MIA News

Stobi archaeological site receives over €180,000 non-refundable EU funds, showcasing tangible benefits of Euro-integration

Skopje, 21 March 2024 (MIA) – First Deputy Prime Minister in charge of European Affairs, Bojan Marichikj, Minister of Culture, Bisera Kostadinovska-Stojchevska, and Additional Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Jovanka Trenchevska, visited on Wednesday the Stobi archeological site where conservative-restoration works and structural reinforcement of the Old Train Station building for adaptation into a Visitor Center are ongoing as part of the project “Europos Platino Stobi – European Past, Future and Cultural Values.”

“With the support of our European friends and partners in this project, Stobi and the surrounding infrastructure facilities become an attractive destination for tourist visits, especially in area of cultural tourism. As a significant site of historical and archaeological heritage in our country and in Europe, combined with its natural environment, Stobi has the potential to bolster the economic and cultural development of the entire region,” Marichikj said.

He underscored that the significance of the site was acknowledged by the United States as well, which, through the Ambassador’s Fund, provided direct financial support three times for: the conservation and restoration of the baptistery in Stobi, conservation and restoration efforts in the Episcopal Basilica, and the building with arches – the Roman Forum.

“This project between partners from Greece and the Republic of North Macedonia underscores the importance of Euro integration for our country. The continuation of the EU talks means unlocking of more EU funds to preserve and promote Macedonian rich cultural heritage and enduring values of the European culture,” Marichikj said.

He noted that projects such as this, alongside numerous others, stand as clear evidence of the EU’s recognition of the authenticity, distinctiveness, and identity of Macedonian culture. Our commitment to EU membership, which we will not relinquish, will further bolster and promote our rich cultural and historical heritage.

Kostadinovska-Stojchevska said that the EU has allocated over €495,000 in non-refundable funds in the project “Europos Platino Stobi – European Past, Future and Cultural Values.” Of this amount, €186,000 was granted to Stobi for the adaptation of the facility, enabling visitors to experience the dynamic cultural layers of this archaeological site.

“This initiative, recognized by partners in Greece, highlights that EU funds not only accelerate our progress towards the European path but also contribute to maintaining good neighbourly relations and strengthening communication and trust,” Kostadinovska-Stojchevska said.

She extended congratulations to the Stobi archaeological site director, Spase Perovski, and to all employees for their dedicated engagement in securing European funds through the IPA Cross Border Cooperation Programme with Greece.

“Stobi is an attraction in itself, but the contents offered in the Center will be added value for every visitor who will have the opportunity to experience a new visual, educational, and interactive experience here,” Kostadinovska-Stojchevska said, who added that besides the ancient history of this ancient city, through this center, the voice for history, culture, and identity of the current Macedonian culture will be heard in a modern way.

According to her, such successful implementations of projects from the IPA Cross Border Cooperation Programme trace the most effective and only path for achieving our mission, which is the sustainable and lasting protection of Macedonian cultural heritage in the EU.

The project “Europos Platino Stobi – European Past, Future and Cultural Values” is implemented by the Stobi archeological site as a donation from the European Commission through the Management and Development Body of the IPA cross-border program Greece – Macedonia, Republic of Greece. Partners in the project are CISS Cooperazione, Regional Development Found of Central Macedonia – Region of Central Macedonia“ and „Ephorate of Antiqes of Kilkis“.