- Monday, January 23, 2017 2:34 PM
Skopje, 23 January 2017 (MIA) - The use of funds from the IPA Cross Border Cooperation Programme with Greece in period 2007-2013 amounts to 82 percent, including 57 projects worth over EUR 10 million, heard the final conference of the programme on Monday.
Minister of Local Self-Government Shiret Elezi said EUR 31,5 million were allocated for the programme, for the purpose of funding joint cross-border activities in five Greek and four Macedonian regions.
"Macedonia had EUR 11,5 million at disposal for projects in the Southwest, Pelagonija, Vardar and Southeast regions. A total of 57 projects have been implemented, with over EUR 10 million allocated for Macedonian partners, namely 82 percent of the available funds", said Elezi.
Project activities have resulted in construction of infrastructure facilities in the cross-border zone, protection of joint natural and cultural heritage, favorable health and education services, better conditions for joint business operations and networking, as well as joint culture and sport events.
Samuel Zbogar, Head of the European Union Delegation to Macedonia, said cross-border cooperation lies in the core of the integration process, teamwork that goes beyond national borders and guarantees political stability and prosperity of the entire region.
"Cross-border cooperation enriches neighborly relations. This partnership continues with the IPA 2 Programme for period 2014-2020. Challenges that people are faced with are not limited by borders and cross-border cooperation programmes are ways to counter them", said Zbogar.
Programme official Alexandros Samaras sad the objective is building and strengthening neighborly relations on both sides of the border.
"Specific projects based on strong partnership are essential to the achievement of the goals for regional and local development, increasing the area's attractiveness and improving people's lives", said Samaras.
Minister Elezi added the IPA 2 cross-border cooperation programme with Greece has EUR 40 million at disposal. ik/14:33
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