Shadow report for Chapter 23 for the period between April 2020 and September 2021

This shadow report brings together in a single coherent whole all the findings, conclusions and recommendations that have emerged from the monitoring of the areas contained in Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights. This is the sixth such report published by the European Policy Institute – Skopje (EPI), taking into account the comments and opinions of NGOs. The previous four reports covered the following periods: October 2014 – July 2015, July 2015 – April 2016, May 2016 – January 2018 and June 2018 – March 2019, April 2019 – March 2020.

The report covers the period from the beginning of April 2020 until the end of September 2021. The report presents data that are relevant before April 2019, if they were needed for contextualization or clarification of the novelties of the current reporting period, and which are relevant for the reporting period. The reporting period corresponds to the reporting period of the European Commission (EC) for the Republic of North Macedonia (RNM, North Macedonia).

This report follows the structure of Chapter 23, in line with the EC report. At the end of each area, we have singled out in a frame the recommendations and the main conclusions.

During the reporting period, the country faced a veto from Bulgaria, opposing the draft negotiating framework with North Macedonia and no compromise was reached on opening the first intergovernmental conference. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic a state of emergency was declared and the early parliamentary elections were postponed. This put to the test the institutions that in this extremely dynamic period had to deal with the crisis caused by the pandemic, and put the health of citizens foreground, and at the same time continue with other reforms.

This shadow report was prepared as part of an institutional grant from the European Policy Institute funded under the CIVICA Mobilitas Program.

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