Today, the European Commission, on behalf of the EU, has disbursed EUR 80 million of the macro-financial assistance (MFA) programme for North Macedonia.
The Macro-financial Assistance (MFA) is part of the EU’s wider engagement with neighbouring and enlargement countries and is intended as an exceptional EU crisis response instrument.
MFA funds are made available in the form of long-term loans on highly favourable terms. The MFA funds will contribute to enhance macroeconomic stability and create space to allocate resources towards mitigating the severe negative socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
To benefit from MFA, the country must meet the political pre-condition of respect of democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law. They should also benefit from an IMF financial assistance programme.
On 16 July 2020, the Commission on behalf of the EU has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with North Macedonia that is worth up to EUR 160 million divided in two equal instalments of EUR 80 million. Today the first instalment was paid.
In order to receive the second tranche of assistance, the MoU also provides for the policy actions to which North Macedonia is committed, namely: strengthening fiscal governance and transparency, the fight against corruption, enhancing financial sector supervision, improving the business environment, and tackling youth unemployment. The fulfilment of the policy actions will be assessed before the disbursement of the second instalment that could be paid in the first half of 2021, depending on how quickly North Macedonia implements the agreed policy measures.
More information on past macro-financial assistance operations