North Macedonia

Switzerland’s transition assistance in North Macedonia is based on shared interests in achieving socio-economic development, stability, security and Euro-Atlantic integration. Significant progress has been made since the Republic of North Macedonia gained independence in 1991, but the country still lags behind in some areas of reform, such as decentralisation, rule of law, economic development and public services.

Map of Macedonia
Map of North Macedonia © FDFA

The Republic of North Macedonia is a multi-ethnic state with an estimated population of approximately two million people. Following an early transition to a market economy, North Macedonia achieved visible progress in economic and social development. The country rapidly became a front-runner among the Western Balkan states for Euro-Atlantic integration, but still needs to implement reforms to strengthen democratic governance, to support inclusive economic development and to address critical environment issues.

Democratic governance

In the area of democratic governance, the Swiss Cooperation Programme in North Macedonia seeks to build the democratic capacity of executive and legislative institutions and empower civil society. Switzerland’s support is helping central and local authorities to become more accountable, transparent, and inclusive. Switzerland remains dedicated to encouraging citizen participation in a local and regional decision-making.

State and Economic Reforms

Sustainable economic development

Switzerland’s support in the economic sector aims to improve employment prospects and create 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, in order to create better access to new markets and higher revenue value chains.  Switzerland is also actively involved in efforts to improve employment conditions by encouraging employers to offer decent and inclusive job opportunities.

Private Sector Development and Financial Services

Environment and sustainable public utility services

The country’s natural resources and wealth of biodiversity are considered a major factor in its development. By providing technical assistance and catalytic investment in digital transformation and climate-resilient, low-carbon infrastructure and equipment, Switzerland enables selected municipalities and their public utilities to provide high quality, reliable, efficient public utility services for citizens.

Sustainable public utilities, improved natural resources management and enhanced community resilience to natural disasters will increase the attractiveness and competitiveness of urban and rural areas, and contribute to steady economic growth and enhanced quality of life. 

Water – A Vital Resource Under Threat

Approach and partners

The 2021–24 cooperation programme is implemented jointly by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Switzerland’s cooperation is grounded in formal agreements with the government. It takes part in multi-donor programmes and issues contracts to Macedonian, Swiss and international civil society organisations, consultancies and private sector entities. Particular effort is placed on strengthening country systems and building partnerships with new change actors, e.g. through private sector engagement and funding.

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 – 17 of 17

Restoration of the Strumica River Basin

01.07.2014 - 31.12.2022

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.

Swiss Entrepreneurship Program, Phase II

01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023

The Swiss Entrepreneurship Program supports entrepreneurs in developing their growth-oriented businesses. They are the key drivers of innovation, economic growth and job creation.

Flood Risk Management in the Polog Region, Macedonia

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2023

SECO?s contribution to the UNDP "Resilience to Floods in the Polog Region" program aims at improving the resilience to floods of the Polog region of Macedonia through institutional strengthening, flood mitigation infrastructure and Swiss knowledge transfer.

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.

Europe and Central Asia : PPP Transaction Advisory Program

01.06.2011 - 31.12.2022

The ECA Program, managed by the International Finance Corporation IFC, is providing infrastructure transaction advisory and capacity building services to the public sector authorities to promote Public-Private Partnerships in Southeastern Europe and Central Asia.

Object 13 – 17 of 17