Sustainable and Inclusive Regional Economic Development in Macedonia

Project completed

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.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
North Macedonia
Employment & economic development
SME development
01.11.2015 - 30.09.2021
CHF  4’260’000

In line with the process of decentralization that started in 2002, and in the framework of the EU accession process, to foster balanced regional development, in 2007 the Government set legal, policy, and institutional framework, with the support of several donors (BMZ, SDC, EU). The country was divided into eight planning regions - administrative entities mandated to work on policy development, statistical data compilation and inter-municipal cooperation on regionally managed topics, e.g. waste management. However, the gap between the most and least developed region is closing only slowly, and significant economic disparities in the development of different parts of Macedonia still persist.


The disparities in the development among and within the planning regions are decreased, and as a consequence, citizens, in particular those of the less developed regions in the country, have better living conditions.

Target groups

National Council for Balanced Regional Development, Cabinet of the Vice Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Ministry of Local Self-government, Bureau for Regional Development, Regional Councils and Centres for Regional Development, municipalities, citizens (especially in the least developed regions).

Medium-term outcomes
  • The Government allocates and implements funds for balanced regional development in a transparent and predictable manner and according to the level of development of the planning regions
  • Citizens' needs and demands, including those of the vulnerable groups, are systematically included by RCs in regional development planning
  • Centres for Regional Development in all eight planning regions, in particular the less developed ones, improve their effectiveness and efficiency

Expected results:  

  • A national system for coordination and monitoring for balanced regional development established
  • Mechanisms for citizens' participation, transparency, and accountability established in all 8 planning regions
  • Capacities for project development and implementation built in all 8 regions and a pipeline of large-scale projects developed

Results from previous phases:  


a) Lack of transparency in allocation of national funds;

b) Insufficient transparency, accountability and participation in decision making at the regional level;

c) Incompetitive regions and weak project development and implementation capacities at the regional level;

d) the national partners confirmed their commitment to the programme, including financial contribution.

Key results of the entry phase:

a) procedures for coordination of the line ministries and technical specification for a monitoring System were developed;

b) lnclusion of the private sector, civil society and academia in planning and decision-making at the regional level was facilitated;

c) regional innovation strategies were developed and pilot measures were implemented.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Private sector
Foreign state institution
  • Central State of South East
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • Foreign private sector South/East

Coordination with other projects and actors

Coordination with EU Delegation and UNDP, who are active in the same area, was already initiated in the entry phase.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’260’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    3’854’101
Project phases Phase 2 01.10.2021 - 30.09.2025   (Current phase)

Phase 1 01.11.2015 - 30.09.2021   (Completed)