The European Commission proposed 100 million euros in aid for Macedonia, a decision is awaited from the Council of the EU

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Flags of the EU Member States / EPA-EFE / PATRICK SEEGER

Yesterday, the European Commission proposed to provide up to 100 million Euros of macro-financial assistance to Macedonia, which will show that the Commission stands by North Macedonia in difficult times, given that after the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the external balance of payments worsened due to the high dependence on fuel imports and electricity.

According to the Commission, the proposed aid will contribute to covering the financial needs of North Macedonia in 2023 and 2024, supporting fiscal sustainability and structural reforms. Today's proposal is within the framework of the 24-month support program concluded with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), worth up to 530 million euros.
As informed by the European Commission, the aid would be in the form of loans, which will be paid in two installments.

"These two payments would be conditional on the implementation of the political measures that should be agreed between North Macedonia and the EU with a Memorandum of Understanding. The memorandum of understanding is likely to focus on policy reforms in the areas of fiscal management, tax policy, public investment management, public-private partnerships, the business environment, transparency in state aid, energy efficiency, judicial reforms and the fight against corruption. Payments would also be conditional on positive results in the implementation of the IMF program. "These reforms will support North Macedonia on its way to EU membership," said the EC.

Otherwise, macro-financial assistance is part of the EU's wider engagement with neighboring and enlargement partners, and is intended as a crisis response instrument. It shows the solidarity of the EU with these partners and the support of effective policies in times of crisis.

"We stand by North Macedonia in these challenging times. "Today we are proposing macro-financial assistance of up to 100 million euros to support the country's economy, contributing to cover its financial needs in the next two years," said the president of the EC, Ursula von der Leyen.

And European Commissioner Varheji states in a post on Twitter that "in these challenging socio-economic times, the Commission stands by Macedonia with its proposal to provide macro-financial assistance of up to 100 million euros for the country."

– It is another proof of our commitment that we stand with our partners, emphasizes Varheyi.

The next step is for the European Parliament and the Council to consider and accept the proposal, after which it will enter into force and payments will begin according to the conditions that will be specified in the Memorandum of Understanding.

Otherwise, macroeconomic aid is part of the EU's wider engagement with neighbors and enlargement partners who are facing problems in the balance of payments and shows solidarity with these partners.

In April 2020, the Commission adopted a proposal for a package of macro-financial assistance of 3 billion euros for 10 partner countries to help deal with the economic problems caused by the corona virus pandemic. The European Parliament and the Council of the EU made a decision in May 2020, and as part of this package, Macedonia received 160 million euros. The first tranche of 80 million euros was transferred in October 2020, and the second tranche of 80 million euros in June 2021 after the Commission gave a positive verdict on the progress in fulfilling the conditions.

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