The US State Department report entitled “2021 Investment Climate Statement on North Macedonia” highlights several anomalies in Macedonian society that the Government only observes, but also encourages by not taking concrete steps.
Therefore,the reports points to:
– abuse of fast-tracked procedures;
-corruption, nepotism and conflict of interest in public procurement;
-selectivity in the judiciary, i.e.only small offenders are being prosecuted, and the main ones avoid justice;
– bribery and corruption of public officials;
– the judicial system is subject to corruption.
The report draws on the experiences of U.S. businessmen, data from Transparency International and other relevant factors.
“North Macedonia has laws intended to counter bribery, abuse of official position, and conflicts-of-interest, and government officials and their close relatives are legally required to disclose their income and assets. However, enforcement of anti-corruption laws has at times been weak and selectively targeted government critics and low-level offenders. There have been credible allegations of corruption in law enforcement, the judiciary, and many other sectors. The current State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (SCPC) appointed in February 2019, resumed its work after the passage of new anticorruption legislation in January 2019 and has been particularly proactive since. The SCPC opened a number of corruption-related inquiries, focused on high-level officials from across the political spectrum for alleged nepotism and conflict of interest,” reads the State Department report.
“Many businesses operating in North Macedonia, including some U.S. businesses, identified corruption as a problem in government tenders and in the judiciary. The government does not require private companies to establish internal codes of conduct prohibiting bribery of public officials. A number of domestic NGOs focus on anti-corruption and transparency in public finance and tendering procedures.”