GFCE Secretariat Visits Skopje and Welcomes New Member – Republic of North Macedonia – to the GFCE Community.

On Friday 10th February 2023, by invitation of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, the GFCE Secretariat had the honor and pleasure to be in Skopje, North Macedonia, for a welcoming event to celebrate the recent GFCE Membership of North Macedonia, who are the 103rd Member of the GFCE.

Deputy Prime Minister, Slavica Grkovska, kindly invited GFCE Global Outreach and Partnerships Manager, Wouter Veenstra, to meet with representatives of all relevant ministries and agencies dealing with cyber, including several academic institutions. At the event it was discussed how North Macedonia could participate, contribute and benefit best from the global multistakeholder GFCE community and its tools and mechanisms.

In line with GFCE’s strategic priorities of Global Cooperation, Regional Coordination and Local Collaboration, the Western Balkan region is one of GFCE’s five priority regions, alongside Africa, the Pacific, Southeast Asia and the Americas. The GFCE community, including global actors and those local to the region, voiced the need for increased cooperation and coordination on cyber capacity building (CCB) in the Western Balkans region. The GFCE efforts in the region are aimed to enhance coordination of CCB activities through aligning donors and implementers, improving information sharing, raising high-level awareness and avoiding duplication of efforts.

To support these ambitions, a dedicated GFCE Western Balkans stakeholder group of more than 75 participants has been launched with representatives of Western Balkan governments, donors and implementers. Deputy Prime Minister, Slavica Grkovska, reaffirmed the commitment of North Macedonia to this group and possibilities for hosting a future event later this year will be explored.

The need to further raise cyber resilience in the Western Balkans is apparent. Thus, in line with the GFCE’s demand-driven approach and in recognition of the importance of the region and its actors, the GFCE has been honored to welcome the Government of Republic of North Macedonia as a member and looks forward to continued cooperation on cyber capacity building.