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At a session held on 12 December 2019, the Parliament of the Republic of North Macedonia, without elaborating the reasons for the cancellation of the call for the election of members of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination, in a non-transparent manner, decided to publish the call again. The Parliament, despite numerous errors in the publication of the first call, did not explain why citizens have not had this mechanism for protection of their rights for four months. We urge the Parliament to publicly explain the reasons for the cancellation of the first call for the election of the members of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination.

We urge the Parliament, as soon as possible and prior to the announced dissolution, to carry out the election of the members of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination in a transparent manner and taking into account the quality of the elected candidates. The obligation that the composition of this body reflects the composition of the society as a whole must not only remain a declarative but a real goal of the Parliament, as otherwise, it would compromise the purpose of this body as a guarantee of equality for all citizens. It is necessary to choose professional and independent candidates and candidates who are in no way affiliated with political parties. Ethnicity must not be the sole criterion, especially its narrow understanding as distribution of positions between Macedonians and Albanians. It is necessary to take gender equality into account and to include representatives of marginalized communities (Roma, persons with disabilities, LGBTI and others).

Transparency and publicity of the election of Commission members mean publicly announcing the documents of all candidates, a public debate on the election and participation of CSOs following the example of the Commission for Prevention of Corruption.

Upon the election of the commissioners, they will need to establish a professional service, provide appropriate premises for their work and adopt the bylaws provided for by law. This process will take a long time, which is an additional reason for the Parliament to speed up the election of members.

Preventing and protecting against discrimination is crucial in the EU integration process, which is an additional reason for decision-makers to begin to address this issue more seriously.


20 December 2019