Фото: Бојан Блажевски

At the end of July 2022, the European Union granted the first projects for the implementation of the Economic and Investment plan for Western Balkan. North Macedonia applied for 4 investment projects and was granted financial support for them in the total amount of €225.6 million. The money is in the form of grants, i.e. financial support that will not be paid back, opposite to the situation with the loans.

A grant in the amount of €149.2 million was awarded for the construction of the railroad between North Macedonia and Bulgaria as part of Corridor 8, precisely, for the track between Kriva Palanka and the border with Bulgaria. For the purchase of equipment for the Oslomej 1 – Photovoltaic power plant, North Macedonia was awarded a grant in the amount of €1.6 million. For the purchase of equipment for Oslomej 2 and Bitola – Photovoltaic powerplat, a grant was awarded in the amount of €5 million. For the construction of the wastewater treatment plant in Skopje, a grant was awarded in the amount of €69.8 million.

The Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Bojan Marichikj informed the press about the news at the press conference yesterday. He said that only with maximum use of European funds will we be able to continue with a rapid process of reforms that are necessary for the process of advancing toward EU membership. All of that is directed toward a single goal – a better, easier and calmer way of living for the people.

Vice Prime Minister Marichikj stressed that with the start of the screening process, and much more at the opening of the chapters of the EU accession negotiations, the people will be able to evaluate the country’s advancement through the implementation of the European standards in all spheres in our society and informed that at the start of 2023 a new investment offensive will ensue.

“At the current call for investment grants, North Macedonia is participating with 3 new projects, with a total amount of €53,015,968.00 million for the following projects: Two projects for the energetics i.e. the restoration of 6 hydro power plants, the construction of a wind park in Bogdanci and project in the domain of protection of the environment, the construction of regional centers for solid waste in Polog, Pelagonija, Vardar, the Southwestern and Southeastern regions,” Marichikj explained. He also said that in cooperation with the German Development Bank, the energy efficiency in all state-owned student dormitories will also be improved.

During the press conference, the Deputy Prime Minster for European Affairs also talked about the EU’s new concept for providing support for Western Balkans countries, IPA III, for which a Strategic response for use of this program for the period between 2021-2027 has already been produced. The Program for 2023 is in the first phase of evaluation, i.e. in July 2022, action fiches were submitted and an EU funding is planned in the amount of €68 million. A national co-financing will be additionally provided.

Additionally, the Deputy Prime Minister and National IPA Coordinator adopted the IPARD program, where €97 million from European funding were granted and will be used for support for investments in new agricultural mechanization, the building of poultry and cattle farms, wineries, dairies, meatpacking factories, refrigeration depots for fruit, rural tourism investments, support for small businesses in rural areas and improvement of the rural infrastructure.