With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, the EU is represented in the Republic of North Macedonia by the Delegation of the European Union. Under the new Treaty "Union delegations shall be placed under the authority of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. They shall act in close cooperation with Member States' diplomatic and consular missions". The Delegations represent the European Union and serve the European Union's interests throughout the world. There are more than 130 Delegations worldwide.
The Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of North Macedonia was officially opened in March 2000. The Delegation of the European Union is the liaison between the national authorities and EU institutions. Since the decision taken by the European Council to recognise the country as a candidate for EU membership, the work of the Delegation of the European Union has focused increasingly on monitoring and reporting on compliance with the political and economic criteria for membership of the EU, and alignment of legislation with EU legislation as well as capacity to implement and enforce it.
One of Delegation's key tasks is to inform the authorities, institutions, media and citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia about the pre-accession process and about the EU institutions and policies. It also maintains regular contacts with academic institutions, business community and representatives of the civil society.
On its way towards membership, the European Union provides continuous support and financial assistance in order to help the country in the necessary reforms. The Delegation of the European Union is a contracting authority for more than 250 past and ongoing projects. It also gives support to the establishment and development of a full operational capacity of the structures required for the management of EU-funded Pre-Accession Programmes, supports and monitors national institutions in charge of applying decentralised procedures.