CRPM @ “Mobility and Emigration of Experts: personal and social gains and losses”

A cartoon on brain drain by our regular contributor, Petar Jankov – click on the image for full size

On November 26, 2010, in the Palace of Serbia in Belgrade, the Group 484, in cooperation with the Institute for Educational Research and the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, hosted a regional conference “Mobility and Emigration of Experts: personal and social gains and losses”. Read More »

Difficult Issues Concerning the Implementation of the Ohrid Agreement in the Public Sector: Equitable and Just Representation of Citizens

by Zidas Daskalovski, PhD
Center for Research and Policy Making, Skopje

The following text is an excerpt from Daskalovski, Zidas. “Achieving Equal Representation of Ethnic Minorities in Public Administration in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” in United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Innovations in Governance in the Middle East, North Africa, and Western Balkans (New York: United Nations, 2007). It aims to contribute to the ongoing debate in the Macedonian public regarding the proportional representations in the public university [Links: 1, 2, 3]

With the reforms of the public administration under the principle of equitable representation Macedonian authorities implement the concept of affirmative action generally referred to in international law as “special measures.” In the concluding section we shall theoretically discuss this concept and point to related difficult areas that can affect the Macedonian democratic consolidation. In particular, we shall outline the potential limitations and dangers of the implementing of the provisions of the Ohrid Framework Agreement aimed at equitable representation of the members of the non-majority communities for the Macedonian policy makers. Doing so, we shall recapture the basic ideas concerning the need for just inter-ethnic relations and a special care of the interests and the status of the minority population in a liberal-democratic society.
Read More »

General attitudes of the Macedonian public: a survey

In the period 23 October to 28 October 2010, the Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) conducted a national telephone survey as part of the research project “Mapping the leaders in Macedonia and Albania: elite potential for promoting positive social change”, supported by the Regional Research Promotion Programme for the Western Balkans.

The survey was carried on a stratified representative sample of 1094 respondents nationwide and included 24 questions relevant to the research. The results will be used primarily to compare the popular opinion to the attitudes of the elite regarding important social issues.

The questions were set in the form of affirmative or negative claim. The respondents were asked to express the level of accordance with the proposed claims, with possible answers on a five point rating scale: strongly disagree, disagree, neutral / no opinion, agree, strongly agree.

The questions were grouped in six themes: a) interethnic relations / nationalism /multiculturalism; b) individual freedoms and liberties; c) gender issues; d) social welfare; e) perception of the elites in the past and in the present; and f) perception of the communist past.

The full report can be found below. You can download it in PDF from the Scribd page.

Report on the phone survey on the general attitudes of the Macedonian public

Индекс на буџетската транспарентност – известување и реакција


Според резултатите од светското истражување „Индекс на буџетска транспарентност“, на буџетската транспаретност во Македонија за 2010 и се дадени 49%, од можни 100% транспарентност, што земјата ја става во категоријата на земји каде Владите сепак и обезбедуваат на јавноста информации во врска со владиниот буџет и финансиските активности.

Овој резултат е повисок од просечниот резултат од сите 94 земји опфатени со истражувањето кој е 42%, но понизок од просекот на резултати од Балканските земји од кои највисока оцена има Словенија и тоа со 70% буџетска транспарентност.

Во извештајот за буџетската транспаретност се забележува дека предлог Буџетот на владата и придружните документи не се доволно јасни, не постои Пред-буџетска изјава, не постои Граѓански буџет, ниту резиме на Буџетот (најчесто се користи експозето на Министерот за финансии). Кварталниот извештај има сериозни недостатоци, а Крајниот годишен извештај е недоволно исцрпен затоа што не презентираат моментален јавен долг. Позитивните забелешки се однесуваат на сеопфатниот Ревизорски извештај, деталната Годишна сметка и сеопфатноста на донесениот буџет.

Препораките од извештајот се базираат на три клучни поенти: отпочнување со пракса на правење и циркулирање до Парламентот и јавноста на Пред-буџетска изјава и Граѓански буџет, зголемување на сеопфатноста на Владиниот предлог буџет, Кварталниот извештај и Годишниот извештај (преку вклучување на моменталниот јавен долг во буџетоти завршната сметка), како и поголемо вклучување на јавноста во буџетските расправи во Собранието.

Центарот за истражување и креирање политики е по втор пат партнер на Меѓународното буџетско партнерство во изработката на оваа студија за Република Македонија. Истражувањето се спроведуца во 94 земји. Само 7 земји објавуваат детални информации во врска со буџетот, додека 40 не објавуваат значајни информации за буџетот. Без овие информации, на јавноста и надзорните институции им е тешко да ја држат владата одговорна за трошењето на јавни средства.

