The Government says that 59 measures out of 73 contained in the Plan 3-6-9 have been implemented in the first three months, or 81% of the planned measures. The implementation of the other 14 measures, which is not under direct government’s competence, but under other independent institutions’ competence, is still in progress. The Government is satisfied with what’s been accomplished, however, the experts are not ecstatic and they point out to remarks for certain inconsistencies or lagged steps in the implementation of the Plan
Author: Olivera Vojnovska
The Government led by the social-democrat Zoran Zaev has estimated more than 80% completion of the three-phase reform Plan for serious advancement of the country on the road to the European Union. This was the government’s press-service’s response to Truthmeter’s question regarding the implementation of the first group of proposed measures contained in the Plan 3-6-9, that was supposed to be completed up to the local elections (15 October 2017).
In a press conference held in July 2017, the Prime Minister announced the Plan 3-6-9 as a timeframe of deadlines for reforming multiple areas: judiciary, fight against corruption, intelligence and security services, public administration reform, electoral legislature in compliance with the recommendations of OSCE and ODIHR, implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, cohabitation with the President of the state, migrations, media and civil society. The incumbent government hopes that this action Plan will return the country on the track of the priorities from the Euro-Atlantic agenda. The government committed to deliver the primary results before the local elections, remove the conditional recommendation until December, and Macedonia to receive date for starting the accession negotiations until the next EC report. Zaev described the plan as
the first step for serious advancement toward the Euro-Atlantic integration, after the state’s great, lengthy halt.
The local elections are about to end (there will be revoting in one polling station – in Chair), so the question on what and how has been implemented in this first phase of the ambitious governmental plan on urgent reform priorities is completely legitimate. The government is satisfied with what’s been accomplished, however, the experts are not ecstatic and they point out to remarks regarding the Plan’s implementation.
GOVERNMENT OF THE RM: “THE IMPLEMENTATION GOES WELL”
When asked by Truthmeter which reformatory measures contained in the Plan 3-6-9 have been implemented, the government said that 73 measures have been proposed in 11 priority areas for the first three months and also emphasized:
With regard to the implementation, 59 measures have been completely implemented, or circa 81% of what was planned, which has led to the conclusion that the implementation goes well. There isn’t unimplemented measure, i.e. the implementation of the other 14 measures is in progress. The reasons why these 14 measures are still ongoing, and not completely implemented, is because some measures, although part of the first three months of the Plan, did not have deadline, some measures had 3-month deadline, and some of them are convoluted processes that require proper, not just hastened implementation. What’s more, the other 14 measures are not under government’s, but under other institutions’ competence, and implementation thereof will continue in the following period. Additionally, the EU has positively assessed the continuous activities related to the Plan 3-6-9 despite the pre-election campaign.
According to the information we were provided with by the government’s spokesperson Mile Boshnjakovski, the implementation status of the measures for the first three months is the following:
|PRIORITY||TOTAL MEASURES||% OF IMPLEMENTATION|
|OHRID FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT||1||100.00%|
|PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REFORM||7||100.00%|
|REFORMS OF JUDICIARY||13||69.23%|
|REFORM OF INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY SERVICES||6||83.33%|
|FIGHT AGAINST ORGANIZED CRIME AND CORRUPTION||4||75.00%|
|TOTAL MEASURES AND % OF IMPLEMENTATION THEREOF||73||80.82%|
|TOTAL MEASURES IN PROGRESS||14||19.18%|
As regards the 14 measures that are being implemented, the government stated the following:
– Four measures of the chapters Elections, Reform of Intelligence and Security Services and Migrations had only three-month deadline:
(1) If OSCE/ODIHR state imbalanced reporting in the next Statement on the electoral process, that will be condition for dismissing the director of the public broadcasting service – Macedonian Radio Television.
(2) The SEC has to prepare a report on lodged complaints during the electoral process that will serve as the grounds of complaint system evaluation.
- Reform of intelligence and security services
(3) Preparing plan on implementation of the recommendations of the Senior Experts’ Group on systemic Rule of Law issues relating to the communications interception (2015), with list of legal acts, administrative and technical measures and financial implications.
(4) Organizing regional workshop attended by national coordinators for combatting human trafficking from the Western Balkans and the EU.
– No deadlines for two appointments:
(5) Electing a member of the Council of Public Prosecutors, upon the Parliament’s proposal.
(6) Electing a member of the Constitutional Court whose tenure has ended.
– Seven measures in the sections Civil Society, Reforms of the Judiciary, Fight against Organized Crime and Corruption and Migrations are convoluted processes, which in order to have real and positive effect on the long run must not be implemented by skipping steps:
- Civil society
(7) Establishing functional Council for Cooperation between the Government and the Civil Sector, by amending the Decision on forming the Council for Cooperation and repeating the procedure for electing members of the Council in consultations with the civil sector.
