Capacity Building Specialist in EU Accession - retainer position

Job categories Project Management
Vacancy code VA/2022/B5109/23701
Level ICS-10
Department/office ECR, RSMCO, Serbia
Duty station Home based
Contract type International ICA
Contract level IICA-2
Duration Up to 40 working days in six months period
Application period 01-Apr-2022 to 21-Apr-2022


Applications to vacancies must be received before midnight Copenhagen time (CET) on the closing date of the announcement.


This vacancy is closed.
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Nordic Support for Progress of North Macedonia

A) The Government of Norway  is funding a sub-regional programme “Nordic Support for Progress in North Macedonia”implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). The project consists of socio-economic development support to the more undeveloped parts of the country and also envisages support to the national authorities responsible for leading the renewed efforts on the EU accession process. The Government of Norway has allocated funding for the implementation of the Project in North Macedonia for 48 months, starting from September 2018.

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to a more balanced socio-economic development and to contribute to the implementation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement and EU accession negotiations priorities. 

Locally, the project aims to increase employment opportunities, support social cohesion, as well as to enhance local infrastructure in the less developed areas with a focus given to the inclusion of youth, women and vulnerable groups in the labour market. Nationally, the project aims at supporting the government to improve its capacity for EU integration and government reform agenda in the accession process.

B) The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency has decided to fund a project “Support to progress in North Macedonia - Government reform agenda in the EU-accession process” to be implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). The objective of the project supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) is to support the enhancement of the EU integration capacity of the Republic of North Macedonia by providing technical assistance to government institutions during the accession period. 

SIDA has allocated funding for the implementation of the project in North Macedonia during 48 months.

The Overall Objective of the SIDA support is to contribute to, and effectively communicate to the public, the implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, accession negotiations and government reform priorities in the Republic of North Macedonia. 

Project interventions are aimed towards communicating the benefits of the EU accession process to the general population, as well as to involve the civil society and media throughout the accession phases. All project activities will be undertaken in partnership with the Government of North Macedonia, in cooperation with the national institutions, with the aim of allowing them to adopt/adapt the legal requirements and, where relevant, EU accession criteria. 

This will ensure national ownership and support the development of national capacities.

Background Information – relevant for the assignment

The purpose of Result 3(1) “Supporting the government reform agenda in the accession process ”is to provide support to relevant national authorities is to contribute to further building of capacities of the central coordination structures for the accession process and relevant national authorities.

General Affairs Council on its session held on 18 June 2019, adopted conclusions on the EU's enlargement policy and the stabilisation and association process. On the issue of opening negotiation talks with North Macedonia, the Council “Reaffirming its conclusions of 26 June 2018, the Council welcomes the historic and unprecedented Prespa Agreement and takes good note of the Commission's recommendation to open accession negotiations with the Republic of North Macedonia and Albania based on its positive evaluation of the progress made and of the fulfilment of the conditions identified by the Council.”

Within the framework of the political and reform processes, North Macedonia’s government commenced with preparations for accession negotiations, and activated its coordination structures for EU integration. The main developments include:

Further to the Decision of the European Council in June 2018, the EC prepared timetable for explanatory meetings for the chapters of the acquis. EC commenced with explanatory meetings in September 2018 and ending in December 2019. On the explanatory meetings, the EC representatives are explaining in details policies and requirements of the key EU acquis, standards and best practices for efficient and effective implementation. 

On 5 February 2020 the European Commission unveiled a new methodology for the accession negotiations to drive forward the EU accession process “Enhancing the accession process - A credible EU perspective for the Western Balkans, to make the process more credible, with a stronger political steer, more dynamic and predictable. The methodology also introduced new approach by clustering the chapters and introducing new areas in the process, functioning democratic institutions, public administration reform and economic criteria included under the Fundamentals Cluster. On 2 March 2020, the European Commission (EC) published the Update on the Republic of North Macedonia report for 2020. In the document, EC has stated that North Macedonia delivered tangible results in its continued implementation of EU-related reforms and on good neighbourly relations, and recommended accession negotiations with North Macedonia. On 24 March 2020, the European Council adopted decision on opening of negotiations to North Macedonia and Albania. The Council concluded that the country has demonstrated its determination to advance the EU reform agenda and has delivered tangible and sustained results. The General Affairs Council has invited EC to develop and to submit draft negotiating frameworks for Albania and North Macedonia, laying out the guidelines and principles for their accession talks. The EC presented to the member states, the draft Negotiating Framework for North Macedonia in July 2020 handing it over to the EU Council to reach a consensual agreement among the member states. 

2021 EC Country Report for North Macedonia was published in October 2021, whereby the Commission recommended that the country sufficiently meets the criteria for opening of the accession negotiations.  The Council of EU has not reached a consensus on the Negotiating Framework, and the date for the first Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) has not  been set to date. 

The Government of the Republic of North Macedonian on its 143 session held on 9 July 2021 has adopted legal documents establishing the Negotiation structure with the Chief Negotiator (DPM), Committee for Accession Negotiations, State Delegation for accession negotiations, the Negotiating Group, Working Committee for European Integration. However, following the adoption of the new accession methodology, a process of revision of the legal acts has been initiated in order to meet the requirements of the said methodology, and should be ready for adoption not later than this April.

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The screening of your application will be conducted based on the information in your profile. Before applying, we strongly suggest that you review your UNOPS Jobs profile to ensure completeness, especially the education and experience sections.

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