National Convention of the European Union in North Macedonia Exemplifies Journey to Self-Reliance

USAID Acting Country Representative, Gretchen Birkle and the Slovak Ambassador to North Macedonia Henrik Markus signed a memorandum of understanding
USAID Acting Country Representative, Gretchen Birkle and the Slovak Ambassador to North Macedonia Henrik Markus signed a memorandum of understanding
USAID North Macedonia

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Today, June 19, 2019, the National Convention on European Union (NCEU) organized a Plenary Conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the event, USAID and SlovakAid signed a memorandum of understanding with each side committing to an additional approximate $100K to continue the project for two more years.  The MOU demonstrates Slovakia’s forward trajectory along its development journey moving from a recipient of US development assistance to now an equal partner with the U.S. providing their own bilateral assistance to help other nations rise up.
 
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia Nikola Dimitrov and his colleague from Slovakia, Minister  of Foreign Afairs Miroslav Lajčák, delivered opening remarks at the conference highlighting the perspectives of the country on its path toward the European Union.
 
In her remarks, Acting Country Representative for USAID North Macedonia, Gretchen Birkle, emphasized that “Today also offers us the opportunity to showcase what we at USAID call the development journey – helping our partners move from recipients of development assistance, to being equal co-partners providing joint assistance elsewhere. Our partnership with Slovakia is a perfect example of that journey.  Slovakia has transformed in a very short time, from being a recipient of USAID assistance in the 1990's to now an international donor in its own right, helping other nations rise.  I am optimistic for the day when we have a similar partnership here in North Macedonia”.
 
The NCEU is working as an open, continuous, and inclusive forum for achieving a wide social consensus on issues related to the accession of the Republic of North Macedonia to the European Union exemplifying the journey to self-reliance. Currently, the NCEU works in four exceptionally important chapters: Agriculture and Rural Development (Chapter 11), Social Policy and Employment (Chapter 19), Judiciary and Fundamental Rights (Chapter 23), and Justice, Freedom, and Security (Chapter 24). The National Convention on the European Union with its four working groups is an excellent platform for all stakeholders in the country, from government to civil society to the private sector, to show a genuine commitment to furthering the EU accession agenda and transferring the recommendations from the working groups into action plans and real results.
 
The NCEU is a two-year program funded jointly by USAID and the Slovakian foreign assistance agency SlovakAid. The implementing partner is the Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association (SFPA), which provides technical assistance in partnership with a local organization, the European Movement in Republic of North Macedonia. The current project, which ends this fall, is funded through the Emerging Donors Challenge Program (EDCP)For more information about NCEU, visit: http://nkeu.mk/
 
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The American people, through USAID, have invested more than $640 million in North Macedonia since 1993. USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. For more information visit https://www.usaid.gov/north-macedoniaand USAID’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/USAIDNorthMacedonia/

Last updated: June 20, 2019

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