Environment and climate cooperation with North Macedonia The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency cooperates with the Macedonian Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning on solutions to improve the air quality in North Macedonia. We also share our knowledge about species protection and the processes around the country’s EU accession. svenska Share Contact Listen Solutions to combat air pollution North Macedonia has major problems with air pollution, especially in larger cities. Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, is one of the most polluted cities in Europe. During winter time, levels of harmful particles in the air often reach dangerously high levels, significantly exceeding the safety levels specified in the WHO’s air quality guidelines, which is a health hazard for both residents and visitors in the country. The Swedish EPA has broad knowledge of the area and has been requested by the Embassy of Sweden in Skopje to assist North Macedonia with experience and technical solutions. The Swedish EPA will, together with the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), assist the responsible ministry in North Macedonia with knowledge and infrastructure to assess and monitor air quality in the country. We also help ensuring that technical solutions comply with EU standards regarding reporting of environmental data. Species protection Additionally, in the project, the Swedish EPA will contribute with knowledge on species protection and the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species. The project will organize a workshop for local and regional institutions and authorities. In the workshop, the Swedish Board for Agriculture and other relevant Swedish actors assist as experts. EU accession In the frame of the project, the Swedish EPA also contributes with knowledge regarding the EU accession of North Macedonia. The country strives to become an EU member state and have a candidate status since 2005. With it follows a long process of negotiations with the EU Commission and other EU agencies. To conduct the accession negotiations, EU legislation and standards are divided into 35 chapters. Environment and climate are one of many areas covered by negotiations and the country needs to be well prepared for this process. Swedish EPA will help the country prepare for Chapter 27 – on environment and climate change. The Swedish EPA has contributed to the EU approximation process in several countries in the Western Balkans, such as Albania and Serbia. Through the project in North Macedonia we contribute to the country’s ability to become an EU member and for North Macedonia to meet the environment standards set by the EU acquis. Sida’s financial support The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has granted the Swedish EPA roughly 11 million SEK to the bilateral project with North Macedonia. The project runs through 2019-2021 in close cooperation with the Embassy of Sweden in Skopje.