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SOCIETY Official launch of ‘EU for Municipalities’ call for proposals

Minister of Local Self-Government Goran Milevski, President of ‘ZELS’ and Mayor of Skopje Petre Shilegov and EU Ambassador David Geer officially launched Thursday the ‘EU for Municipalities’ call for proposals.

The call for proposals worth EUR 5 million is funded by the EU and co-funded by the government and will be implemented through the Ministry of Local Self-Government.

The call is to empower local self-government units by featuring three EU priorities: solidarity, cooperation and going ‘green’.

Milevski called on the mayors, civil society organizations and the business community to jointly make changes in the municipalities through the project ‘EU for Municipalities.’

“The EU provides EUR 5 million that will be implemented in the municipalities whose projects will be approved. The Ministry of Local Self-Government secures EUR 600,000 from the state budget to co-fund approved projects. In this way municipalities can apply to the call for proposals and to have access to use EU funds. Call for proposals is open until Dec. 30. Development of innovative concepts and use of national resources in dealing with the problems at local level are encouraged under the call,” Milevski said.

The European Union, as Milevski said, provided an additional EUR 1 million for technical preparation of municipalities on how to apply to the call.

“The EU membership remains government’s top priority that we will realize by improving the living conditions for the citizens in all areas. Many of the expected changes should happen in the municipalities as well,” Milevski added.

He said that the projects should focus on main areas as innovative solutions for new services or improving existing ones, better social care services, improving crisis management capacity, economic recovery after the pandemic crisis, jobs and skills, as well as priorities related to climate change and the sustainable use of national resources. The project implementation will be carried out within 3 years.

Shilegov stressed that the EU continues to support the country, and the experiences from European regions and cities are always welcome.

“We expect that from this project which is part of the IPA 2 2020 programme within the EC action ‘EU for Municipalities,’ which should provide transfer of knowledge and practical experience of the European local authorities to our municipalities,” Shilegov said.

EU Ambassador Geer pointed out that the EU is continuously providing assistance to the country to overcome the pandemic’s economic effects.

He said that the ‘EU for Municipalities’ call for proposals is to bring the EU fundamental principles of local self-government and subsidiarity closer to North Macedonia. This is to be done by EU municipalities sharing experience and know-how with Macedonian municipalities on how to address local issues, he added.

Development of innovative concepts and use of national resources in dealing with the problems at local level are encouraged under the call. With EU support, the local governments will improve the municipal services hence ready to take up wider competences. The ‘EU for Municipalities’ call for proposals is co-funded by the government.

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