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The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Education and culture

Candidate countries conduct negotiations with the European Union (EU) in order to prepare themselves for accession. The accession negotiations cover the adoption and implementation of European legislation (acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

ACT

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

SUMMARY

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted candidate country status for European Union (EU) membership in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations in view of its future membership and the alignment of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, the accession negotiations had not yet been opened, as some progress still needed to be made on the objectives and conditions set out in the partnership.

The 2011 Report focuses on the progress made on the strategic framework ‘Education and Training 2020’. Furthermore, it highlights the need to improve interaction between the ethnic communities in education.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

The fields of education, training, youth and culture are primarily the competence of the Member States. A framework for cooperation on policies relating to education and training has been adopted with a view to converging national policies and achieving joint objectives through an open method of coordination. It came out of the work programme ‘Education and Training 2010’, which brings together all the actions in the field of education and training at European level. Furthermore, Member States must take into account the principles stated in the Treaty and ensure that their international commitments contribute towards preserving and promoting cultural diversity. It requires Member States to equip themselves with a legal, administrative and financial framework and the implementation capacities necessary for ensuring sound financial management of European Union programmes related to education, training and youth.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Some progress can be reported concerning European standards in the areas of education, training, youth and culture. The country improved its performance in relation to the Education and Training 2020 common benchmarks. The Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action programmes remained suspended. Increasing interaction between the ethnic communities in education remains a challenge.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
In its 2010 Report, the Commission notes limited progress in the field of education. While the reforms have been made, preparations to implement the EU programmes are not completed. The country has partially fulfilled its objectives in the field of culture.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The October 2009 report notes that some progress has been made on education, training and youth, especially in terms of preparing for the country’s participation in Community programmes. Nevertheless, further efforts are still needed to implement the national reform strategy, to attain the EU common benchmarks in education and training, to prepare for the management of Community programmes and to establish an efficient system for controlling the functioning of the National Agency.

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The November 2008 report indicated that good progress had been made in the field of education, training and youth. However, the country’s capacity to implement adopted legislation was not sufficient. While preparations for the management of Community programmes on lifelong learning and youth were advanced, further efforts still needed to be made.

Last updated: 20.12.2011

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