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THE BILATERAL COOPERATION BETWEEN THE FRENCH REGION LOWER NORMANDY AND REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA CONTINUES



The Minister of Local Self-Government of Macedonia, Nevzat Bejta and the Vice-President of the Region Lower Normandy, Corinne Feret, signed on July 4th in Skopje an agreement for resuming the bilateral cooperation.
In the presence of the French diplomatic core, represented by the French Embassy in Macedonia and the Ambassador, Jean-Claude Schlumberger, as well as representatives from ALDA, such as the President Oriano Otočan, both the Minister Bejta and the Vice-President Feret expressed their positive attitude towards the cooperation.

The Decentralised cooperation between the Region Lower Normandy and Republic of Macedonia officially started in October of 2009. Since then the two territories have continuous and successful cooperation that unites more than hundred actors both from France and Macedonia, as well as from other countries.

"The cooperation will enable Macedonia to learn from French experience on empowering the decentralisation process, which is to bring benefit to the state and its citizens," said the Minister Bejta. He pointed out that Macedonia's main goal is to complete the decentralisation process and he expressed his belief in the future progress and development of Macedonian regions: "I believe they will develop as the French ones, in particular as Lower Normandy. We shall set up a working group to cooperate with the Lower Normandy administration. Our goal is for Macedonia to become a full-fledged EU member," Bejta said.

Mme Feret said she was pleased with the development of Macedonia-Lower Normandy cooperation. "The cooperation agreement covers numerous activities, especially in regard to the power decentralization process, which we have conducted together for the benefit of Macedonia's citizens," Feret said.

Since 2009, the Programme for Decentralised cooperation between Lower Normandy and Macedonia is coordinated by ALDA, the Association of Local Democracy Agencies. The two territories are cooperating on many components such as IT and Human Rights, Cultural Heritage and Inventory, Youth and Active Citizenship, Cultural Policies and Development of Tourism, as well as Agriculture.
Town twinning on the other hand, as a segment in the Decentralised cooperation builds up contacts and friendship with communities from the two territories and promotes better understanding. Several Macedonian and Lower Normandy municipalities are cooperating under the town twinning concept.

For further information please consult the website of the Cooperation programme, or contact Ivana Dimitrovska ivana.dimitrovska@aldaintranet.org.



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