Centre for Development of the South-East Planning Region, Strumica, R. Macedonia
Macedonia has 8 planning regions: Vardarski, East, Southwest, Southeast, Pelagoniski, Poloshki, Northeast and Skopje.
Southeast region covers an area of 2.835 m2, which represents 11% of the total area of the R. Macedonia and a population of approximately 171.416 inhabitants. The ethnic structure of the region is composed of 90.39% Macedonians, 7.38% Turks, 0.69% Serbs and 1.51% others. In the region there are 10 municipalities: Bogdanci, Bosilovo, Valandovo, Vasilevo, Gevgelia, Dojran, Konche, Novo Selo, Strumica and Radovish and 180 populated areas.
With strategy planned actions, Southeast region stands out as one of the most advanced regions in Macedonia. The activities are mainly focused on the construction, upgrading and reconstruction of roads, attracting domestic and foreign investors, development of tourism with the revitalization of Lake Dojran, the only natural lake in the region, development of alternative forms of tourism, and other regional projects.
The planning of regional development in the Southeast planning region is one of the basic steps towards the fulfillment of the mission of the Centre for development and at the same time marks the beginning of the process of regional development, which is a process of identifying, fostering, managing and exploiting of the development potential of the Southeast planning region.
The Centre for development of the South-East planning region as one of the eight centres in the country started with work in December 2008. It is established under the Law for Balanced Regional Development (with status: legal entity) by the ten local government units that are part of the Southeast planning region – Bogdanci, Bosilovo, Valandovo, Vasilevo, Gevgeliјa, Doјran, Konche, Novo Selo, Strumica and Radovish.
The main goal and mission of the Centre is to reduce regional disparities in economic development, agricultural development, infrastructure, employment and tourism and protection of the environment that would lead to sustainable and balanced regional development.
Part of the activities of the CDSEPR are preparing a draft program for the development of the region, the draft action plan for the implementation of this program, preparing proposals for development of the region, coordination of activities for implementation of the programme, providing professional and technical assistance in the preparation of development programs of the local government units, encourages inter-municipal cooperation, implementation of projects financed by EU funds and other national and international financial resources, etc.
Team of employees of the Centre is composed of five members – Manager of the Centre, Manager of the Department for inter-municipal cooperation and administrative work, Manager of the Department for implementation of projects and international cooperation, Coordinator for implementation of projects, Administrator. Depending on the needs, in the implementation of projects the Centre employs additional persons to work on the projects as project staff.
A Council for development is established for each region. Members of the council for development are the mayors of the municipalities that are part of the planning region. President of the Council for development is elected from among the members of the council, for a term of two years with the right for re-election. The Council for development collaborates with regional field development experts, representatives from chamber of commerce, unions, associations, associations of citizens and relevant partners from private and civil sectors.
In its activities the Centre has successfully implemented more than 25 projects. Some of them are:
- „Revision of the main project for construction of “Konsko” dam with adjacent objects“;
- „Paljurci – cohesion between natural beauty and primeval past“;
- „Establishment of Cross-border Network among the Municipal Experts on Projects and Programmes in the Cross-border Region“ – PM-NET;
- „Support the employment of women and young“;
- „Developing a strategy for small and medium enterprises for the South-East planning region“;
- „Revitalization of the coast of Dojran Lake“ – Star Dojran, etc.
At the moment the Centre for development is implementing 7 projects:
- “Efficient usage of solar energy for better future” – SP- FUTURE;
- “Amphitheater – Paljurci”;
- “Regional Business Center” – Gevgelija;
- “Arranging the area around the monasteries of “St. George” in v. Oraovica and “St. Spas” in v. Konche;
- “Construction of local road from the v. Bansko – Municipality of Strumica to the v. Monospitovo – Municipality Bosilovo in length of 897m”;
- “Improving of road network for development of rural cross border area” – AGRAS;
- “Industrial zones and commercial roads in the cross-border area”- ZONES AND ROADS.
Partners in the implementation of projects are institutions from R. Bulgaria, R. Greece, municipalities in the region, GIZ RED Programme in Macedonia etc. and the projects are mainly financed by the IPA cross-border cooperation of the EU, GIZ RED, and Bureau for Regional Development, Ministries of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, embassies of EU-member state in R.M, and other European funds as well.
In order to ensure balanced regional development and increase the quality of life for the citizens in the region, the Centre for development of the SEPR is constantly working on developing new projects and applies to receive funding for their implementation.
Region of Central Macedonia, Thessaloniki, R. Greece
Central Macedonia is one of the thirteen regions of Greece, consisting of the central part of the geographical and historical region of Macedonia. With a population of almost 1.9 million, it is the second most populous in Greece after Attica.
The region is based at its capital city of Thessaloniki and is divided into seven regional units (prefectures), Chalkidiki, Imathia, Kilkis, Pella, Pieria, Serres and Thessaloniki. These are further subdivided into 38 municipalities. It is Greece’s most visited region and accounts for 18.2% of the total tourist flow in the country.
The Region of Central Macedonia (RCM) is a self-contained administrative unit of the public administration with jurisdictions and competences regarding the design, programming, coordination and implementation of policies for the economic, social and cultural development of the region.
The key activities and competences of the region gravitate mainly around the regional economic and social development and the vertical coordination of central government’s economic policies.
In addition, the region is responsible for the management and implementation of projects and initiatives with exclusively regional dimension such as transportation and ICT infrastructures, urban planning and environment, commerce, tourism and employment, natural resources, energy and industry.
The Region of Central Macedonia has implemented successfully seventeen projects so far and seventeen are in process of implementation.