared to the needs of the market. At the same time, it promotes private sector development, particularly start-ups, by encouraging employers to offer decent work opportunities. Switzerland is also actively involved in efforts to improve employment conditions, promote trade and institute better business practices.

Private Sector Development and Financial Services

Infrastructure and the environment

The country’s water resources and wealth of biodiversity are considered a major factor in its development. With Switzerland’s support, the institutions and organisations in selected municipalities can better protect the environment and mitigate the impact of climate change. By investing in infrastructure and capacity building in public services, Switzerland is helping to raise the quality of service in water supply and in waste and wastewater management.

Water – A Vital Resource Under Threat

Organisation and partners

The 2017-2020 cooperation strategy is implemented jointly by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Switzerland’s work is grounded in formal agreements with the government in question and requires co-funding by the recipient country wherever possible and appropriate. Particular effort is placed on building partnerships with new actors of change, such as youth associations. Partnerships with the private sector are also sought as vectors for development, especially in regard to jobs and economic growth.

Switzerland’s main partners in Macedonia:

  • Ministries and local governments
  • National and local parliaments, parliamentary administration
  • Civil society organisations, e.g. the media
  • Private sector
  • Local and international NGOs

Bilateral and multilateral donors and organisations, e.g. UNDP and UN Women

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 34

Promoting equal opportunities for women and men in Macedonia

Three women look on as a young man writes something on a piece of paper.

01.01.2014 - 31.03.2018

In Macedonia, women are disadvantaged in the areas of employment, social protection and political participation. To promote equal opportunities, in 2006 the government passed a law on equal opportunities for men and women. To complement Macedonia's reform efforts jointly with national counterparts SDC is funding an equal opportunities project at the municipal level.

Country/region Period Budget
Macedonia

01.01.2014 - 31.03.2018


CHF 1'670'400



lncreasing Market Employability in Macedonia

Biljana, co-founder of The Good Earth organic cooperative, holding a basket of organic fruit and vegetables.

01.11.2013 - 31.03.2019

Unemployment in Macedonia is particularly high, especially among young people and women, and a large segment of the population lives in poverty. That is why Switzerland is involved in developing business growth and improving the quality of products and services by helping SMEs in certain sectors of the economy.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Macedonia
Economy and Employment
Labor market development
OTHER SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES
Employment policy and administrative management

01.11.2013 - 31.03.2019


CHF 7'500'000



Restoration of the Prespa Lake Ecosystem

The countryside around Lake Prespa. © UNDP

01.12.2011 - 30.06.2018

Lake Prespa is situated in the three-country border area of Albania, Macedonia, and Greece. Thanks to its biodiversity, the local ecosystem is of global significance. The widespread, improper disposal of waste is polluting both surface and ground water. The SDC is helping to decontaminate these waterways and to raise awareness of environmental issues.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Macedonia
Water
Environment
Environment protection
Integrated water resource management (watershed)
Water resources policy and advocacy
Integrated water resource management (watershed)
Water resources policy and advocacy
WATER AND SANITATION
GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
WATER AND SANITATION
Water sector policy and administrative management
Water resources conservation (including data collection)
Environmental policy and administrative management
Water sector policy and administrative management
Water resources conservation (including data collection)

01.12.2011 - 30.06.2018


CHF 6'682'000



Planned project

Creating Job Opportunities for All in Macedonia

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2027

This project will facilitate employment for vulnerable groups, by introducing appropriate active labour market measures, improving the capacities of responsible stakeholders to coordinate employment measures, and sensitizing and incentivising the private sector. lt contributes to ease the risk of vulnerable groups to fall into poverty, and enhances their social inclusion. Roma and people with disabilities are the main target group as they are disproportionally affected by high unemployment in Macedonia.


Macedonia: Nature Conservation Programme

01.01.2017 - 31.01.2021

Switzerland will assist Macedonia in sustainable management of natural resources through practical application of conservation measures such as regional protected areas and integrated forest management in the Bregalnica region. Further framework conditions will be improved and support is provided in implementing national legislation and the Strategy on Nature. By promoting ecologically and sustainably produced products and services, economic benefit for the local population will be generated.