РЕАКЦИЈА НА ЗАБЕЛЕШКИТЕ ОД МИНИСТЕРСТВОТО ЗА ФИНАНСИИ

Индексот на отвореност на буџетите е меѓународна студија која се подготвува од страна на Меѓународнотo Пaртнерство за Буџети (International Budget Partnership) за 94 земји од светот следејќи иста методологија. Таа има за цел да го подобри доброто владеење. Студијата ги оценува пристапот до информации за буџетскиот процес и можноста граѓаните да ја држат Владата одговорна. Информациите ги црпи од праксата и го оценува Буџетскиот процес, самиот буџетски документ и сите придружни документи (Фискална стратегија, Макроекономска политика, полугодишен извештај, завршна сметка, ревизорски извештај и сл.) Не оценува само како е транпарентноста регулирана со Законот за буџети туку како се спроведува во пракса.

Падот на оценката за Македонија во 2010 (се однесува на буџетскиот процес во 2009та година) од 5% се должи на необјавувањето на Резимето на Буџетот. Во Македонија, согласно на методологијата на проектот, за резиме се смета Експозето на Министерот за финансии. Овој придружен документ на буџетот редовно се објавувал (што резултатите на Индексот за 2008 год. го покажуваат), но за 2009та година истиот недостасува.

Го потсетуваме Министерството за финансии дека иако Законот за Буџети е усогласен со ЕУ и меѓународните стандарди во пракса во Македонија сеуште не се произведуваат Пред-буџетска изјава и Граѓански буџет, два документи кои се препорачани од ОЕЦД и ММФ како практики кои особено овозможуваат добро владеење, транспарентност и пристапност на буџетските информации до јавноста. Притоа препорачуваме МФ да погледне во работењето на Град Скопје кое успева трета година по ред да објави Граѓански буџет.

Исто така го потсетуваме Министерството за финансии дека од 2009та година сите земји членки на Европската Унија и аспиранти за членство треба задолжително да објавуваат програмски буџет. За жал констатираме дека Буџетот на Република Македонија за 2009та година (кој студијата го оценува) е линиски.

Конечно, Министерството за финансии имаше можност да се информира за сите овие слабости четири месеци пред да биде објавен извештајот, на консултативната средба одржана на 10.06.2010 во Скопје, на која не присуствуваа, а беа уредно поканети. Што не беше случај со останатите креатори на буџетската политика како Собранието на РМ, Државниот завод за ревизија и невладиниот сектор.

Links
OBI Macedonia 2010 [English]
Индекс на буџетска транспарентност [македонски]

Promotion of the “Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia”

The Center for Research and Policy Making invites you to the promotion of the “Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia” by Dimitar Bechev. Bechev has obtained his doctoral degree in International Relations from the University of Oxford and currently is a Head of the Sofia office of the European Council on Foreign Relations. He is one of the most leading scholars on Southeast Europe, the Mediterranean and the foreign affairs of the European Union.

Time: 11 AM, October 20, 2010

Location: Hotel “Turist Best-Western”, Skopje [near the Mother Theresa memorial]

The introductory speaker will be Anastas Vangeli from the Center for Research and Policy Making, who holds a master degree in Nationalism Studies at the Central European University.

Links:

  • “Historical dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia” on Amazon
  • Dimitar Bechev’s biography at ECFR
  • Interview with Bechev on the Historical Dictionary, by Anastas Vangeli, published in Globus weekly magazine [in Macedonian only]

The frustration of lustration

[Policy.mk regularly publishes cartoons by Petar Jankov, a former musician and a renowned Macedonian cartoon artist.]

After continual postponing, Macedonia has finally commenced the lustration process, an issue that sparks heated political debates. The impression so far is that the lustration is not immune to politicizing and that it has realistic chances for turning into another issue of discord that can divide the nation. Additionally, the derision and public condemnation of certain individuals on shaky legal grounds does not work in favor of improving the rule of law and promoting democratic values in the country. Finally, it seems that Macedonian authorities have forgotten about the actual violators of human rights, while obsessing with the so called “snitches” of the communist secret police.

[click on the image for full size]

Cartoon: Oh, the Macedonia Naming Issue

[Policy.mk regularly publishes cartoons by Petar Jankov, a former musician and a renowned Macedonian cartoon artist.]

Much has been written about the Macedonian naming dispute. We propose this entry by CRPM’s president Zhidas Daskalvoski for a comprehensive overview of the dispute.

This week’s cartoon is inspired by the awkward reality Macedonia faces: the necessity of achieving a compromise for the name, has become an inevitable factor for its Euro-Atlantic integration.

[click on the image for full size]

Cartoon: Tons of Bronze and Marble on the top of Macedonia’s Tower of Cards

[Policy.mk regularly publishes cartoons by Petar Jankov, a former musician and a renowned Macedonian cartoon artist.]

The Macedonian government did not waste any time after the promotion of the plan to revamp Skopje’s metropolitan area. So far, Skopje has welcome a several monuments (couple of equestrians, two pairs of lions, several historic figures), baroque and ancient style buildings are under construction, as well as a couple of new bridges on the Vardar river.

