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The Buzz in North Macedonia: Interview with Ognen Martinov of Popovski & Partners

The Buzz in North Macedonia: Interview with Ognen Martinov of Popovski & Partners

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Governmental changes, a recovering economy, and the possible introduction of digital courts – these are the latest developments in North Macedonia, according to Popovski & Partners Partner Ognen Martinov.

“Since mid-January, we have had a new government in place,” begins Martinov. “However, it was formed by the same political party as the one before it.” North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev quit his position in late December 2021 and, following that, a new government has been appointed. “There were some changes in the ranks of ministers, perhaps most importantly a new justice minister, but there is a significant amount of overlap with the previous government as well.”

With the new government taking the reins of the country, Martinov believes that “a certain amount of political freshness is to be expected, but it is impossible to know what exactly the future holds.” Ongoing projects, such as those seeking to further harmonize North Macedonian legislation with that of the European Union, however, are more than likely to continue.

“The digitalization of the judicial system, most notably the courts, is underway as well,” Martinov continues. “It is a slightly larger undertaking now than it was when it began.” He reports that, in a comprehensive effort to allow the citizens of North Macedonia a more straightforward approach to the justice system, some 200 courtrooms and 34 courts have already been prepared for digital use. “It is quite possible that the project will be completed this year – which would be a huge step forward.”

Speaking of legislative updates of note, Martinov mentions the amendments to the Labor Law framework of North Macedonia. “The new law has officially introduced Sunday as a non-working day, bar some crucial industries. In this respect, parts that regulate employee compensation for working on Sundays have had an overhaul,” he reports. “Also, there is a significant number of new legislative pieces in draft form which await further processing, such as those regulating civil procedure, the criminal code, and the wider civil law area.” 

The North Macedonian economy, while still reeling from the pandemic fallout, is slowly getting back on track. “The legal market is returning to normal and the business sectors are stabilizing,” Martinov reports. “Industry zones are developing various technological aspects, new investors are coming in, and jobs are being created.”

Additionally, Martinov reports that one of the key drivers of this economic recovery is the construction sector. “Construction is in a constant state of growth and development and there are new projects popping up all the time,” he says. “A major landmark in this regard was the completion and start of operations of the East Gate Mall – the largest shopping mall in the country,” he says in conclusion.

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