19 May 2021 by Ludwig Boltzmann

Visibility-Event of the IPA-Projcet „EU Support for Rule of Law in North Macedonia”

The visibility event of the EU-financed IPA-project took place on May 19th, 2021, and was held online. Ms Mojca Kuzmički, team leader of the project, welcomed all the participants. Afterwards, Ms Věra Jourová from the EU-delegation took over and emphasized the importance of keeping up the reform momentum in Northern Macedonia. The goals of the project are reforms of the juridical sector and the fight against corruption, organized crime and terrorism in order to work towards the key priority, the EU-accession of Northern Macedonia.
In continuation, the Northern Macedonian Minister of Justice Mr Bojan Marichikj and Minister of Interior Mr Oliver Spasovksi took the opportunity to thank the EU and the participating institutions and promised full cooperation in the upcoming projects. Ms Heidrun Zanetta from the Agency for European Integration and Economic Development was represented by Ms Marcela Skobalj who emphasized that North Macedonia has already been showing a great engagement in the project.

Following, the different components were presented in detail by the respective component leader. Mr Uroš Matijašević (Croatian Ministry of Interior) spoke on behalf of his team regarding the first component whose goal is improving the capacities of justice institutions to deliver justice in a transparent and accountable manner. Furthermore, Mr Günther Bechtloff (Austrian Ministry of Justice) is in charge of the second component looking to enforce efforts in the fight against organized crime and terrorism. The third component is on the fight against corruption and the responsibility of Ms Lena Andersson, an anti-corruption expert from Sweden with a lot of experience in the region.

For the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Fundamental and Human Rights Mr Dieter Schindlauer was assigned as component leader of component 4. The goal is to establish a robust human rights culture in Northern Macedonia and to make clear that human rights are no luxury, but on the contrary the foundation for all decision-making. The goal is to create awareness on human rights and to implement a human rights approach in all disciplines. Certain specific aspects of human rights to be tackled are children rights, prevention and response to gender-based violence and discrimination and the support of probation as alternative measure to imprisonment.
In addition, the North Macedonian Ombudsman Mr Naser Ziberi and Ms Vesna Bendevska, the president of the Commission for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination, spoke as beneficiaries in this component. They both stressed that human rights were of particular importance in this process for freedom and affirmed their support. In the following discussion, Lena Andersson emphasized that she was particularly enthusiastic to connect the anti-corruption measures with the human rights work. This approach is unique to the project since usually these two components are regarded separately, so the Swedish specialist.

In conclusion, the team leader of the project Ms Mojca Kuzmički thanked all the participants of the 5-year-project. She was looking forward to the cooperation and pointed out that in the end the expected results were not only for the benefit of North Macedonia but for the entire European Union.

Please find further information here. The agenda of the event can be found in the download section of this article.