FYR of Macedonia: 2011 Progress Report and Conclusions

In the EC conclusions on FYR of Macedonia, it is noted in relation to the WBC-INCO.NET relevant field for science and research:

Concerning European standards on science and research progress was noted. The national strategy for 2011 – 2020 was adopted. The participation rate in the Seventh EU Framework Research Programme has further increased. The administrative capacity to support participation in the framework programmes is weak.

More details are provided in the analytical report:

4.25. Chapter 25: Science and research

Little progress can be reported in the area of research and innovation policy. The 2011 programme for scientific research activities, technological development and technical culture was adopted. The national strategy for science - research and development activity 2011- 2020 is not yet in place. The 2011 budget for the programme for research and technological development decreased compared to the 2010 level. Financial resources are limited and the capacities of the research facilities remain weak. Preparations in this area are moderately advanced. Good progress is being made as regards the country's participation in the framework programmes. There was an increase both in the number of applications submitted and selected, and in the amount of funds received, under the Seventh EU Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7). Participation is good in the energy, ICT and environment themes; however, partaking in Marie Curie actions and involvement of SMEs remains very low. The Joint Research Committee was established. The Committee monitored progress under FP7 since the association and established at its February meeting that additional efforts are required to increase participation in FP7.

Little progress can be reported in the area of integration into the European Research Area.
Following the adoption of amendments to the Law on higher education, 40% of the tuition fees are invested in fundamental and applied research and in modernisation of infrastructures. Some equipment was procured for universities and laboratories. However, the investment in research, from both the public and the private sector, remains very low (estimated at around 0.2% of GDP in 2010). In addition, the lack of reliable statistics makes implementation and monitoring difficult. Preparations in this area are moderately advanced. Nominations have been made in most governance bodies, including in the European Research Area Committee (ERAC) and the Strategy Forum for International Cooperation (SFIC). However, attendance at their meetings is irregular, due to the lack of administrative capacity.

Concerning European standards on research and innovation, progress can be reported. There was increased participation in the EU framework programmes. National strategies for science - research and development activity and for innovation policy are not yet in place. Private and public investment in the field of research is low. The administrative capacity to support participation in FP7 and ERAC governance bodies needs to be strengthened. Preparations in the area of science and research are insufficient.

4.20. Chapter 20: Enterprise and industrial policy

Progress can be reported in the area of enterprise and industrial policy principles. Business regulatory reform continued. So far 48 measures have been implemented under the regulatory guillotine project, as well as 19 measures under the fourth anti-crisis reform package. These measures aim at lessening the penalties for misdemeanour violations, auctioning of construction land in state ownership to businesses on favourable terms, simplifying and reducing the costs of construction permits, creating legal conditions for the regularisation of businesses operating in the grey area and abolition of the profit tax for re-investment in the country. The one–stop shop for company registration was upgraded. The central register was further expanded with the addition of a register of bankruptcy proceedings and a register of persons disqualified to act as company managers. However, the data entry, functionality and interoperability of the new registers have yet to be ensured. A survey of 150 companies was conducted with a view to identifying obstacles faced by businesses. The government continued its regular dialogue with the business community representatives and companies, including consultation on business related legal acts and strategic objectives. The 'think small first' principle has been taken into consideration by the authorities, but further work is still needed. The central database of all legal acts is not being regularly updated and is not yet fully functional. The Strategy for craftsmanship development was adopted, but no budget was allocated for its implementation. The human resources of the SME Department and the SME Agency continue to be insufficient. In the area of enterprise and industrial policy principles, the country is moderately advanced; however, the business environment remains weak, with low investment rates.

There was progress in the field of enterprise and industrial policy instruments. The country continue to participate in the EU Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme. An innovation scoreboard report was prepared and the country was included for the first time in the EU Innovation Scoreboard 2010. The FDI Agency was allocated a sum of €4.9 million and a department for legal matters and investor after-care was established. The 2011 budget for the annual programmes to support competitiveness, entrepreneurship and clusters networking is slightly higher than in 2010. The Ministry of Economy allocated about €173,000 for the Programme for the implementation of industrial policy in 2011. Despite the new measures taken to enhance the business environment, the service provided by some central and local administrative offices still impedes the smooth operation of business. The attraction of foreign direct investments (FDI) and export promotion remain the prime focus of the economic policy, however, the instruments have yet to deliver the desired results. Preparations in the area of policy instruments are moderately advanced, but remain ineffective. There was some progress in the area of sector policies. Amendments were made to the Law on tourism and related implementing acts in order to simplify the enforcement of the law and to make the subsidy scheme more attractive for foreigners. The 2011 Programme for tourism development was set at €932,000, an increase of 72% over 2010. Conclusion Progress was good but uneven in the field of enterprise and industrial policy and principles, but yielded little practical benefit in terms of boosting the economy. Legislation was simplified and administrative procedures for business operation were streamlined. However, enterprise support measures remain dispersed across several programmes run by different authorities with insufficient public funding.

Source: http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/pdf/key_documents/2011/package/mk_conclusions_en.pdf




Publication Year



European Commission

Geographical focus
  • Republic of North Macedonia

Entry created by Elke Dall on October 12, 2011
Modified on October 12, 2011