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.

Within the frame of the project INVESTinADR, the project team has elaborated a number of documents on alternative dispute resolution in the Republic of North Macedonia. Besides a report on the legal framework for arbitration and mediation in North Macedonia and Germany, the project team has translated relevant legal texts relating to arbitration and mediation in North Macedonia to English to make them available for the public at large. 

Report on the Legal Framework for Arbitration and Mediation in North Macedonia and Germany

Law on International Commercial Arbitration of the Republic of Macedonia

Private International Law Act of the Republic of North Macedonia (excerpt)

Civil Procedure Act of the Republic of Macedonia (excerpt)

Rules on the Costs in the Proceedings before the Permanent Court of Arbitration attached to the Economic Chamber of North Macedonia

Law on Strategic Investments in the Republic of North Macedonia

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.



Expert Round Table Discussion in Skopje

On 26 and 27 June 2023, the project team had another meeting, this time at our partner university Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, North Macedonia. The first day was dedicated to an expert round table discussion, which was attended by numerous stakeholders from different fields (lawyer, judges, politicians, etc.). At the round table, the project was first introduced and then the team presented the preliminary report on the legal framework for ADR in North Macedonia and Germany. The report was discussed with the different stakeholders, who gave valuable feedback for the finalisation of the report. In addition, the team from Skopje presented the preliminary results of a survey conducted on the practice of arbitration and mediation in North Macedonia. The survey was sent to all relevant institutions and stakeholders in the field. It aims at establishing how well-know alternative dispute resolution is in the country and where potential for improvement is seen. Finally, an outlook on the next steps within the project was given. On the second day, the project team had first an internal meeting to discuss the implementation of a training course on alternative dispute resolution in North Macedonia. Prof. Dr. Marc Bungenberg also met the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs of North Macedonia, Bojan Marichikj, together with colleagues of the Iustinianus Primus Faculty of Law in Skopje in North Macedonia. The meeting was dedicated to present the project INVESTinADR and to talk about future cooperation possibilities regarding possible training options in EU law, especially in European Economic law.

We thank the team from Skopje for the good organisation and the warm welcome. We had a nice and productive stay in North Macedonia and we look forward to the next steps of the project. 

Conference: Policies for Promoting Arbitration and Mediation in North Macedonia

On 12 December 2023, the chair of Prof. Dr. Marc Bungenberg organised together with our partners from Ss. Cyril and Methodius University Skopje a joint conference titled “Policies for Promoting Arbitration and Mediation in North Macedonia” within the project “INVESTinADR”. The conference took place at the Training Center of the Secretariat for European Affairs in Skopje. The aim of the conference was to discuss possible policy recommendations in the fields of commercial and investment arbitration and mediation in North Macedonia. To that purpose, the project team invited numerous stakeholders – politicians, judges, arbitrators, mediators and counsel – to participate in the conference and to provide feedback on the policy recommendations elaborated by the project team together with external experts. The conference was organised in a hybrid format to allow stakeholders to participate on site or remotely. Moreover, it was delivered both in English and Macedonian by means of simultaneous translation.

The conference started with welcome greetings by Mr. Bojan Maricic (Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs), H.E. Petra Drexler (Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany), Prof. Dr. Sasho Georgievski (Dean of the Faculty of Law of Ss. Cyril and Methodius University Skopje), and the two heads of the project Prof. Dr. Goran Koevski and Prof. Dr. Marc Bungenberg. After this brief introduction, Prof. Dr. Marc Bungenberg held a keynote speech titled “Promoting the Rule of Law through ADR”, and one of the team members, Ljuben Kocev, presented the work undertaken within the project so far, in particular a report on the legal framework for arbitration and mediation in North Macedonia and Germany and the results of a survey on arbitration and mediation practice in North Macedonia that was sent to relevant stakeholders. A copy of the 130 pages report was distributed among the participants of the conference.

After the presentation of the project results so far, Prof. Dr. Goran Koevski and Prof. Dr. Marc Bungenberg presented the policy recommendations elaborated by the project team for the fields of commercial arbitration, mediation, and investment arbitration. The participating stakeholders gave valuable feedback for each area of law, which will be considered for the final version of the policy recommendations to be submitted to relevant authorities in North Macedonia. After a short coffee break, three lectures on current challenges in mediation and arbitration and capacity-building were delivered by the external experts that advise the project team: Prof. Dr. Catharine Titi, Prof. Dr. Zlatan Meskic, and Greg Lourie.

The conference finishes by presenting a first draft of a training course on ADR that will be organised in Skopje in 2024 as the next step of the project to further promote arbitration and mediation in North Macedonia. We thank all stakeholders for participating in the conference!