29.09.2020, Skopje – Today, the methodology for calculating the Bureaucracy Index for the Republic of N. Macedonia was publicly presented for the first time, on the occasion of the International Bureaucracy Day. The calculation of the Bureaucracy Index is part of the project “Towards Reducing the Bureaucratic Burden”*, whose main goal is to measure the bureaucratic burden on companies and propose measures and reforms for reducing it. Short, fast, and fair administrative procedures and requirements are the basis for a favorable business environment that provides conditions for the establishment and rapid growth of enterprises. At the event, experts, representatives of Macedonia2025, the business sector, and the Government gave a personal overview of the topic and useful recommendations for policymakers.
Nikica Mojsoska Blazhevski, Chief Executive Officer of Macedonia2025 presented the concept and importance of the project “Towards Reducing the Bureaucratic Burden”, including the Bureaucracy Index – “Enterprises are the basic cell of the economy, and the state, thus state regulation should give “oxygen” and necessary conditions for it to develop independently, instead of suffocating and limiting it. The project aims to identify and propose modes for eliminating the regulation and external conditions that limit and prevent the development of Macedonian enterprises. The index indicates that one enterprise in the country spends 154 hours and goes through 45 procedures and steps per year, to be fully compliant with the domestic legislation. Thereby, the enterprises in N. Macedonia face the least bureaucracy among the countries where the Index is calculated, which is in line with the findings of the Doing Business report. For example, an enterprise in Slovakia spends 240 hours per year, Italy – 312 hours, and Spain up to 370 hours. We are grateful that through the partnership with Civica Mobilitas and INESS Slovakia we will contribute to the improvement of the business environment with a concrete plan for reducing the bureaucratic burden, in cooperation with the business sector and the state institutions. Through this project, Macedonia2025 strengthens its activities and programs for improving the competitiveness and growth of Macedonian companies.” – emphasized M. Blazhevski.
“On several occasions I stress that the Government will be committed to creating a platform for economic development, which will enable faster and sustainable economic growth of North Macedonia on the long run, certainly creating new jobs, better wages, new roads, railways, water supply systems, treatment plants, schools, kindergartens, hospitals, in short: a better and high-quality life. Through an inclusive process, involving all stakeholders from the economic sphere – chambers of commerce, trade unions, academia, international partners, civil society organizations; and a mutual process of consultations and discussions, we will work on improving the legislation, which will simplify and facilitate bureaucratic procedures. The plan for mapping all legal procedures through which citizens and the economy exercise their rights and obligations towards the state has already been set, as well as the deadlines for legal proceedings on behalf of the state bodies or institutions. The creation of this single register will have multiple benefits: it will alert lengthy or unnecessary bureaucratic steps and deadlines, it will create conditions for greater transparency and accountability of civil servants, it will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the procedures, which will be mostly digitized, and perhaps most importantly, it will represent a powerful tool for fight against corruption“, – accentuated Fatmir Bytyqi, Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of Economic Affairs, Economic Sectors and Investments at the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia.
Sasho Klekovski, Analyst and Expert Associate, explained in more detail about the methodology, structure, and areas of the Index, presenting the results and challenges of the research, with initial recommendations and guidelines for reducing the bureaucratic burden. “The Bureaucracy Index is calculated based on a predetermined methodology, in collaboration with experts in various fields and company surveys. The index is divided into 4 categories: Employment administration; Operational administration; category Other (archiving, post-terminal registration, etc.), and costs/obligations related to Legal changes. Macedonian enterprises spend most of their time, 64 hours per year, on compliance in the field of Employment administration, which includes obligations for calculation of salary and the administration regarding employment. We are indeed leaders in a positive sense among the countries that calculate the Index. Nevertheless, there is plenty of room for further improvement, for example, upgrading the E-tax system, including the IT system (overload management), improving the quality of data at Pension and Disability Insurance Fund in Macedonia, waste management, statistical reports, etc. Comparatively, we are the weakest in the category of Legal changes, which is related to frequent changes legal changes, a short period of adjustment for companies, and insufficient consultation before making changes. In addition, we should expect an increase in the bureaucratic burden and frequent changes in laws that will result from the EU accession process in the future.” – Klekovski explains.
This index is calculated for several EU member states, such as Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Spain and Lithuania. Serbia and other countries in the region are expected to join next year.
In the next phase of the project, consultations will be conducted with representatives of businesses and state institutions, in order to prepare a concrete plan and proposals for reducing bureaucratic procedures and costs for enterprises.
* The project is supported by Civica Mobilitas. Civica Mobilitas is a project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) implemented by NIRAS from Denmark, the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC) and the Swedish Institute for Public Administration (SIPU).