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  • 14:00-18:00
    2019.06.05

    JUDICIARY AND HIGH CORRUPTION: ARE WE MOVING FORWARD OR BACKWARDS FROM THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS?

    Abstract

    In the overall social reform effort, that has been taking place in our country in recent  years in order to meet the criteria for future full membership in the EU, some of the most current issues are those related to the judiciary, human rights, the fight against crime and corruption, etc. The fight against corruption is specifically emphasized as an important part of Chapter 23: Judiciary and Fundamental Rights – one of the key chapters relevant to assessing progress in the European integration process of our country. In the European Commissions Progress Report of 17.4.2018 for North Macedonia, in the context of the area of ​​anti-corruption, among other things, the assessments are noted as modest and it was emphasized that judgments about high-corruption cases are still pending. In the meantime, in the Republic of North Macedonia a new Law on Prevention of Corruption and Conflict of Interest was adopted. The period from its adoption is a great opportunity to primarily give initial assessments for the implementation of the new legal solutions. The way in which the new Anti-Corruption Commission was formed means a completely new model in the selection of its members and its work performed to date a-priori suggests that things are moving in a positive direction. However, it is also important to note that changes were made to the Criminal Code in some incriminations, which unfortunately reflected more political than a legal context and, ironically, they had a certain impact on corruption criminal offenses. Hence, the dilemma arises whether such inconsistency in reforming the criminal legislation means a step forward
    to approximation to the EU standards or a step back in building confidence in the institutions of the system. Regarding the GRECO`s recommendations, that are very relevant to this topic and
    their implementation in the national legislation, it has to be stressed that from the last round of evaluation (the 4th round) the implementation does not follow the intended pace and there is still a lot of work to be done to fully implement the report. In this context, we would add that the situation is even more complicated by taking into account the recommendations of the 5th round of evaluation that are still not available to the public.

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  • All day
    2019.06.07

    Ilindenska 335, Tetovo

    Ilindenska 335, Tetovo

    The Macedonian society is passing through deep security sector reforms. Some of them are underway, but more structural steps should follow. The Ministry of Interior is playing the key role in the Chapter 24. However, MoI is in process of deep reform. Currently, the Counter Intelligence Department (DBK), which is part of the MoI, is subject of the new law: Agency for National Security (ANS), and starting from 2019 this Agency should be separated from the Ministry. The expected result is to exist as independent Legal person, to be more professional, to be more service oriented and to be properly over sighted through the democratic methods. The draft law clarifies that the employees of the ANS should be selected by the MoI/DBK, through the
    process of vetting. Vetting is foreseen as a filtration process which should separate the professionals versus the deviation made by the law enforcement staff (and other state officials). The intention is the current employees in DBK who will pass the vetting, to be contracted in the ANS. For those, who’ll not pass the criteria, to face disconnection of their working contract. Vetting is also announced by the Minister of Interior for the employees in the MoI, as well. This is the challenging issue in the society. The process of vetting is very healthy for the MoI and other state institutions with Law Enforcement staff, which suffer with lack of confidence by the public. On the other side, the concept of vetting is some kind of mistery, even for the academic community in the country. More public debates on this issue are necessary. The MoI initiate the next WS of the WG 4 (7 th of Jun, 2019) to bring this issue in the focus of the National convent. The WG 4 and the project management will appreciate if the Slovak authorities could help in identifying the knowledgably person from Slovak MoI or other state institutions who will share Slovak experience regarding the similar selection process.

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  • All day
    2019.06.18

    Mitropolit Teodosij Gologanov 45

    Mitropolit Teodosij Gologanov 45

    The development of rural areas is key for keeping the rural population in their domicile. Agriculture is the main activity and employer  in rural areas in the country, but there is growing need for on and off farm diversification of rural activities, to provide more and better job opportunities. The quality of life in rural areas is often hindered by lack of basic infrastructure (physical – in term of waterworks, sewage, roads, transport, but also availability and quality of health services, daycare/elderly care services, social life, culture, entertainment etc).  The EU CAP recognizes the crucial importance of keeping rural areas vibrant and animating local stakeholders. The second pillar of the CAP, the EU’s rural development policy is specifically designed to support rural areas of the Union and meet the wide range of economic, environmental and societal challenges. The Rural Development Regulation sets out a bottom-up local development approach pursued by local stakeholders (the LEADER approach). Functional Local Action Groups (LAGs) and their Local Development Strategies, are the key in the context of LEADER approach as basis for its further implementation. In our country, there are dozen (pre)LAGs that were recently established and work on their strategies. Currently there is a policy measure that provides some (minimal) funding for them, but LEADER will be introduced as one of the new measures within IPARD II program. Hence expectations are high, but also there is need for better understanding and capacity building for using the LAGs/LEADER potential, both on strategic and operational level. In that respect, during the fifth Working Session, the accent will be put on the role of local actors (and local development initiatives) in the rural areas development. Further focus will be on the need of increasing rural communities’ absorption capacity in terms for new knowledge and experiences, possibilities to foster and encourage rural development and mobilising local stakeholders, in line with the EU policy. Learning and hearing about the Slovak experience in this regard (for e.g. LAG functioning and the use of LEADER) would be very valuable. In the working session, we plan as usual to invite the relevant stakeholders (policy makers, farmers, CSOs etc). We also plan to invite the President of the Rural Development Network and representatives of the Macedonian (pre)LAGs.

19202122
2324252627
  • All day
    2019.06.27

    According to EU Directive (COM/2017/0253 final – 2017/085 (COD) adopted on 21th June 2018 the Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carrier, became a first legislative in the context of European Pillar of Social Rights. The 5 th session of WG 2- Social Policy and Employment, of NKEU-MK, will stress some of questions related to general objectives of this Directive:

    • Boosting the take-up of family-related leave by men, which will help increase female labour market participation. Creating conditions for achieving equal opportunities for men and women and reducing the gender gap in the implementation of family responsibilities. The working ambience, as well as the family environment, still supports the traditional division of family roles. Women, as show statistical data, is pre – arranged with their family responsibilities for a long time, while working hours are significantly shortened.
    • Government to provide financial support for the implementation of the Law on Prevention and Fighting Discrimination (reduction of the gender pay gap, elimination of the political principles for building a career – especially).
    • Flexibility of the work process, adjustment of work duties according to individual or family dynamics.
    • Control and regulation of working hours and the introduction of &quot;healthy working hours and prevention of long-term working hours and night work, the European Union Working Time Directive (93/104 / EC). Preventing unsocial working hours (night shifts, weekend work). In Macedonia, already 2015-2018 a National decent work program is within the framework of the ILO guidelines. Affirmation of the practice to reducing the legal working hours (Recommendation for reducing working hours (P116: ILO) ILO Convention on Workers with Family Responsibilities, 1981 (No. 156).
    • Reducing the Informal Employment (Strategy for Formalization of the Informal Economy in the Republic of Macedonia, 2018-2022) Law on Prohibition and Prevention of Unregistered Activity, 2014. An important issue here is how to establish control by the inspection bodies. It would be good to share certain European practices.
    • Apart from strengthening the role of institutions, especially the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, the issue of new institutions (which may exist in the EU) may also be asked to effectively regulate this matter.
    • Preparations for the use of the European Social Fund – strengthening the capacities for effective use of these funds.
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