Guide to SKOPJE

Neighbours solve problems together


Municipalities near the border between Greece and Macedonia set an example that these neighbouring nations can raise the level of their relations above politics. Local self-government on both sides of the border are intensifying cooperation in implementing projects which have the goal of improving living conditions in border towns.   

This year €2,5 million from European Funds will be used in the southern border region in Macedonia and northern border region in Greece. Bitola and Novaci in Macedonia, Florina and Amyntaio in Greece will fight against forest fires in border areas together, look for a solution to the air pollution coming from the thermoelectric power plants near the towns, exchange experiences in heating systems and modernize their zoological parks.

-The problems that these municipalities have know no borders. Politics should be left to politicians and our main objective is to provide better living conditions for our citizens. We are planning many projects together and the population in these areas will benefit from these activities – says Iannis Voskopoulos Mayor of Florina.


-We value the cooperation with the neighbouring municipalities because we have the same problems. We hope to strengthen our relations with each new project we implement together with our friends from Florina, and I believe we are moving forward to a new level of communication and cooperation – says Vladimir Taleski Mayor of Bitola.

Both countries are working together on prevention of air pollution. Air quality monitoring stations have been set up in Florina, the next step is placing such stations in Meliti, Greece and then in Bitola. Christos Evangeliou, representative of West Macedonia Prefect in Greece, stated that this kind of projects are intended to improve living conditions on both sides of the border. “We always support such activities, with the aim of enabling towns to provide better living conditions in both regions. We hope this cooperation will continue successfully so that our citizens have the highest benefit from them.”- says Evangeliou.

Mayors have the same goal: to improve citizens’ living conditions

Municipality of Bitola has started cooperating with the city of Thessaloniki. In May this year, Vladimir Taleski Mayor of Bitola met with Yiannis Boutaris Mayor of Thessaloniki to sign a declaration of cooperation and joint promotion of entrepreneurship in culture.

“Despite political differences between our countries, our nations are closely linked by connections that need to be developed further. These relations and connections of friendship that we cherish cannot be disturbed by politics or anyone else.” – said Boutaris. Taleski called the meeting a historic moment which will cause changes in the mindset of both nations.

European Commission IPA Fund will use about €500, 000 to help strengthen the capacity of firefighting stations. There is a draft plan for prevention of forest fires in border regions, new firefighting equipment and monitoring systems will be procured, etc.

There is an ongoing project for development of the Zoos in Bitola and Florina, also Bitola and the Municipality of Amyntaio are working on a project of setting up a heating system network. The Faculty of Technical Sciences in Bitola and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki are involved in the implementation of the project.