Deregulation initiatives in North Macedonia could have a negative impact on the rule of law

by Cristian Florescu

VIENNA – Without transparency and deep consultations with stakeholders, some government measures for liberalisation and “more economic freedom” could have a negative impact on the fulfilling of the criteria from the area of Chapters 23 and 24 in the EU accession process of North Macedonia, it was concluded in the Policy Brief “The Controversy of ‘more (economic) freedom’. Can liberalisation in North Macedonia cause more problems than benefits?“, published within the “WB2EU Network”, write

The authors explained that the Macedonian government has tried to push for three policies that are designed to have a massive impact on the existing state of rule of law and justice in the country, with a potential effect on the European integration process and law enforcement in the region.

In the Policy Brief, the authors argued that public institutions lack the capacity to successfully manage all changes at once.

According to the authors, the combination of all three policies raises serious concerns regarding equality of citizens and amending the legislation to fit narrow interests, at the expense of law enforcement, which can impact how successfully the country is reforming in line with Chapters 23 and 24 of the acquis communitaire. 

The authors recommended that the Macedonian government take a step back, enter into deep consultations with stakeholders, and make clear distinctions within the proposal for legalisation of illegally constructed buildings.

The policy brief is published in the framework of the WB2EU Project, which aims at the establishment of a network of renowned think-thanks, universities, higher education institutes, and policy centres in the Western Balkans, neighbouring countries, and EU member states that will be most decisive for the enlargement process and Europeanisation of the region in the upcoming years.

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