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The design of a modern concept of behavior towards the socially excluded individuals required the establishment of a new social model which puts the individual and personality first, rather than the reasons for exclusion, the affiliation (ethnic or other), the diagnosis, disability or any other ground for the citizen’s social exclusion. This is a huge reform and should be led by all governmental and non-governmental institutions.
North Macedonia adopted the Law on Youth Participation and Youth Policies (Закон за младинско учество и младински политики) in January 2020, and one of the aims of the law is encouragement of personal, professional and social development of young people.
The Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia is the main body that adopts the overall legislation. The Government is the main executive body, and has the overall responsibility of planning and implementation of all policies related to social inclusion, as well as to propose legal documents and amendments to the Assembly.
The implementation of social inclusion policies and strategies is related to coordinated and full cooperation between the Government, the ministries and the institutions of the system, as well as the cooperation of the state institutions and local government.
Along this, the participation of civil society organizations is extremely crucial in the part of expressing the interests of individuals and groups at risk or facing social exclusion.
The major changes introduced with the Ohrid Framework Agreement, were establishment of decentralized government, and provisions for altering the official languages of the country. According to Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, any language spoken by over 20% of the population becomes co-official with the Macedonian language on municipal level.
Members of nationalities have a right freely to express, foster and develop their identity and national attributes. The state guarantees the protection of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of the nationalities. Members of the nationalities have the right to establish institutions for culture and art, as well as scholarly and other associations for the expression, fostering and development of their identity. Members of the nationalities have the right to instruction in their language in primary and secondary education, as determined by law. In schools where education is carried out in the language of a nationality, the Macedonian language is also studied.
- Ministry of Political System and Inter-Community Relations (Министерство за политички систем и односи помеѓу заедниците) which works on Advancement and protection of the rights of communities;
- Ministry of Labor and Social Policy (Министерство за труд и социјална политика) is the main executive and coordination body of social inclusion policies and legislation in the country. All other state and civil organizations have a role in the policies of social inclusion, in accordance with their competencies.
- Ministry of Health (Министерство за здравство) – responsible for health protection and health insurance of young people and implementation of such programmes.
- Ministry of Education and Science (Министерство за образование и наука) – responsible for organization, financing, development and advancing of the education and science.
- Ministry of Economy – governmental ministry responsible for overall policies related to economy.
- Ministry of Transport and Communication – national ministry responsible for overall policies related to transportation and infrastructure.
- Ministry of Finance – responsible for overall finances and budget management of the Government;
- Ministry of Local Self Government – responsible for monitoring the development and implementation of the governmental programmes at local level;
- Ministry of Information Society and Administration – responsible for development and promotion of information technology;
- Agency of Youth and Sport – governmental agency responsible for planning, implementation and coordination of youth programme.
- State Statistical Office – state institution responsible for conducting statistical research.
- Employment Service Agency – governmental agency responsible for implementation of the employment programmes.
- Social Care Centers (Центри за социјална работа) – state institutions working under the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy are responsible for implementation of the programmes of social protection and welfare.
- Association of the Units of Local Self Governments – local units of government
- National Agency for European Educational Programmes and Mobility – national agency responsible for implementation of Erasmus + programme.
- Educational institutions
- Other stakeholders
- Delegation of the EU to the Republic of North Macedonia
- UNDP office in the Republic of North Macedonia
- UNICEF office in North Macedonia
- USAID office in North Macedonia
- International Labor Organization – office in North Macedonia
- World Bank in North Macedonia
- International Monetary Fund
Many other national civil society organizations are taking actions in order to foster social inclusion. According to the Codex of Best Practices for civil society participation in the process of policy making (Кодекс на добри практики за учество на граѓанскиот сектор во процесот на креирање политики), civil society representatives are invited in developing policies in the area of social inclusion.
The representative bodies of the young people in the country were included in the preparation of the Law on Youth Participation and Youth Policies.
Social inclusion is a complex subject involving various stakeholders and covering different issues. According to the National Strategy for Reduction of Poverty and Social Exclusion in the Republic of Macedonia (Revised 2010-2020), there is a need for systematic, coordinated and long term cooperation between the centers for social work, the municipalities, the employment centers, nongovernmental organizations, the schools, police stations and other organizations, with a view of resolving the social issues.
Daily work of the centers for social work foreseen regular cooperation with police, courts, units of local self-government, educational institutions and civil society organizations. The lowest level of cooperation centers has with the civil society organizations, while the cooperation is somewhat better with the units of local self-government. Still, there is a need of widening the cooperation between the Centers and the units of local self-government in order to improve the efficiency and expertise in creating programs or local action plans for social inclusion.
There is also cooperation between the ministries and international organization. For example, in 2017 USAID started the implementation of a project “Social Inclusion Through Technology” (Социјална инклузија преку технологија). The aim of the project is to help young people with disabilities to become part of the labor market, especially in the fast growing IT sector. For the aim of the project, USAID signed MoU with the MLSP and the State Labor Inspectorate.