After two years of political turmoil and delays in establishing a parliamentary majority following the early parliamentary elections in December 2016, a new coalition Government was formed in May 2017, consisting of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) and two ethnic Albanian parties. The reform agenda outlined in the new Government’s Program 2017–2020 focuses on economic growth, job creation, fair taxation, support to small and medium enterprises, reform of social protection programs for the most vulnerable, and public administration reform. In addition, the Government has adopted a set of measures aimed at accelerating the process of European Union (EU) and NATO accession.
In terms of demographics, Macedonia faces an aging of its population and at the same time, a rapid demise of its young highly qualified workforce, as brain drain that has an immense economic costs: it significantly decreases the total productivity factor, and the prospects not only for achieving the necessary economic growth, but also for maintaining a functional economy and society. Moreover, according to the State Statistical Office, the official unemployment rate is declining. Unemployment registration became more stringent and access to higher education has improved. In addition, emigration has eased social pressures. One other particular issue that has been at the center in the past several years is air pollution. The air quality in Macedonia declines from year to year, as Skopje and other Macedonian towns are now frequently on the list of the most polluted places in the world. Related to the pollution are problems of waste colonialism, bad urban governance, unplanned construction, and poverty.
- Lack of government engagement and regulations.
- High level of taxes.
- Corruption and work ethics problems.
- Legal and political uncertainty.
- Financial dependence on international donors.
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The SOLID Platform is a project leaded by EL SPACE Social Innovation Hub and Co-Financed by the EUErasumsPlusProgramme. This Project will gather change-makers from Tunisia, Egypt, Romania, Jordan, Turkey, Austria, and Macedonia and will be the beginning of a fruitful collaboration to drive change towards an effective and inclusive global community of social innovators.
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