Towards a fairer and more efficient property tax system: Analysis of Skopje’s tax administration (2018)
Тhe analysis provides an overview of the European state of play, trends and best practices related to property taxes, along with a detailed overview of the state of play in Macedonia, with a focus on the tax administration in the City of Skopje. The research was conducted with the aim to provide recommendations for advancing the fairness and quality of the administration of the property tax, the property transfer tax and the property inheritance and gift tax.
Among others, the analysis covers the following areas: method of assessment of properties’ market value, providing timely and understandable information to the citizens regarding tax procedures, tax collection (including possibilities for overview and payment through e-tax platforms), complaint procedures, as well as tax incentives and exemptions. The information contained herein derives from a citizen survey in Skopje, desk research and analysis and meetings with representatives of institutions and experts in the field.
Justice sector reforms in Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia: Comparative analysis of measures (2017)
This paper presents a regional comparative analysis of the justice sector reform measures in Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, along with concrete recommendations for further steps in the reform processes, and positive examples that could be shared and replicated across the countries. The aim of this comparative analysis is to provide an overview of the main reform measures envisaged in the justice sector reform strategies in the three countries.
The comparative analysis compares the reform measures and approaches in four strategic areas: efficiency; quality; independence and impartiality; and accountability. It contains an overview about the extent to which the national strategies or draft strategies point out that a specific challenge in the aforementioned areas exists and should be addressed. Furthermore, it focuses on the reform measures and activities, i.e. whether the strategic documents envisage concrete measures for tackling the noted issues, and whether these measures are adequate, relevant and justified. Where applicable, the analysis also offers an overview of the achieved results and tangible progress in meeting the envisaged goals of the reforms.
Coordinative mechanisms for development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the justice sector reforms (2016)
This publication provides an overview on the key inter-institutional platforms for development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the justice sector reforms in Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Croatia, and then compares and assesses the bodies for implementation of the justice sector strategies in accordance with the following six aspects:
- Competences of the bodies for implementation of the justice sector reform strategies;
- Composition of the bodies;
- Appointment and term of the members, as well as organization of the bodies;
- Working procedures of the bodies;
- Monitoring, evaluation and reporting on the implementation of the strategies;
- Strategic planning and justice sector reforms.
This analysis provides guidance on further development of the Council for justice sector reform in Macedonia, based on the regional experiences. By preparing this paper, the Association Zenith, with generous support from the Macedonian office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, aims to provide professional contribution to more successful implementation of the future and long-awaited justice sector reform strategy in Macedonia.
Report from the consultation on priorities for the Public Administration Reform Strategy 2017–2022 (2016)
This reports summarizes the views of the participants in the consultations which were given in person or by e-mail, including of 60 civil society representatives, higher education institutions and the business community which were all present at the event held in Skopje on June 30, 2016. The report was submitted to MIOA, to the experts from SIGMA which lead the process of preparation of the strategy, the Delegation of the European Union in Macedonia and other development partners. The elected representatives of the IPA 2 Mechanism, which are included in the thematic sub-groups for preparation of the strategy, will advocate these joint attitudes and views of the civil society. The report is segmented in six parts, which cover the five thematic areas of the Strategy, as well as the general issues regarding the management and coordination of the public administration reform.
Analytical report assessing Macedonia's Legal Alignment with the EU acquis in the Sphere of Independence, Impartiality, Professionalism and Efficiency of the Judicial System (2014)
This report is a résumé of a broader analysis with a complete and detailed analytical examination of the alignment with the standards set forth by the EU on independence, impartiality, professionalism and efficiency of the judiciary, as policy areas under chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental rights. In the absence of a formal screening process, it provides an overview of the level of alignment at the end of 2014, and a comprehensive list of recommendations for priority actions that the relevant institutions should take.
Increasing the efficiency of Macedonia’s and Montenegro’s Justice System: Introducing an Innovative EU Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism in the sphere of Administrative Law (2014)
The quality, transparency and efficiency of justice systems of EU candidate countries are important structural components for a sustainable track record in the area of rule of law and thus, are fundamental to the effective implementation of EU law. Accordingly, the paper aims to analyse Macedonia’s and Montenegro’s judicial performance monitoring and evaluation systems and initiate their alignment with innovative EU mechanism in this sphere. Additionally it seeks to compare and benchmark judicial performance and efficiency of administrative courts of the two countries’ with those of EU Member States.
