North Macedonia: Support to the Implementation of the Modernised Data Protection Legal Framework

EU Twinning

Project Leader: Igor Vulje
Junior Project Leader: Lukas Gundermann
RTA: Sanja Silaj Zeman
Responsible at IRZ: Katharina Tegeder, Andreea Pop

The Twinning project "Support to the Implementation of the Modernised Data Protection Legal Framework" has a duration of 15 months and a budget of EUR 700,000. The project started in June 2021 and is implemented by IRZ as junior partner together with the Croatian Personal Data Protection Agency as senior partner.

In 2017, in response to EU recommendations, a process was initiated to transpose the EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR) into a new law on the protection of personal data in North Macedonia. The resulting new law was approved by the Parliament and entered into force on 24 February 2020. However, the process of transposing Directive (EU) 2016/680 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 (Police Directive) into a new law has only started in October 2020.

The Twinning project will support the preparation of guidelines necessary for the implementation of the new law. It will develop a specific guide for harmonizing sectoral legislation with the new law, which can be used by ministries and other relevant institutions when drafting new legislative proposals and reviewing and amending existing laws.

The project aims to improve the performance of the Personal Data Protection Agency (PDPA) in implementing the modernised data protection framework by strengthening institutional capacity, the legal and regulatory framework, and public awareness of data protection.

The project is composed of three components:

First component: strengthened legal and institutional framework for personal data protection

This component aims to ensure that the new law on personal data protection can be successfully implemented in the country. The measures envisaged include providing guidelines for the implementation of the law, improving the standard operating procedures of the competent authorities, and harmonising sectoral regulations with the new data protection framework.

Second component: training for the implementation of the new law

The second component focuses on building the capacity of relevant stakeholders to implement the new data protection framework in accordance with European best practices.

The target groups for capacity building are:

- the staff of the Northern Macedonian Data Protection Authority,

- representatives of government institutions and law enforcement agencies.

Third component: raising awareness of the new data protection framework

The third and final component addresses the provision of tools and resources to data processors and controllers tasked with complying with the new data protection framework. It also focuses on providing practical information to data subjects to enable them to exercise their enhanced rights in the area of personal data protection.

North Macedonia: Building of the Institutional Capacity of the Investigative Centres

Resident Twinning Adviser (RTA) Benedikt Welfens, RTA Assistent Iva Simonovska Trenevska, RTA Counterpart North Macedonia Boro Ilkoski, RTA Language Assistent Jana Dimitrovska (from left to right)
Resident Twinning Adviser (RTA) Benedikt Welfens, RTA Assistent Iva Simonovska Trenevska, RTA Counterpart North Macedonia Boro Ilkoski, RTA Language Assistent Jana Dimitrovska (from left to right)

EU Twinning

Project Leader: Dr. Stefan Trunk
Junior Project Leader: Ivan Crncec
RTA: Benedikt Welfens
Responsible at the IRZ: Katharina Tegeder, Andreea Pop

The “Building of the Institutional Capacity of the Investigative Centres” twinning project will run for 24 months and has a budget of EUR 1 million. The project started in May 2019, currently being implemented by the IRZ in lead, together with the Croatian Ministry of Justice as a junior partner.

Between 2015 and May 2017, North Macedonia experienced its biggest political crisis since the start of the peace process in 2001. Wiretap transcripts brought to light the criminalisation of the entire institutional system. The new government, which has been in office since the end of 2016, has now embarked on a reform of its domestic and foreign policy, which is also being supported by the European Union. This twinning project underlines the reform process.

The objective of the project is to support the fight against organised crime and corruption. Competent “Investigative Centres” are to be set up in Skopje, Kumanovo and Tetovo. These are collective centres of investigation, which will be run by the North Macedonian Public Prosecutor's Office. The main initiatives of the project are the networking of investigation authorities in North Macedonia and their cooperation with international criminal investigation institutions, as well as the further training of members of public prosecutor’s offices, police, customs and tax investigation departments.

First component: Improvement of organisation structures and work processes

The first component of the project is based on supporting the development of investigation centres through an improved set of rules for their organisation structures and work processes. Following an in-depth analysis of the current situation, recommendations on codes for the following subjects are to be developed:

  • Human rights,
  • defendants’ rights,
  • witness protection,
  • professionalisation and
  • ethical standards.

Second component: Training to support cooperation

The second component is concerned with improving the cooperation and exchange of specific knowledge between all those involved through multidisciplinary training sessions across all sectors, as well as with enhancing capacities in the fight against organised crime and corruption. The target groups for this training are:

  • Public prosecutors,
  • investigators,
  • legal counsels,
  • technical experts and
  • other employees of law enforcement authorities, such as the police, financial police and customs authorities.

Third component: Reliable cooperation between national and international investigative centres

The third component of the project is about increasing and improving cooperation between investigative centres at a national and international level. This is a matter of enhancing professionalism, making more efficient use of resources and increasing the reliability of exchange with other member states according to the rules of the European Union.

Funded by the European Union

North Macedonia: Strengthening the capacities of the authorised bodies for fight against crime

EU Twinning Light

Project Manager: Norbert Koster
Responsible at the IRZ: Katharina Tegeder, Bojana Tadic

In September 2018, the IRZ was awarded the contract for the EU Twinning Light Project ”Strengthening the capacities of the authorised bodies for fight against crime“. After the successful conclusion of the contract with the Central Financing and Contracting Department of the Macedonian Ministry of Finance, the project was launched in early 2019. The eight-month project with a total volume of € 250,000 aims to support the Macedonian Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Finance, the Financial Police Office and the Customs Authority in implementing and applying special investigation methods. The goal is to enhance the system of taking evidence to improve the fight against organised crime and corruption in Macedonia.

The project is subdivided into two components. The first component will analyse the legal framework and harmonise the already existing laws with the legal requirements of the EU. Especially the Macedonian criminal procedure code, the criminal code and the security clearance act will play a role in this context. The laws will be discussed in roundtable talks with representatives of the Macedonian project partners and proposals for amendments will be developed.

The second component will deal with the further training of staff members of the above-mentioned Macedonian authorities. In a first step, the training programs already existing in Macedonia will be reviewed and then be extended to include training programs in the field of special investigation methods. In this context, also so-called training of trainers seminars will be organised to train Macedonian trainers and instructors to ensure that the training programs are continued after the project close. Public prosecutors and trainers will furthermore be given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the practical work of German prison authorities within a study trip to Germany.

Funded by the European Union