The first ever cross-border cooperation programme between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of North Macedonia is implemented under the framework of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II). IPA II supports cross-border cooperation with a view to promoting good neighborly relations, fostering Union integration and promoting socio-economic development.
Cross-border cooperation programme between the two countries has been designed following a detailed analysis of the programme area and the findings from the situation and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analyses. The programme area is located in the central and southern part of the Balkan Peninsula, comprising, on one side, the southern part of central Serbia with the districts of Jablanica and Pcinja and, on the other side, the north-eastern part of North Macedonia with the North-East Region and part of the Region of Skopje. The eligible area covers 10 197 km2 with approximately 732 000 people residing in 30 municipalities.
The programme overall objective is to strengthen good neighbourly relations, establish partnerships and to contribute to the development of a vibrant programme area by connecting its people and resources in a sustainable way.
Programme thematic priorities and specific objectives are:
Thematic priority 1: Promoting employment, labour mobility and social and cultural inclusion across the border
1.1: Skills improvement and creation of employment opportunities in perspective sectors
1.2: Development of an inclusive society
Thematic priority 2: Encouraging tourism and cultural and natural heritage
2.1: Mobilising cultural and natural resources for joint development of sustainable tourism products and destinations
2.2: Fostering joint risk management systems of natural and cultural sites, as well as human settlements, including disaster or emergency preparedness
Thematic priority 3: Technical assistance
3.1: Ensuring effective, efficient, transparent and timely implementation of the Programme and awareness raising
Within the Cross-border Cooperation Program Serbia- North Macedonia for the period 2016-2020, EUR 4,055,883.00 has been defined, out of which EUR 3,500,000 is provided through IPA funds of the European Union, and the remaining amount is provided through national co-financing through the institution which implement projects within the program.