North Macedonia

Switzerland’s transition assistance in North Macedonia is based on mutual interests in attaining socio-economic development, stability, security and European integration. Significant progress has been made since the Republic of North 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
Map of North 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. The Republic of North 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 North 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 13 – 18 of 18

Sustainable and Inclusive Regional Economic Development in Macedonia

01.11.2015 - 31.03.2021

The level of development of Macedonia‘s eight regions is highly unequal. A national structure for balanced regional development has been built up since 2007. SDC will contribute to the establishment of a national system for coordination and monitoring for balanced regional development. In the regions, good governance will be enhanced; project development and implementation capacities will be improved with focus on the less developed regions. These measures will ensure greater allocation of funds to the underdeveloped regions.


Restoration of the Strumica River Basin

01.07.2014 - 30.06.2021

As a continuation of the support to the Macedonian water and nature sector, Switzerland developed a group of projects that will assist the country to have cleaner water and a healthier environment, as well as to move forward in meeting its obligations towards the EU. Through this project, Citizens and farmers in the Strumica river basin will benefit from improved economic wellbeing as a result of a better ecological status of the river basin and reduced flooding hazards.


Multi-Country Investment Climate Program

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2024

The Multi-Country Investment Climate Program (MCICP) supports investment climate reform advisory in a total of 20 SECO partner countries. It is implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a globally recognized leader in this field.


Gostivar Water Supply System II

01.01.2016 - 01.01.2020

The Gostivar Water Supply Supply System II project SECO aims at further improving the water services of the municipality of Gostivar, in collaboration with the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW).


Swiss Entrepreneurship Program

01.07.2015 - 30.06.2019

The Swiss Entrepreneurship Program aims to create jobs in Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Peru, and Vietnam by improving the local entrepreneurship ecosystem. The Program is implemented by Swisscontact and J.E. Austin Associates. It has been awarded by open tender.


Remittances and Payments Program

01.12.2014 - 30.06.2019

This program, which is executed by the World Bank, aims to make the transfer of remittances, i.e. the money that is sent home by migrants, cheaper, safer and more convenient. This will result in an increase of the available resources for migrants and their families and in an increased usage of formal transfer channels and basic financial services.

Object 13 – 18 of 18