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Shaking Things Up in North Macedonia's Government: A Buzz Interview with Angela Andonova of Lalicic & Boskoski

Shaking Things Up in North Macedonia's Government: A Buzz Interview with Angela Andonova of Lalicic & Boskoski

North Macedonia
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The recent elections in North Macedonia marked a shift in government, as reported by Lalicic & Boskoski Partner Angela Andonova, with the transition including the establishment of new ministries and a restructuring of current ones, setting the stage for upcoming legislative actions.

"Recently, in May 2024, elections were held in North Macedonia," Andonova begins. "Following the pre-election quiet period, there was a significant shift in government. The party that had previously been in opposition won the election and took over the reins of government."

Andonova highlights that on June 8, the first law was adopted since the change of government. "The parliament passed new amendments to the Law on the Organization and Work of the State Administration Bodies, introducing significant changes with the establishment of four entirely new ministries. This marks the seventh amendment to the law, arguably the most substantial one yet, as it alters the current operational framework. With the addition of these four new ministries, the total count now stands at 20."

These new ministries, according to Andonova, "include those dedicated to 1) energy, mining, and mineral resources, 2) digital transformation, 3) public administration, and 4) sports. The most notable changes are observed within the Ministry of Economy, which now excludes the area of energy law and mineral resources."

Additionally, the changes propose merging the labor sector, which has been part of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, with the Ministry of Economy.

Furthermore, "the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy has undergone restructuring, transforming into the Ministry of Social Policy, Demography, and Youth, aimed at retaining and repatriating North Macedonian youth and professionals working abroad," Andonova reports. Additionally, the previous agency for youth and sports will cease operations, and a separate Ministry of Sports will be introduced. Andonova also highlights that "the Secretariat for EU Affairs is transformed into the Ministry of European Affairs."

Andonova stresses that the changes are quite substantive: "The Ministry of Economy, previously bore responsibilities spanning various sectors, many of which have now been reallocated – for instance, tourism has shifted to the Ministry of Culture, resulting in the establishment of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Moreover, the anticipated scope of the Ministry of Mining and Resources is substantial, as the Ministry of Economy was previously burdened with numerous responsibilities, including those related to this sector."

These changes, according to Andonova, "are intended to streamline operations, clarify responsibilities, and establish a more efficient administrative structure. However, the practical implications of these changes are yet to be fully realized and remain somewhat ambiguous." Andonova underlines that "the appointment of new ministers is still pending and expected to occur within the next two months."

Currently, Andonova says, "progress is slow due to the recent elections, leading to the delay of significant changes. Expectations are high for the introduction of new laws soon. However, the operational details remain uncertain. Typically, when a new government comes into power, there’s a tendency to revise the legislative framework, especially given the focus on retaining young people in the country to address immigration issues."

Finally, Andonova says that in the past few months, deal-making has slowed down as a result of the elections. "Regarding transactions, there hasn’t been much movement. While there are signs of activity picking up, it’s happening slowly."

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