North Macedonia + 1 more

Swiss Cooperation Programme North Macedonia 2021-24

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Foreword

A fundamental aim of Swiss foreign policy is stability and prosperity of the Western Balkan countries. Switzerland’s engagement in the region began in the 1990s with the provision of humanitarian assistance and refuge for many people affected by conflicts. Since then, Switzerland and the Western Balkans have developed close ties, best documented by an intensive cooperation programme and a sizeable diaspora living in Switzerland. More than 500,000 Swiss residents have family ties to the Western Balkans. Switzerland has been supporting North Macedonia’s political, social and economic transition since 1992. Today, it ranks among North Macedonia’s largest bilateral cooperation partners. Bilateral agreements between the Governments of Switzerland and North Macedonia in various fields such as police, trade, economic cooperation and protection of investments underpin this trusted partnership. North Macedonia has made significant achievements since its independence in 1991. The present Swiss Cooperation Programme North Macedonia 2021–2024 lays out Switzerland’s commitment to continue supporting North Macedonia in addressing remaining challenges in the country’s political, social and economic transition.

The cooperation programme focuses on three thematic areas: democratic governance, sustainable economic development, and environment and sustainable public utility services. Switzerland has pertinent experience and expertise in all three areas, and is confident that it will make an effective contribution to the country’s further development. The foreseen financial commitments for the period 2021–2024 amount to 65 million Swiss francs. The Swiss Cooperation Programme 2021–2024 was developed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), in close consultation with national and local authorities, partners from civil society and the private sector. SDC and SECO programmes, implemented through the Swiss Embassy in North Macedonia, complement each other. We are confident that the goals and priorities set out in the Swiss Cooperation Programme North Macedonia 2021–2024 are particularly relevant to the sustainable development of North Macedonia and the well-being of its people.

Bern, January 2021