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The New General Administrative Procedure Law in Macedonia

The New General Administrative Procedure Law in Macedonia

North Macedonia
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The system of administrative procedures in the Republic of Macedonia has been modernized by the incorporation of a completely new legal framework – the new Law on General Administrative Procedure.

The Law entered into force on July 27 2015, with an effect from July 27 2016. The law in general represents a logical continuation of the founding principles that were a basis for the previous Law, but at the same time it introduces progressive administrative tools such as IT communication, access to a single point of contact, administrative agreement and an effective system of administrative remedies. It is expected that the new Law will contribute towards improvement of the transparency of administrative procedures, incensement of the citizens' trust in public administration, as well as encouragement of the practice-oriented administrative services and professional public administration as an essential requirement for economic development.

The previous law recognizes only the administrative act or unilateral and very formalized administrative decision, as only legal form of administrative action. However, the transparent cooperation between public authorities and citizens requires new additional means of administrative actions to enable administrative service that is citizen-oriented. Accordingly, the new law will provide a degree of flexibility in terms of administrative actions including the legal instrument of the administrative contract.

Unlike the current law, the new General Administrative Procedure Law shall apply also when an administrative body performs its tasks of administrative law through other unilateral administrative actions that are not included in the concept of an administrative act, but are related to the citizen's rights, their duties and legal interests, such as the delivery of information, warnings, notices, publication of expert opinions, or citizens' complaints. The new law will also provide legal protection for the delivery of public services that hamper the rights of citizens or their legal interest. 

The unnecessary formalism of the administrative procedures complicates the legal protection of individuals and the economic activities. Accordingly, the new law should provide efficient, simpler and faster administrative procedures. In this way, the administrative costs of the state budged and the business sector shall be reduced. Effective and efficient processes of adopting administrative acts are expected to encourage investment and contribute to the economic development of Macedonia.

The law should establish the legal conditions for development and application of information communication between public administrations and citizens ("e-administration"). E-administration should include e-assistance (eg. Dissemination of information to the general public, activities, public relations, etc.) and e-administration, which is a very important form of communication between the governing body and the participant in the administrative procedure. The e-administration should be seen as a further opportunity in the public administration. The law should ensure that the technical possibility of easy communication would not be to the detriment of those citizens who do not have Internet access or who are not familiar with information technology.

The regulations fare essential for fast and efficient administrative procedure in accordance with the new law. The fast and simple communication is now a higher priority than the extremely formal procedure. The formal submission should be an exception. 

By Dragan Dameski, Partner, and Martin Boskoski, Senior Associate, Debarliev, Dameski & Kelesoska Attorneys at Law and member of TLA.

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