The project has attracted the attention of both the domestic and foreign public. It has caused outrage among the ones who perceive it as irresponsible squandering of money in a time of crises, as well as the ones who perceive it as anachronistic and unaesthetic, and the ones who see it as an identitarian policy that is materializing nationalist sentiments in the fragile Macedonian multiculturalist setting. On another note, it is a source of pride among the ones who see it as “an effort to make Skopje look like a capital, at last” and as an investment into the tourist potential of the city.

However, having in mind that the project has not only politically divided the society and potentially harmed the balance between the major ethnic communities, it has also brought negative points on the international record of the country. The colossal monument of Alexander the Great, projected as a “cherry on the top” of the project, will definitely cause even more controversy, having in mind the conflict with Greece. What is very certain is, that the symolic load of the whole project, at the end, might turn out to be too heavy for the Macedonian society to safely bear it.

[click on the picture for full size]

Cartoon: Grey economy

[Policy.mk regularly publishes cartoons by Petar Jankov, a former musician and a renowned Macedonian cartoon artist.]

One old pain of the Macedonian economy is the so called “grey economy”. The expression “grey” refers primarily to the illegal employment, or the work outside regulations. Some people say that the expression itself is a local euphemism for black economy.

Nevertheless, in the recent past, studies showed that hundreds of millions of Euros and important share of the country’s GDP . Of course, the estimations are that the situation is far worse – some say at least half of the economy in the country is “grey”.

[click on the image for full size]

What Is in a Name? The Macedonian Issue at Hand

[by Zhidas Daskalovski, PhD, CRPM President, originally published in European Union Foreign Affairs Journal, N 1/2010 (March 2010)]

In October, 2009, the European Commission recommended opening negotiations for membership with Macedonia, the southernmost for-mer Yugoslav republic. As at the 2008 NATO Summit in Bucharest NATO leaders refused Macedonia an invitation to join the alliance after Greece de facto vetoed the decision in a dispute over the repub-lic‘s name, it is not clear when, or if, EU membership negotiations would start. The NATO blockade was made although Greece was obliged by the Interim Agreement signed with Macedonia under the auspices of the UN in 1995 not to block the admission of its northern neighbor to international organizations if it was to apply under the temporary reference used within the UN. The basic dispute between the Greeks and Macedonians concerns which nation may properly use the term ―Macedonia.‖ In a dubious legal procedure Macedonia was admitted to UN membership in April 1993 by the General Assembly Resolution 47/225 (1993), under the provision that it be “provisionally referred to for all purposes within the United Nations as the former Yugos-lav Republic of Macedonia, pending settlement of the difference that has arisen over the name of the State.” Macedonian governments have since committed to adhere to a UN process to discuss a possible solution to the “name dispute‖ although the additional conditions related to the name of the state constitute violations of the Article 4(1) of the UN Charter as interpreted by the Advisory opinion of ICJ, of 28 May, 1948, accepted by the General Assembly Resolu-tion 197/III of 1948).
The U.N. negotiator, Matthew Nimetz, is trying to reach an agreement and has made various recommendations to the parties involved. Athens insists Macedonia add a ‗qualifier‘ to its constitutional name to differentiate the country from the northern province of Greece bearing the same name. To most Greeks the use of the term ―Macedonia‖ – the name of an ancient kingdom ruled most famously by Alexander the Great and encompassing most of the Helle-nistic world – violates the national narrative of Greece and seems to imply an entitlement to the entire legacy (and even geography) of historic Macedonia. The Greeks feel their identity and historical and cultural legitimacy is questioned. Macedonians argue that the right to eth-nicity, nationality and to identity is a fundamental principle of international law, a central te-net of the international order. Macedonian citizens instinctively know what is at stake, a ma-jority consistently opting against changes of the name even if NATO membership is at stake at various polls conducted since 2008.
For Macedonia, the very future of the republic is dependent on successfully resolving this issue as the local Albanians might become restive watching the state of Albania, already a member of NATO, move forward with European integration. If the EU sides with the Greek position it will amount to declaring the Copenhagen Criteria are not important for the acces-sion of Macedonia to EU, that the most important factor is an additional criterion that has nothing to do with democracy or rule of law. The public opinion will turn against EU. Natio-nalism and ethnocentrism will be on the rise. As a result this or any subsequent Macedonian government will not have much incentive to continue the needed reforms. On the other hand, the leverage of EU on Macedonian politics will decrease. What is more important, the possi-bilities for further soft mediation of Macedonian-Albanian political disputes will diminish. Macedonian nationalism will grow but so will the ethnic Albanian one. Radicals among the Albanians have anyways been encouraged by the recent declaration and recognition of Koso-vo‘s independence. Supporting the Greek position signals to nationalists around the Balkans that Macedonia is not yet a ―normal‖ country, a state that has a secure and prosperous future in the EU. With Kosovo‘s independence, Bosnia-Herzegovina‘s problems and Serbia‘s objec-tions already complicating Balkan realities the EU does not need another crisis. Macedonian stability, which brought this country a remarkable freedom of press, is crucial as any new con-flict there could cause a wider conflict including Bulgaria, Turkey, and Albania.