NORTH MACEDONIA: EU Support for Rule of Law in North Macedonia
About the Project
Project Topic & Roadmap
Following the political crisis in 2017, the subsequent formation of a new government and the resulting stabilisation and structural development of the country, the EU General Affairs Council decided to open accession negotiations with Northern Macedonia in March 2020. New priorities have been set in order to align existing laws and future legislation with EU standards. In particular, reforms were targeted in the judicial system, public administration and human rights institutions.
The five-year project of the Agency for European Integration and Development (Austria) in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Austria, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Croatia and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights (LBI-GMR) (programme line “Rule of Law and Public Sector Reform”) started in 2021 and aims to support Northern Macedonia on its way into the EU. It builds on the revised concept “Enhancing the accession process – A credible EU perspective for the Western Balkans” approved by the Commission in February 2020. The project covers the justice sector, law enforcement, the fight against corruption and the protection of human rights.
The project is divided into four specific components that are interlinked and include a variety of activities:
- enhancing the capacity of justice institutions to ensure transparency and accountability of the justice system
- capacity building of effective applications of modern investigative techniques in the fight against organised crime
- promoting the prevention of and fight against corruption
- strengthening the protection of fundamental rights
The contribution of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights (LBI-GMR) focuses on the fourth component. Dr. Dieter Schindlauer, associated expert of the institute, steers the implementation as component leader on site in Skopje. The component addresses issues such as the prevention of gender-based violence and discrimination, strengthening children’s rights and the child protection system, and raising awareness of the importance and role of human rights bodies and institutions. The project also aims to strengthen respect for human rights in the justice and home affairs ministries and in the probation system, and to promote the improvement of alternatives to detention.
The project will support the justice sector in Northern Macedonia in the form of advice, monitoring and management support for the further development of information and communication technologies. In addition, the specific challenges of ensuring access to justice for citizens are analysed and assistance is provided in the fight against organised crime. Strategic support to the State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (SCPC) also plays a role. In addition, capacities within the main human rights institutions are also promoted.
- Project Title: NORTH MACEDONIA: EU Support for the Rule of Law in Northern Macedonia
- Project Consortium: Agency for European Integration and Development (Austria), Federal Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Austria, Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Croatia, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights (Austria)
- Project Team LBI-GMR: Agnes Taibl
- Project Duration: January 2021 to January 2026
- Funding Sources: European Commission – European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
- Programme Line LBI-GMR: Rule of Law and Public Sector Reform