The Ministry of Culture needs to develop a new national strategy for 2023-2027 on the development of culture, ensuring also the appropriate budget allocations. The annual budget allocations for culture have decreased steadily in the last 3 years, and reforms following the recommendations of the functional analysis of the Ministry of Culture and specialized bodies were further delayed, says the European Commission (EC) in its 2023 Progress Report on North Macedonia.
With a conclusion that North Macedonia is moderately prepared in the area of culture, the EC recommends that the Ministry of Culture and other relevant institutions need to strengthen their capacity to create and manage cultural policies based on sound public administration principles.
The report points out that the country’s cultural heritage is not sufficiently safeguarded, and further efforts are needed to reinforce institutional response and interinstitutional cooperation to protect cultural heritage and prevent illegal constructions.
In this regard, the EC highlights the protection of cultural heritage sites of ‘particular importance’, such as Lake Ohrid and the Skopje Old Bazaar.