Some Improvement Noted, but Serious Challenges to Access to Information of Public Character Remain

During July 2012, Macedonian Young Lawyers Association (MYLA) submitted 145 requests for free access to information of public character to a number of state institutions (AKA FOI requests). The requests were submitted in order to obtain information about the dynamics of implementation of the National Programme for Adoption of the Acquis Communautaire (NPAAC 2012) NPAAC 2012 is a strategic document which enshrines specific obligations for the state institutions whose fulfillment affects the process of the integration of Republic of Macedonia into EU. Considering the fact that NPAAC 2012 is quite voluminous document MYLA focused on the implementation of Chapter 23: Judiciary and Fundamental Rights and of Chapter 24: Justice, Freedom and Security.

(Non) transparency in the financing of political parties

tm izvestaj 1Foundation Open Society - Macedonia (FOOM) and Transparency Macedonia (TM) organized a round table titled ‘Transparency in the financing of political parties’ on November 17, on the occasion of the publication of the results from the first periodic report.

In his opening address, Professor Vanco Uzunov emphasized that the financing of political parties is still unclear and vague, and it is a fertile ground for corruption, not only because of the inconsistencies in the way it is being regulated, but also in the way it is applied. The Republic of Macedonia, through a series of laws, has committed itself to provide equal access to the funding sources of all political parties, and to provide an efficient control mechanism to guarantee accountability and transparency in the financing of political parties. However, there are many inconsistencies among the political parties and state institutions which had competencies over the process. The state institutions do not fulfill their competences, as for the political parties – there is an impression that there is a consensus among them not to talk openly about their financing.

Political Parties Must Disclose Their Benefactors

Меѓународен ден на слободниот пристап до информации

Last year the Commission for Protection of the Right to Free Access to Information was addressed with as many as 110 appeals lodged against political parties. In Commission’s opinion, the high number of appeals lodged against political parties is mainly a result of their reluctance to disclose financial information and reports on donations received, as well as their ignorance of the legislation in effect that governs this matter. Moreover, the political parties are not unique in demonstrating such behaviour, given that these practices are applied by the institutions as well. Actually, this situation was stated today on the events organized around the International Right to Know Day.

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