Annual Review 2017
of Labour Relations and Social Dialogue
Macedonia / By Mare Anceva
- By many parameters 2017 was a turning point for Macedonia. The prolonged political crisis, which seriously affected
the whole society, finally reached its climax in the spring of 2017. After the early elections held in December 2016 failed
to produce a clear winner, it took five months until the new government was approved. In this period the transition of
governing was interrupted not only by political upheaval, but also physical violence. However, the social-democrats in
coalition with ethnic Albanian parties made a tight majority and the Parliament approved the new government on 1st
June, which was the turning point towards political and overall stabilization of the country.
- For more than two years the country was in a political stalemate in which protracted political fights and mutual
allegations were absorbing all efforts, while the reform processes in EU integration aspirations were put aside. Not
progress, but backsliding was obvious in many areas and particularly in the judiciary, economy, education, industrial
relations etc. Therefore, the expectations for radical changes in society and particularly in methods of governing are
very high. However, these processes will take time and require huge efforts by all stakeholders.
- The violent methods were not engaged in only by the political parties but also among the unions in the biggest national
federation –SSM. Four major unions were illegitimately excluded and literally thrown out of their premises which had
been unseen in trade union history.
- Unfortunately, in the last ten years the whole society was brought to such stage of po-larization that the recovery will
be neither fast, nor easy. However, there is determination about it, and the process is opened now. The support and
recognition that the country is returning to the real path has already been given by EU institutions and authorities.
Hence, the expectations that the EU integration process will finally move forward are high.
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