Shadow report on Chapter 23 for the period October 2021 – September 2022
This Shadow Report streamlines in a coherent unity all findings, conclusions and recommendations that resulted from monitoring in the areas covered by Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights. This is the seventh such report published by the European Policy Institute (EPI) – Skopje, taking into account comments and opinions of non-governmental organizations. The previous six Reports covered the following periods: October 2014 – July 2015, July 2015 – April 2016, May 2016 – January 2018, June 2018 – March 2019, April 2019 – March 2020 and April 2020 – September 2021. This Report covers the period from the beginning of October 2021 to the end of September 2022. The Report presents data that are relevant even before October 2021, if they were needed for contextualization or clarification of news in the current reporting period, and which are relevant for the reporting period. The reporting period covered by this Report corresponds with the reporting period of the European Commission (EC) for the Republic of North Macedonia. This Report follows the structure of Chapter 23, in pursuance with the EC Report. At the end of each area, recommendations and main conclusions are highlighted in a separate framework.
During the reporting period, the country started accession negotiations with the European Union, after the lifting of the Bulgarian blockade and after the acceptance of the “French proposal”, accompanied by the adoption of the negotiation framework. Subsequently, on 27 September 2022, the explanatory meeting for Chapter 23 “Justice and fundamental rights” was held in Brussels, concluding the explanatory screening for the first cluster, “Fundamentals”. The bilateral screening under Chapter 23 took place on 1-2 December 2022, when North Macedonia presented the degree of compliance with EU acquis, the institutional set-up for implementing harmonized laws, plans for further compliance, building institutional and administrative capacities, as well as the necessary human, financial and IT resources for the implementation of European standards. In the next period, it will be necessary to undertake visible activities that will produce measurable results.
This Report was prepared within the framework of the project “Building bridges for a common future: The rule of law in view EU accession”. The project is financed by the European Union and aims to help design sustainable reforms of the rule of law in view of accession to the European Union.