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Balkans, Macédoine
The intergovernmental agreement between France and North Macedonia was signed on 23 February 2021 in Paris during the visit by Bujar Osmani, the Macedonian Minister of Foreign Affairs. It paves the way for productive partnerships between the two countries via Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

AFD has been given the go-ahead for future operations in North Macedonia. Among the agreements signed during the visit to France by Bujar Osmani, the intergovernmental agreement lays the foundations for the establishment and activities of Agence Française de Développement, Proparco and Expertise France in North Macedonia. This partnership follows on from the signing and ratification of similar agreements in the Western Balkans, in Serbia, Albania and Kosovo.

During his trip to Paris, the minister met with AFD’s governance body and the team responsible for the Western Balkans. He was accompanied by the Macedonian delegation and Jadranka Chaushevska Dimov, Ambassador of North Macedonia to France. This meeting provided the occasion to initiate discussions and determine the priorities for the future cooperation. Mr. Osmani gave an overview of the national priorities and the efforts to comply with the European Recovery Plan, the Green Deal and the European Union political agenda, with the prospect of EU membership. 

AFD’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Philippe Bauduin, expressed Agence Française de Développement’s commitment to help countries in the region move towards convergence with European Union standards, by integrating transitions towards sustainable development trajectories in line with the Paris Agreement (low-carbon economic development and biodiversity conservation, with the objective of 70% of projects with climate benefits). 

AFD’s wide range of financial products allows it to provide sovereign, non-sovereign and private financing. It can also mobilize European resources and work in close partnership with the other donors operating in the region.

AFD is supporting several projects in the Western Balkans, such as the entrepreneurship project for young people in the Western Balkans (RISE), the project to improve the quality of life in cities through the Smart City approach implemented in the five capitals in the region, including Skopje, as well as the Energy Efficiency in Buildings Program (PEEB). It has already committed over €260 million in the region.