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The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Employment and Social Policy

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.

In its 2011 Report, the European Commission outlines the limited progress made towards aligning the national legislation with the acquis. Unemployment remains high and social inclusion policies are still ineffective.

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

The acquis in the social field includes minimum standards in areas such as labour law, equal treatment of women and men, health and safety at work and anti-discrimination. The European Social Fund (ESF) is the main financial tool through which the EU supports the implementation of its Employment Strategy and contributes to social inclusion efforts in the fight against social exclusion (implementation rules are covered under Chapter 22, which deals with all structural instruments). The Member States participate in social dialogue at European level and in EU policy processes in the areas of employment policy, social inclusion and social protection.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Limited progress was noted in aligning with the acquis on social policy and employment. The implementation of the framework law on anti-discrimination has commenced. Full alignment with the acquis remains to be achieved. The high unemployment rate and the low labour market participation remain worrying. Inclusion of Roma, people with disabilities and other socially excluded people is slow. Effective employment and social inclusion policies are should be further implemented, and the social dialogue should be further strengthened. The overall administrative capacity is not sufficient.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The 2010 Report notes the adoption of a law framing the fight against discrimination. However, it does include all of the EU acquis in this area. In addition, progress is still inadequate with regard to social dialogue and social inclusion strategies.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The October 2009 report gives an account of progress made in the reforms. However, additional efforts should be made, in particular to improve the quality of social dialogue and the employment of persons excluded from the labour market. The administrative capacity of the State has been strengthened, but it remains insufficient to implement the legislative and political reforms.

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 – Not published in the Official Journal].
In its Report of November 2008 the Commission considers that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia must make significant efforts to align its legislation with the Community acquis in the field of social policy and employment. In this respect, the introduction of laws and policies should be accelerated and the country’s administrative capacity reinforced.

Last updated: 19.12.2011

See also

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