Those involved in the project during the opening event in Skopje
Those involved in the project during the opening event in Skopje

EU Twinning Project

Strengthening of the penitentiary system and the probation service, North Macedonia
August 2018 - August 2020
IRZ Lead
Budget: 950.000 Euro
Responsible at the IRZ: Katharina Tegeder, Rita Tenhaft, Andreea Pop

Since the end of August 2018, the IRZ has been leading the EU twinning project for supporting the reform of the penitentiary system and the probation service in North Macedonia. The Dutch Center for International Legal Cooperation (CILC) is a junior partner in the project, which is running for 24 months and led by the IRZ. As part of the National Strategy for the Development of the Penitentiary System in Macedonia (2015-2019), the project has a total investment of EUR 950,000 and aims to offer support in two key areas:

  • Development of proposals for improving the institutional and administrative capacities of the penitentiary system, with a focus on improving the management and operation of prisons, in order to guarantee unlimited respect for human rights with regard to the treatment of prisoners;
  • Development of a probation system for carrying out probation measures and alternative sanctions, as well as improving the cooperation between all the relevant organisations and institutions in this area.

The implementation of the project began on 31 August 2018 with the arrival of the Resident Twinning Adviser (RTA) in Skopje and was opened on 21 November 2018 with an official ceremony. During the opening ceremony, the provisional work schedule, which serves as the basis for the future implementation of the project, was approved and signed. During the first three months of the project, initial measures for the development of processes and criteria for the maintenance of penal institutions have already been carried out.

In close cooperation with the department for implementing punitive measures at the North Macedonian Ministry of Justice, over the next few months the relevant legislation will be analysed, suggestions for improvements will be put forward and sustainable training measures for improving the management and monitoring capacities of prisons and the probation service will be developed. In addition, a variety of workshops, seminars and study visits will take place in Germany and the Netherlands to provide information on tried-and-tested practices and recognised principles for probation services.

Funded by the European Union