North Macedonia, 11 July 2020

VTC Equipment to Enable SEA to Organize Faster and More Efficient Online Meetings for EU Integration

The restrictive measures for physical distancing, the recommendations to avoid face-to-face meetings and reduced travel to reduce the spread of COVID-19 made online meetings and digital communication essential in maintaining the operational capacity of the national institutions.

This is why the "Nordic Support for Progress of North Macedonia" project has worked with the Secretariat for European Affairs (SEA) in improving their capacity to hold and attend online meetings, especially in crucial times of preparing the national capacities for the imminent start of negotiations for integration into the European Union. For the past few months, the project worked on conducting an initial analysis of the technical capacities and needs for video teleconferencing (VTC) services of SEA. Based on the analysis and in coordination with SEA, the project procured adequate VTC equipment that was installed and tested in June. This VTC set includes monitors, cameras and speakers that enable fast and secure communication with counterparts from other national and international institutions. Besides the hardware, additional licenses for teleconferencing software were procured to enable stable scheduling of meetings, even with larger numbers of participants. This support is part of a greater streamlined support to increase the capacities of SEA for negotiations with the EU, and provision of technical and expert support in different areas, such as the adoption of the acquis, harmonization of legislation and technical support for the second stage of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement.