OHRID, NORTH MACEDONIA, July 10th, 2019 – The European Union’s Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) Programme between North Macedonia Albania, brings together in a jointly public event 9 Regional Projects. The development of tourism and cooperation in the cross-border area, projects results and future goals were presented under the same denomination: ‘Creating a Common Future’.

The event was organized by 9 projects implemented by 30 civil society organizations, beneficiaries of the Cross-Border Cooperation Program between North Macedonia and Albania, financed by the European Union.  It was supported by the Delegation of the European Union in the Republic of North Macedonia, the Delegation of the European Union in the Republic of Albania, the Ministry of Local Self-Government of North Macedonia and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania.

The novelty of the whole event was bringing together more than 150 professionals from the tourism field, non-governmental sector, representatives from governments and the business sector from both countries who shared the views on how to further development of tourism through cross border cooperation and with the better use of natural, cultural and safe agricultural products in the cross-border region, emphasizing the importance of the momentum for the region and the significance to create synergy and cooperation between all the projects financed by the IPA CBC Programme between North Macedonia-Albania.

Implementing partners and Beneficiaries of the project ‘Dibra-Debar Accelerating_Agricultural_Growth‘, discussing on the powerful linkage between Agro Food Standards and Tourism. Photo: AgroWeb

In his keynote address, the Ambassador of the EU Delegation in the Republic of North Macedonia, Samuel Žbogar, stated that: “Transcending barriers – geographical, political and mental – has been at the heart of the idea for the European Union since it was born. The EU founding fathers knew well that only free flow of people, goods and ideas can create a synergy that no country can achieve alone. They knew well that only teamwork that goes beyond national borders allows economic prosperity and political stability. They knew well that only cooperation and better understanding can bring about a better life. Today we are here to honour the European idea and the way it is applied by two candidate countries – future EU members.

During the conference the Ambassador of the EU Delegation in the Republic of Albania, Luigi Soreca, stated that: ‘Thanks also to EU funds, connectivity and cooperation among local communities in Albania and North Macedonia is being improved. As it is the touristic potential of the area. Territorial cooperation across borders is as important to our enlargement policy today as it has been to the construction of the European Union itself’

An important part of the event were the discussions about “Development of tourism in the cross-border area”, on which were held 3 panel discussions on the topics: ‘Women entrepreneurs in tourism’, ‘Sustainability and Tourism – ‘Together is Key’ and ‘Dibra – Debar Accelerating Agricultural Growth’.

Another highlight of the event was the inauguration of the opening of the rescue (mounting/water) center in Ohrid – first of its kind in the region. The center will and will co-ordinate with the rescue center in Pogradec. Mayer of the Municipality of Ohrid, stressed that ‘this center will greatly help the city’.

Moments from the open fair of the 9 projects/grant beneficiaries. Photo: AgroWeb

Simultaneously, in the center of Ohrid was held an open fair of the 9 projects/grant beneficiaries, where on stands, through promotional material, direct meetings with official representatives from the projects, citizens and tourists from both countries had the opportunity to acquire information about the projects, results and impact of each project.

In the future it is expected greater promotion of the projects that are part of the program IPA CBC in the Republic of North Macedonia – Republic of Albania, as well as an increase in the number of collaborations with civil society organizations and institutions such as chambers, development agencies, municipalities, ministries, educational institutions and all others that can help in the direction of economic and overall development of the two regions. The event engaged an extensive interest of the community and contributed to the visibility of regional cooperation synergy as well as to the European Union support in the region./AgroWeb.news