After gaining independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, the Republic of North Macedonia has made significant strides toward establishing and strengthening its democratic political system. Despite numerous political crises, long-established societal divides, and ethnic tensions, North Macedonia’s institutions are more accountable, inclusive, and transparent than ever.
Between 2012 and 2020, CEPPS’s partners – the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the International Republican Institute (IRI), and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) – implemented a comprehensive technical assistance program to support political parties, civil society organizations (CSOs), the parliament, state institutions, and the executive branch in their efforts to build and fortify democratic systems and processes to prepare North Macedonia for the next chapter in its democratic trajectory.
CEPPS partners ensured that the National Assembly was capable of responding to constituent needs, by serving as a check on the governments’ actions, and developing evidence-based policies in line with European standards. These efforts contributed to the adoption of rules and regulations that govern public hearings, the engagement of civil society, and more.
Civic and political empowerment of women and youth exist at the core of our programming, cutting across all aspects of technical assistance to local partners in North Macedonia. This includes cross-party training for female political leaders, preparation for women’s participation in elections and their ability to run for elected office, support for the Parliamentary Women’s Club, and the establishment of a Parliamentary Youth Caucus.
CEPPS’s partners’ dedicated efforts resulted in improved conduct of elections and focused on ensuring transparency and accountability of the electoral process. The efforts included the development and promotion of a code of conduct for political parties ahead of elections, issue-based discourse through moderated debates, voter education, and capacity building of election administration at all levels.
With regard to political parties, CEPPS’s technical assistance strengthened the internal make-up of political parties and improved external communication practices, expanding their ability to engage citizens in an effective dialogue that ensures responsive and inclusive policy development.