December 1, 2021
The Republic of North Macedonia aims to become a member of the European Union. With its continuous support and financial assistance, the EU helps the country to undertake necessary reforms and achieve this goal.
The Republic of North Macedonia was the first Western Balkan nation to sign a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU, which entered into force in April 2004, and it was granted candidate country status for EU membership in December 2005.
Since 2007, the Instrument for Pre-accession (IPA) has enabled the country to focus on making changes and progress in five key areas: institution building, cross-border cooperation, regional development, human resources, and rural development.
Just like in other candidate countries for EU membership, civil society organisations (CSOs) help driving reforms in North Macedonia as well. Their work can determine the pace and quality of efforts to join the Community – and generate public support for accession.
The EU established the Civil Society Facility (CSF) in 2008 to support the development of civil society in South Eastern Europe. Established under the IPA, the CSF provides financial assistance to CSOs in North Macedonia enabling them to play a more active role in the political process, develop cross-border projects and networks, and become more familiar with EU affairs.
The CSF also embraces the People2People Programme, which seeks to strengthen the role of civil society in the democratic process, as well as the IPA National Programme, where further support is offered in the EU integration process and in developing partnerships and networks. In addition, an IPA Multi-beneficiary Programme has been designed to respond to regional needs, including those of civil society.
For more information on EU activities in North Macedonia click here.