Invitation to the kick-off meeting for the EU Twinning Project
Invitation to the kick-off meeting for the EU Twinning Project
North Macedonia

The German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation e. V. (IRZ), under the auspices of the Croatian Data Protection Authority, is organising the kick-off meeting to present the “Support to the Implementation of the Modernised Data Protection Legal Framework” twinning project for the benefit of the Data Protection Authority of the Republic of Northern Macedonia (RNM).

The venue for the event is the DoubleTree by Hilton Skopje, Blvd. ASNOM no.17, Skopje, and the kick-off meeting will be held on 30 September 2021 from 9.30 am to 12.00 pm.

The participants who will present the project objectives during the kick-off meeting include government representatives from the EU delegation in the RNM, project leaders from the RNM, Germany and Croatia, as well as experts from the Northern Macedonian, Croatian and German data protection authorities. 

The aim of this project is to improve the protection of fundamental rights and the national system for the protection of personal data in the RNM in line with the standards of the EU acquis, as well as to enhance the performance of the data protection authority in implementing the modernised data protection framework. The new Personal Data Protection Act (RNM Official Gazette No. 42/20), which implements the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will be promoted as part of these measures. The new Personal Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation bring significant changes to the current system. The new law introduces new definitions and concepts in the field of personal data, imposes new obligations on data controllers and processors and strengthens the rights of data subjects.

Under the Personal Data Protection Act adopted in February 2020, controllers and processors are required to adapt their business processes to the Act within 18 months of its entry into force. This deadline expires at the end of August 2021. The event will therefore be an opportunity to emphasise the obligations of controllers/processors once again, inform citizens of their rights and raise public awareness of the importance of personal data protection.

A central topic of the kick-off meeting will be the presentation of the results of the digital survey conducted among data controllers in the RNM, followed by a panel discussion with data protection experts from the RNM, Croatia and Germany. Another panel discussion is dedicated to analysing the opportunities and possibilities arising from the upcoming changes to the legal framework for data protection in the RNM. 

The EU underlines the urgent need to focus on the protection of personal data to ensure that the world's fast-growing digital business models develop in a way that is compatible with respect for the fundamental human rights of all individuals with regard to the processing of personal data. 

The principle of data protection is a central part of the EU's digital policies and strategies, as set out in Article 8 of Title II of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The right to the protection of personal data is a fundamental human right, but also an economic necessity – without consumer trust in the way their data is processed, there can be no sustainable growth of the European data-driven economy.