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FYR Macedonia has made further progress on key reforms geared towards integration into the European Union. After it acquired formal status as an EU candidate country in December 2005, the European Commission recommended in October 2009 to open EU accession negotiations. In December 2012 the Council of the European Union concluded that the country meets the criteria for the opening of the EU accession talks, while noting at the same time that a negotiated and mutually acceptable solution to the name issue, under the auspices of the UN, remains essential. The implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, which ended the armed inter-ethnic conflict in 2001, continues to support political stability in the country, highlighted by the multi-ethnic composition of the governing coalition.
The key transition challenges and strategic directions for the next Strategy period are:
Enhancing competitiveness and facilitating private investment in the corporate and municipal sectors. The authorities have made significant efforts in recent years to enhance FYR Macedonia’s competitiveness and attractiveness as a business-friendly environment. The Bank will continue to assist in attracting and supporting foreign investment, thereby promoting productivity improvements through new skills and processes. In parallel, the Bank will seek to assist local corporates in improving their competitiveness. Private sector involvement in the municipal sector and the provision of utility services is essential to attracting investment and improving quality of services, and the Bank will seek to enable greater participation by the private sector, as well as adoption of best industry practices across the municipal sectors.
Promoting energy efficiency and sustainable energy. Significant transition gaps remain in the energy sector in terms of moving tariffs towards cost-recovery levels, strengthening the capacity of the regulator and developing renewable sources of energy. The Bank will continue to play a critical role in helping to close the gaps, and will use its expertise to further promote and strengthen energy efficiency in the private and public sectors, as well as the development of renewable energy projects.
Advancing regional integration. The Bank will work closely with the authorities, other IFIs and, where possible, private sector investors to help improve transport networks, thereby facilitating greater cross-border trade and investment. Developing further links with the regional energy market is also key to attracting private investment, encouraging competition and diversifying the sources of energy supply. The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) will provide the ideal policy dialogue platform for regional integration, as all players and countries in the region are associated with and represented in it. Regional projects will be prioritised and approved under the WBIF.
Last updated 30 May 2013