Skopje, 7 October 2020

Meetings of inter-ministerial groups for recognition of professional qualifications

On 6 and 7 October, the Ministry of Education and Science, with the support of the project, organized two meetings of the inter-ministerial group for mutual recognition of professional qualifications, continuing the cooperation that started last year. At those meetings, chaired by the Secretariat for European Affairs, the representatives of the line ministries and the representatives of professional chambers and associations discussed the action plan for the implementation of steps to establish a functional system for recognition of professional qualifications.

The establishing of a complete and functional system of mutual recognition of qualifications is a complex and comprehensive process that involves a number of institutions and professional chambers. This process includes the adoption of the new law and appropriate bylaws on mutual recognition of professional qualifications, in whose preparation the project participated, followed by the appointment of the competent institutions, bodies and a national coordinator and coordination group, the publishing of all required information through the main contact point as well as establishing of electronic procedures and an appropriate support center. According to the action plan, the adoption of the new law is scheduled for the second half of 2021. In order to enable operability of this law and full transposition of the EU directive, 16 rulebooks and 5 decisions shall have to be adopted.

The process of harmonization of domestic legislation in the field of professional qualifications with that of the EU is part of the third chapter of the EU accession negotiations which deals with the right of establishment and the freedom to provide services. The work in the field of recognition of professional qualifications is noted in the latest report on North Macedonia, issued by the European Commission. In this section, it is concluded that the country has made limited progress. The report states that apart from the adoption of the law, the state should prepare an electronic register of accredited professional qualifications, as well as a transparent list of all regulated professions and information on their justification. In addition, the report notes the need to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Education and Science to implement these reforms.