(8) Conducting inquiries on intimidation and pressure on civil society organizations (i.e. probing all reports on hate speech, attacks, pressure).
- Reforms of judiciary
(9) Repealing the Law on the Council for Determination of Facts and Disciplinary Accountability of Judges and preparing amendments to the Law on Judicial Council, for retrieving Judicial Council’s competences.
(10) Regular consultations with the EC regarding the Draft-Strategy’s text
(11) Organizing public discussion on the Draft-Strategy on reforming the judiciary and adopting the Strategy
(12) Control over and insight of the Automated Court Case Management Information System (ACCMIS), for determining possible abuse and accountability.
- Fight against organized crime and corruption
(13) Providing equipment/access and required personnel for monitoring of communications of the Customs Administration and Finance Police, depending on the selected model of reform of intelligence services.
(14) Forming task force for combatting human trafficking and smuggling immigrants, composed of representatives of the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office for Fight against Organized Crime and Corruption and the Ministry of Interior.
ANALYSTS: THERE IS PROGRESS, BUT THINGS SHOULD BE SPEEDED UP
In spite of the government’s assessments that all measures under its competence have been implemented, whereas the ones under the competence of other institutions have been delayed, the political analyst, professor Jove Kekenovski, believes that “despite the certain progress regarding the implementation of the Plan 3-6-9, some inconsistencies and lagged steps ought to be pointed out.”
In regard to the local elections, Kekenovski notes that the SEC failed to fully consolidate the Voter List.
The suspicions and remarks by OSCE/ODIHR noted in the Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions referring to the separation of the state and the party, isolated cases of abuse of administrative resources, vote buying, taking photos of ballots and family voting are unfavorable. The politicization of members of SEC existed during these elections as well, therefore new and de-politicized composition of SEC is urgently required.
In terms of the Parliament’s work, he stresses that “there is still lack of constructive dialogue between the position and opposition thus the scrutiny of the Parliament and the parliamentary bodies over the work of the government and security and intelligence services thereof is absent.
The scrutiny is still far away from becoming regular routine, involving the highest possible level of transparency and participation of civil society representatives. The achieved so far resembles declarative pledge instead of real control.
Thematic MP’s questions still haven’t been introduced as laid down in the plan, and the Standing Inquiry Committee for Protection of Civil Freedoms and Rights hasn’t been reactivated.
A member of the Council of Public Prosecutors, upon the Parliament’s proposal, still hasn’t been elected.
With regard to the cohabitation with the President of the state, Kekenovski says that there is no progress at all, and it can be freely stated that nothing has moved from a standstill.
It is really unfortunate that the President, the Government and the Parliament still cannot agree upon the election of judges of the Constitutional Court although three vacancies are available at the Constitutional Court.
Consultations for occupying the free positions in the diplomatic representations with the President of the Republic of Macedonia might have begun, but no effect is evident. Party personnel, instead of professionals, is again in play.
Concerning the Ohrid Framework Agreement, the proposed Law on the Use of the Languages goes beyond the frameworks of the Agreement itself, according to Kekenovski.
Regarding the media and the public administration reform, he believes that there is little, insufficient and expected progress.
It’s encouraging to know that the administration slowly gets rid of the party fetters, while the media get rid of the past influence of the current opposition party. However, due to certain occurrences during the local elections, I wouldn’t be surprised if some media and journalists are put in favor of the ruling parties regardless of all professional and ethical standards.
Kekenovski thinks there is some progress regarding the reforms of the judiciary, specifically referring to the encouragement of judges for free and impartial and righteous trial. But, as he puts it:
The inept and party-influenced Judicial Council is the stumbling block, as well as the obstructions made by high court-party officials who should’ve already been removed from their offices.
Kekenovski believes that the beginning of the reform of the intelligence and security services is lagging behind, although they should’ve been of highest priority, besides the judiciary and the media.
The commission for reforms of these structures has been formed just a few days ago. The government should start practicing the pledge against organized crime and corruption, which seems that is still on paper.
Invoking on the monitoring conducted by the nongovernmental Institute for Democracy Societas Civilis, Alsat M TV informed on 7 November 2017 that “one third of the activities in the section ‘3’ of the government’s Plan 3-6-9 hasn’t been implemented, and some of them are being implemented behind time”:
At this moment, given the dynamics, things are tardy. The implementation result of the activities set forth in section three from the Plan 3-6-9 is behind schedule, and the activities that are supposed to be encompassed in section six and section nine are yet to be determined, said Zoran Nechev – Institute for Democracy Societas Civilis.