In June 2020 ISIE has released an extensive Report on Consumer Protection in North Macedonia. The report has been prepared within Watchdog of Consumer Justice Project, aimed at 7 key institutions for consumer protection in the country. The research covered the competent regulatory bodies and institutions for dealing with submissions submitted by consumers and citizens when their rights are endangered. In that sense, this document includes: (1) The Agency for Electronic Communications (AEK); (2) The Insurance Supervision Agency (ISA); (3) Food and Veterinary Agency (FVA); (4), the State Market Inspectorate (DPI); (5) National Bank (NBRNM); (6) the Energy and Water Services Regulatory Commission (ERO) and (7) the Housing Regulatory Commission (RCC).
These entities were selected based on the fact that each of them is competent to act on a significant range of relations that involves consumers. The intention of the monitoring was to see the strengths and weaknesses of each of the individual entities and through their positive experiences and practices, to influence the improvement of the weaknesses of another entity, i.e. the best practices to be an example for improving the performance and/or legal framework that refers to another entity.
For the needs of the research, 7 research tools (requests for access to public information) were prepared that contained about twenty indicators through which immediate primary data were provided by the mentioned subjects. The survey was conducted in the period January – April 2020. Also, for the purposes of the monitoring report, thirty relevant laws were analyzed, as well as the annual reports from these institutions.
In order to analyze the transparency of these institutions to the civil sector, we have prepared a brief test of indicators in the area of responsiveness of these bodies, and related to the search for free access to public information, which we provided to these entities. Based on the responsiveness of the institutions and the quality of the given answers, each of the institutions was allocated an appropriate number of points, which are presented in the third part of each individual analysis in the form of a test for openness to the civil sector. The Monitoring report has received positive comments from the Secretariat of European Affairs and was identified as a best practice example.
The project has been implemented through Nordic Support for Progress of North Macedonia.
Nordic Support for Progress of North Macedonia project aims to enhance the capacity of the Republic of North Macedonia for EU accession as well as to support the inclusion of CSO’s and media in all phases of the accession process. The project is implemented by United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and funded by the Kingdom of Norway, through the Norwegian Embassy, and Kingdom of Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).