Sustainable Development Aspects in Cross-Border Cooperation Programmes: The Case of Macedonia and Albania

Klodjan Seferaj
The cross-border area between Albania and Macedonia can be considered as a region with agrarian or industrial-agrarian economy, although the overall picture should take into account significant contrasts within the region, between the two countries, but also between the southern and northern part, and between mountainous areas and lowlands. Agriculture, agribusiness, light industry, mining, energy production and tourism are the main economic sectors, which also have the biggest potential in the
more » ... st potential in the cross-border region. Both countries are gaining experience in EU funded cross-border cooperation programmes with other neighbouring countries and with each other. The scope of the research is the evaluation and analysis of the Integrated Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) Cross-border Cooperation (CBC) Programme Macedonia-Albania 2007-2013 and its sustainable development aspects. The research is trying to assess the impact of the programme since its start in 2007 and the impact of the implemented grants on the sustainable development. The importance of the sustainable development aspect is recognized and is formally included into various national strategic documents, however implementation is often problematic and sustainability aspects need to be examined on a more concrete level.The methodology used was qualitative with research tools such as desk studies of relevant program documentation, strategic and planning documentation and other relevant published materials. The desk review considered well over 40 documents relevant to the program, most of which were shared by the Ministry of European Integration (MoEI) and other actors.