Democracy and Rule of Law: MATRA project - Support to improvement of the implementation of mediation in Macedonia

MATRA project "Support to improvement of the implementation of mediation in Macedonia" was funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Skopje, and implemented by the European Policy Institute in Skopje in partnership with T.S.M. Asser Institute in The Hague, Netherlands. During implementation EPI was in close cooperation with the Centre for Conflict management (CVC) of the Netherlands.

The project aimed to contribute to the improvement of the implementation of mediation in civil and commercial disputes in the country.

Among the expectations of the project was creation of a solid and comprehensive framework for the implementation of mediation in Macedonia, based on an objective assessment of existing conditions. The final effect expected was creating normative and institutional environment conducive to sustainable development of mediation in Macedonia, resulting in an increased number of cases of mediation.

Such result of the project should have a broader impact particularly on judicial reform - reducing the burden on the courts and the backlog of cases, which in turn should have a positive impact on other priority sectors, such as private sector development.

The project was created and established in cooperation with the involved institutions and stakeholders in order to best meet their needs. Ministry of Justice, the Chamber of mediators, Supreme Court, Civil Court, Basic Court Skopje II and the Academy for training of judges and public prosecutors were involved through their representatives in the Coordinative Body, to ensure ownership of the project and a link to the decision making levels and ensuring sustainability.

In the medium term, the mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation, provide a consistent framework for promotion of mediation

Project activities and results were approved by the Ministry of Justice and the Government and included in the Action Plan for monitoring the progress report of the European Commission / National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis (NPAA).

Project activities focused on clearly defining the responsibilities of training institutions, provide sustainable training system, in which the role of each institution should be clear and respected. A list of trainers for mediation of mediators and judges was developed and the training programs for mediation were revised. Through the project the country is in the process of quality system mediators in Macedonia.

It is excepted that the methods of coordination and cooperation between the institutions that emerged during the project to be undertaken and institutionalized by the Ministry of Justice. Secured property, established institutional mechanisms together with strengthened capacity of the institutions involved are expected to provide a solid foundation for sustainability of project results.