As 2022 approaches, North Macedonia finds itself in a little bit of a political commotion, however, there are signs that the country might see light at the end of the tunnel with energy investments coming in, according to Debarliev, Dameski & Kelesoska Partner Emilija Kelesoska Sholjakovska.
While trying to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is running headlong into an energy crisis, and North Macedonia will meet the same fate. The country is facing serious electricity shortages due to the rising growth of prices on the energy exchanges in Europe. This, in turn, disables the companies that trade in electricity to comply with the agreements signed with companies and institutions to whom they supply electricity on the free market. The disbalance in the demand and supply is then covered from the reserves of the transmission system operator (“TSO”) MEPSO, who is drawing electricity from the European network, thus accruing massive debt. Meanwhile, North Macedonia is trying to increase the domestic production of electricity, by activating the third block of REK Bitola, the country’s biggest producer of electricity and coal.
In recent years, the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes has been a “hot” topic in North Macedonia. In 2016, the country regulated the procedure for the cultivation and production of hemp and hemp extracts. Since then, in line with publicly available information, over 60 approvals for the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes have been issued.
Data controllers and data processors had until 24 August 2021 to align with the new Law on Personal Data Protection in North Macedonia (“Law”), which introduced the GDPR in the local legislation at the beginning of 2020. Non-compliance with the new obligations for personal data protection can lead to severe penalties, such as fines of up to 2% and up to 4% of the total annual turnover from the previous financial year, per misdemeanor.
During the summer, the Assembly in North Macedonia adopted relevant amendments to the Labour Law concerning the conditions for retirement. According to the estimations by the proposers of the amendment, around 6000 employees from the public and the private sector already reached 64 years of age by the end of 2020.
The year of 2020 was marked, in North Macedonia as elsewhere, by the COVID-19-induced economic crisis, which will obviously extend well into 2021. Despite the high hopes that the pandemic would be brought under control with mass vaccination programs, the North Macedonian economy’s return to pre-Covid status within the current year is highly unlikely.