Promoting Mechanisms for Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation in North Macedonia

The Republic of Northern Macedonia has been a candidate for accession to the European Union since 2005. Such EU accession is a long and complex process in which a country must implement numerous reforms in order to meet the necessary criteria. One of these criteria is a functioning, sound economy. To achieve this, North Macedonia needs foreign investment to improve its own economic situation and the associated political stability. However, foreign investment always carries the risk that profits will be minimized by contractors or government intervention. Public court proceedings not infrequently fail due to a lack of or inadequate legal protection. Alternative dispute resolution procedures offer a solution. They are now used worldwide in the area of international investment as well as cross-border trade. Alternative dispute resolution has an important impact on the investment climate of a country and also plays a crucial role in promoting the rule of law.

Against this background, the research team of Prof. Marc Bungenberg together with partners from the University of Skopje is investigating to what extent arbitration and mediation can improve the investment climate in Northern Macedonia. For this purpose, the research group investigates the current legal situation in the field of alternative dispute resolution in Northern Macedonia, evaluates its practical implementation, identifies the need for action and utilizes the results in the context of a training course.  To this end, the project "INVESTinADR" (Promoting Mechanisms for Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation in North Macedonia) received funding of around 450.000 euros from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Workshop in Saarbrücken

In the framework of the project "INVESTinADR" a workshop on "Promoting Alternative Dispute Resolution in North Macedonia" took place at the Europa-Institut in Saarbrücken on May 31 and June 1, 2022. Four scientists from our partner university in Skopje came to this workshop. Together with Prof. Dr. Goran Koevski, Prof. Dr. Darko Spasevski, Ljuben Kocev and Marjana Staninova the team of professors examined the international and national legal framework in Germany and North Macedonia with regard to alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. After an initial kick-off meeting at the end of last year, which unfortunately was only possible online, the team now had the opportunity to exchange ideas in person. The workshop was divided into the topics "national jurisdiction", "international legal framework", "commercial arbitration" and "investment arbitration". At a next meeting in the fall of 2022, the team will focus on the topic area of "mediation" and discuss to what extent the legal framework in North Macedonia can be optimized to promote alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and improve the overall investment climate in the country.  

We thank our partners for this successful workshop and look forward to the next meeting!

Workshop in Paris

Within the framework of the international research project "INVESTinADR" led by Prof. Dr. Marc Bungenberg LL.M., the 2nd workshop took place on 16 and 17 November 2022 in Paris, to which five academics from the partner Iustinianus Primus Faculty of Law in Skopje and four academics from Saarland University travelled. On the first day, the participating academics met at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to discuss the current project results with practitioners. After a detailed introduction to the functioning of the ICC, which included an insight into the practical application of the ICC Arbitration Rules and ICC Mediation Rules as well as current trends in alternative dispute resolution, the delegation from Northern Macedonia introduced us to their legal framework for commercial and investment arbitration, mediation and national jurisdiction. This was then discussed with those present. The practitioners' helpful comments and suggestions will be taken into account as our project progresses. On the second day, we met at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne to discuss the way forward for our project. We thank all those present for the productive exchange and look forward to the next meeting, which will take place in Skopje.