Judicial Independence in Macedonia: How Effective is EU Rule of Law-Conditionality in the Accession Process? (2014)
This policy brief examines the effectiveness and appropriateness of European Commission’s approach in bolstering judicial independence in Macedonia. Consequently, it elaborates on how EU conditionality can be adapted to grasp the opportunity which arose with the introduction of the new approach in EU accession negotiations introduced in 2012, and influence deeply rooted and irreversible reforms in Macedonia in the realm of judicial independence.
Embedding rule of law in the enlargement process: A case for EU political conditionality in the accession of the western Balkan countries (2013)
The policy study sheds light on the EU political conditionality's application in the enlargement process, concentrating on instruments of benchmarking and monitoring, and examines whether they acted as a driver enabling the western Balkan countries to advance in the accession process. Identifying innovations and principles governing the process with Croatia and Montenegro, the study projects potential benchmarks which Macedonia could expect.
Accession of Macedonia to the European Union: Mapping of constitutional implications and options related to the political criteria (2014)
The policy study, endorsed by the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts and the Ministry of Justice of Macedonia, examines constitutional amendments implemented in the EU Member States, which, among other things, enabled the unhindered implementation of the Community acquis in the national legal system and defined its range in the legal hierarchy of the country. Based on this, the study defines options and provides recommendations for Macedonia.
Short analytical report assessing Macedonia's legal alignment with the EU acquis in the sphere of judicial cooperation in criminal matters: State of play and future steps (2013)
The report, endorsed by the Ministry of Justice of Macedonia, summarizes a wider assessment of Macedonia's legal alignment with the EU acquis on judicial cooperation in criminal matters, as a policy area under Chapter 24. In the absence of a formal screening process, it provides an overview of the level of alignment at the end of 2013, and lists recommendations for priority actions that the authorities should take.
Bolstering the Rule of Law in the EU Enlargement Process towards the Western Balkans (2013)
Developed by a Zenith visiting research fellow to the Netherlands Institute of International Relations "Clingendael", the Brief argues that the adoption of a new, rule of law centered enlargement strategy for the western Balkan would increase the credibility of the process and the potential for improving the accession countries' performance. However, it should not keep the prospect of EU membership at arm's length, as this would jeopardize the necessity to stabilize the western Balkan.
Mechanisms used by Macedonia's executive authorities to ensure stakeholders' participation in policy-making: Evaluation and recommendations (2012)
The paper presents existing mechanisms used by the executive authorities in Macedonia to ensure stakeholders' participation in policy-making at national level, provides a critical overview of their application, puts forward alternative solutions and assesses their impact on the basis of two criteria: feasibility and democratic approach.
The Association for Development Initiatives – Zenith is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit and non-partisan organization in Macedonia. Our mission is to examine, create and promote practices that foster development and democratic governance through:
- Developing and promoting democratic practices
- Аdvancing civil society
- Developing the legal and judicial system
- Reducing poverty, while fostering sustainable development, and
- Promoting corporate social responsibility
We work in partnership with individuals and organizations from Macedonia and abroad to research, establish and promote activities and practices of development and good governance that contribute to social progress and well-being. In doing so, we conduct research; organize educational activities and training; prepare seminars, discussions and debates; carry out publishing and advocacy activities. In our activities, we cooperate with the public, private and civil sector and individuals in accordance with our mission and objectives.
With our work, we seek to:
- Foster citizen participation in decision-making and in formulating public policies on national and on local level;
- Promote, evaluate and support the EU integration process;
- Enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of public institutions and their responsiveness;
- Strengthen the capacities for public policy design and implementation;
- Advance the responsibility and accountability of the public, private and civil sector to their stakeholders and the general public;
- Promote and protect human rights, and support the development of equitable legal and regulatory framework and its impartial application;
- Develop mechanisms and opportunities for all the social groups, and especially the vulnerable ones, to improve their wellbeing;
- Advocate for greater availability of information to citizens and the public and improve their intelligibility, accuracy and completeness.