European Union

Building a brighter future  

The European Agency for Reconstruction in 
News bulletin, June 2002


Progress on Tetovo by-pass construction

Jean Valsesia, the Head of the Agency’s Infrastructure Unit, and the Minister for Transport and Communications Ljupco Balkovski recently visited the E-65 Tetovo by-pass construction site. When completed, the €9.6 million project will improve traffic flow between the Gostivar, Tetovo and Skopje. Following the visit, both Valsesia and the Minister concluded that works were progressing well on building a 3.7 kilometre bypass linking the Skopje and Gostivar motorways. 
In addition, the project also involves the construction of ten bridges (overpasses and underpasses), the re-location of electrical transmission lines, and the construction of drainage canals and other miscellaneous structures. While the project is in the long-term expected to make travel easier in the north-western part of the country, it has in the short term had a positive impact on local employment. “Jobs have been created both in this region, and other parts of the country due to this project’s investment,” said Valsesia. It is estimated that one hundred people have been working directly on-site since the project began in 2000. And several hundred more people are benefiting indirectly both as sub-contractors and suppliers of goods and materials. The project came under Agency management on 1 March and is expected to be completed later this year. The implementing partners are the European Agency for Reconstruction in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Fund for National and Regional Roads.

Eight Regional Vocational Education and Training centres to be selected

The second half of the Vocational Education and Training Programme (VET), funded by the European Union since 1999, has recently been launched. Now managed by the Agency, this €2 million project will contribute to developing a more efficient labour force with up-graded skills. It will also assist the Ministry of Education and Science to develop a system of continuous education and will adapt the country’s vocational education and training system to the needs of the changing labour market. The second phase will build on the experience of the first phase of the project, which was carried out between 1998-2000, by completing the modernization of the initial vocational training system. In addition, the project will assist the Ministry in proposing changes to national legislation in order to better to regulate future vocational education and training and will also assist in developing curricula, and offer VET school teacher training. Eight regional VET centres of excellence will be selected to work with VET schools and the private sector. The European Agency for Reconstruction will supply equipment for these centres and for sixteen other schools.

Media support project ends with final conference

The media support programme drew to a close this month, with more than sixty journalists having received training for beginners to advanced levels. A final magazine was also produced in Macedonian, Albanian and English which tackled issues not often covered in the media, such as homelessness. During a final conference in June to promote confidence-building in the media community, journalists focused on the need to reach out more to media outlets outside of Skopje which require both increased financial as well editorial support to maintain their independence.

Damage assessment to Lesok Monastery

Works have begun to assess the damage done to the St.Atanasia-Lazar Orthodox Church in the village of Lesok (Tearce municipality). The country’s Institute for the Protection of National Heritage is carrying out the assessment on the church, which is classified as a nationally protected monument. The execution of the project, funded by the EU under a programme to support the rehabilitation of religious buildings, is arduous due to the age and artistic characteristics of the church, and to the amount of physical work required. A dozen workers are hand sifting daily through the debris and trying to categorize stones, masonry and decorative ornaments. Once collected, an assessment will be required to determine which parts of the church can be re-used and how much new construction will
be required to determine which parts of the church can be re-used and how construction will be needed. An investigation will also be performed to identify possible archeological findings of older churches underneath the foundation.


The European Agency for Reconstruction in fYR Macedonia

Start of operations: March 2002                  

Budget 1996: €4 million

Budget 1997: €19 million

Budget 1998: €23 million

Budget 1999: €22 million

Budget 2000: €20 million

Budget 2001: €58 million

Key sectors: Democracy and rule of law; economic and social development and environment & natural resources







As at 21/06/2002

Budget 1996

Budget 1997

Budget 1998

Budget 1999

Budget 2000

Budget 2001

Emergency Package 2001

(€26.5 million)