EUROPEAN UNION ASSISTANCE TO THE REPUBLIC OF NORTH MACEDONIA IN THE RECENT YEARS AND NOW

Our goal is to bring the truth to light and to present to the readers the exact facts, more precisely what is the significance of the European Union and the United States for North Macedonia, how and in what way they helped the country during its difficult times. No matter how twisted things are being presented, it is a fact that the EU is the best strategic partner of the country, and this is proved with the assistance we regularly receive.

An anti-EU campaign has been going on in the Republic of North Macedonia for more than ten years now. On certain portals, blogs and fan pages, which we can freely claim were created specifically for that purpose, a large number of propaganda texts can be found, that challenge the decade-long assistance that the country receives from the European Union.

Public and media space has been contaminated with inaccurate news and misinformation for years, so that propaganda, which is the strongest weapon of certain media in the “fight” against the European Union, is regularly spread, given that part of our readership strongly believes in what it’s being served. Here are the various texts that undermine the work of the EU, which spread Euroscepticism, and at the same time are quite dangerous, given the “emotional patriotic” attitude that has been strengthening for years, especially while Nikola Gruevski was prime minister. The purpose of such texts that spread this anti-Western campaign is to impose on the society that North Macedonia has no benefit from the European Union, but here we have China and Russia, who want to help us.

In recent years, Russia’s influence has started to grow. So, not only the whole battle of the European countries affected by the pandemic with the dangerous COVID-19 wasn’t spared, but on the contrary, it was abused. Russian and pro-Russian media have launched a campaign against the West to influence the situation with the coronavirus, that is, to create panic and sow mistrust, is said in the European Union report, as Reuters is citing the document. By publishing fake news in English, Spanish, Italian, German and French, the Russian campaign uses contradictory, confusing and malicious reports to make it difficult for the EU to deal with the pandemic. For several years now, with false news and misinformation, Moscow has sought to systematically influence not only the United States but Europe as well. It is sometimes very difficult for the readership to identify fake articles and posts on social media as fake news.

Our goal is to bring the truth to light and to present to the readers the exact facts, more precisely what is the significance of the European Union and the United States for North Macedonia, how and in what way they helped the country during its difficult times. No matter how twisted things are being presented, it is a fact that the EU is the best strategic partner of the country, and this is proved with the assistance we regularly receive.

 

But let’s start from the beginning. Regardless of the various fake news that are spread in the public, the real picture shows something else.

Namely, through its two mechanisms for institutional support IPA 1 and IPA 2 in the period from 2007 to 2020, the European Union has invested 1,200,000,000 euros (one billion two hundred million euros) only for the Republic of North Macedonia.

Source: Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of North Macedonia, EUforYOU

 

The EU is mobilizing a package of more than 410 million euros in distributed bilateral financial assistance to support Western Balkan countries during the coronavirus crisis.

Source: European Commission, 30 March 2020

 

There’s an even higher amount of 3.3 billion euros, that the European Commission will spend to support the countries of the Western Balkans in dealing with the corona crisis, according to the Declaration of the Zagreb Summit on May 6th this year.

 

With this financial package, the EU reaffirms its strong solidarity with the countries of the Western Balkans. For North Macedonia, 160 million euros are planned.

 

Also, for the period 2012-2027, the European Commission proposes the total amount of the pre-accession instrument to be 14.5 billion euros, most of which will be for the countries of the Western Balkans.

 

The announced assistance from the Austrian Embassy in the Republic of North Macedonia has already arrived through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, and it consists of tents, blankets, electricity generators, mattresses, disposable bedding and hygiene items.

The European Union did not leave out North Macedonia in the fight against the coronavirus, so they were the first to donate 12 respirators for the needs of public health, at a time when the country was most in need of breathing apparatus. The head of the EU Delegation to the country, Ambassador Samuel Zbogar, said on his Twitter account that this was the first package of support of 4 million euros that Brussels announced a few weeks ago and would be delivered to Skopje clinics and the City Hospital “8 Septemvri”. In addition to these 12, eight more respirators are expected to arrive in the coming period.

It is enough to look at a number of projects, such as the Demir Kapija-Smokvica highway, which was also financially supported by the EU. The new section of 28.2 km shortened the 25-minute journey on that section of the Highway “Prijatelstvo”. 730,000 vehicles are expected to pass annually through it, and the faster and safer travel should contribute to the development of the economy and greater cooperation of the region and its integration with the European market. With the opening of the new highway two years ago, the start of the “EU for You” campaign for EU investment in transport infrastructure was marked in April. The value of the highway is 218 million euros for the construction works and 10 million euros for the supervision, and about 70 million euros of the total funds are a grant from the EU.

To remind you how much the European Union has helped with this project, just look at the photo that shares all the details and the huge numbers, more precisely the amounts.

Source: Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of North Macedonia (Operational Program for Regional Development)

 

As we increasingly enter the part where our good friends and partners from the EU have helped North Macedonia, we come to the part of agriculture. There are many projects here, but let’s start looking at them one by one.

 

The EU delegation turned 20 in March and it is just another special opportunity to recall what “EU for YOU” has achieved so far, but also to confirm that “EU for YOU” is still together with North Macedonia on her way to the European Union.

About 950 projects have received financial support from EU funds for agriculture and rural development. In the period from 2014 to 2020, another 60 million euros have been allocated as part of the IPARD 2 program. With more than 4 million euros from the IPARD program, private investments of 13 million euros have been invested in encouraging 40 agro-processing companies. There are also more than 7 million euros that have boosted 18 million euros in investments to modernize more than 1,200 farms. EU funds have also helped rebuild 26 hectares of vineyards and orchards and 4 greenhouses. 587 tractors and 393 agricultural machinery were procured. The EU remains the largest donor in North Macedonia.

Source: Delegation of the European Union, Skopje

 

In the entire European story, the Macedonian police is not excluded, which at the end of 2017 received quality equipment that increased its capacity, including the security of the borders. It was a donation from the European Union to the Ministry of Interior Affairs, at the Bogorodica border crossing.

The donation, worth 3,742,000 euros, consisted of eight vans, eight passenger vehicles, eight four-wheelers and five special surveillance vehicles at the border with thermal cameras, one equipped with radar, 100 manual radio terminals and program tools for determining the parameter of radio terminals, 250 manual STOP POLICE poles with led lights, four heart rate detectors, four manual screening systems for cargo loading and inspection, six document validation systems – VISPEK, communication network, as well as a locally deployable coordination communication center, mobile surveillance system with EO-IR cameras and a radar.

This is only part of the assistance that the country has received from European funds, but we will need many more pages to fill in, in order to list all the other donations that have arrived in North Macedonia. Thus, we can easily conclude who are the best strategic partners of the country.

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