Schweizerisches Rotes Kreuz (SRK) / Swiss Red Cross (SRC) (Kredit Ost)

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2018

The SRC’s overall goal is to contribute to healthy and safe living for vulnerable groups and communities. Since access to quality health care services remains a key factor for good health, the SRC promotes both supply and demand side of local health systems. As healthy living also depends on the environment, SRC focuses on health determinants such as water, sanitation, nutrition and health literacy. Adressing risks and disasters, SRC programmes encompass disaster risk reduction measures and foster community resilience.


Brot für alle / Pain pour le prochain (Kredit Ost)

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2018

En tant qu’organisation de développement des églises protestantes suisses, Pain pour le Prochain a le mandat d’informer et de former, de s’engager dans la politique de développement et d’assurer la qualité. Pain pour le Prochain et les onze œuvres partenaires forment une communauté de coopération (KoGe)[1] qui est un réseau d’apprentissage avec des objectifs spécifiques. Ce réseau permet notamment de joindre le travail de politique de développement en Suisse et le travail au Sud. Son objectif commun est de contribuer à une transformation du système et des comportements économiques, sociaux, politiques et écologiques.

 

[1] Les œuvres sont les suivantes : Pain pour le prochain, cfd (Christlicher Friedensdienst), Mission 21, International Blue cross, Connexio, DM-échange et mission, Heilsarmee, Horyzon, MEB-handicap visuel, SME (service de missions et d’entraide) , Tear Fund Schweiz, HEKS 


Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation (Kredit Ost)

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2018

Helvetas s’engage avec ses partenaires pour un développement librement déterminé de personnes et de communautés défavorisées dans les pays en développement et apporte une aide à s’aider par soi-même. Helvetas favorise l’accès équitable aux ressources vitales et la protection des droits sociaux, économiques, politiques, environnementaux et culturels.


Caritas Schweiz (Kredit Ost)

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2018

La stratégie de coopération internationale 2020 de Caritas s’intitule « End Poverty ». Pour y contribuer Caritas Suisse s’engage en faveur de la justice sociale et de la dignité humaine dans 40 pays avec 250 projets. Le programme de Caritas considère trois aspects dans son programme qui permettent la durabilité du développement humain: couvrir les besoins de base, promouvoir la résilience et créer des opportunités d’égalité en améliorant l’équité. Dans sa conception, Caritas considère la coopération au développement et l’aide humanitaire comme intégrées dans une seule démarche.


Solidar Suisse (Kredit Ost)

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2018

Solidar Suisse oriente son programme de développement sur les besoins et les droits des personnes vulnérables et défavorisées dans les pays les plus pauvres et dans les pays émergents et en transition où les inégalités sont profondes. Solidar Suisse développe des programmes qui renforcent les mouvements sociaux et promeuvent l’intégration active de la société civile dans les processus politiques. Le « travail décent » est devenu l’élément phare de Solidar Suisse qui a développé une véritable expertise dans cette thématique.


Vocational Skills Development in Macedonia

01.09.2016 - 28.02.2018

Macedonia has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe (25%), especially among youth (48%). One of the key factors for youth unemployment is that the education and training system does not provide skills needed by the economy. The Vocational Skills Development project aims to address youth unemployment through supporting market relevant skills development by strengthening the engagement of the private sector (e.g. through systematised internships), thus increasing the employability of vocational training graduates.


Sustainable and Inclusive Regional Economic Development in Macedonia

01.11.2015 - 31.12.2020

Living standards for citizens across Macedonia are highly unequal providing few opportunities to citizens in rural regions. SDC contributes to the GIZ Regional Economic Development Programme that promotes more balanced regional development. More transparent and equitable allocation of national funds to the regions and enhanced competences of regional bodies shall foster inclusive regional development planning for more innovation and higher competitiveness of underdeveloped regions.

Object 1 – 12 of 34