by: Biljana Jordanovska
CIVIL’s Citizen’s Forum for participation in government policy making invites all its members and supporters, collaborators and all citizens to share their expectations, proposals and demands from the government.
Today’s question of #Citizen’sForumCIVIL – Give us your opinion, remarks and recommendations on the coronavirus protection measures, what is good, what is not and what should be done? – is with the purpose of having citizens participate in the creation and practice of policies overall.
The Citizen’s Forum launched in August when the forming of the new government was in sight, and the questions were in relation to the expectations of the citizens in relation to the new program, what priorities should be in the focus of the government policies and how these challenges should be achieved, having in consideration the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the Citizen’s Forum continued with panel discussions on the topic “Nationalism”, and recapping of another important issue, and that being the victims of the regime, for which CIVIL demanded justice to be served for the damages that Nikola Gruevski’s regime caused.
Many messages arrived on our email addresses with articulated demands from the future government, which were published on CIVIL’s media platform and which, according to topics, can be divided in several categories.
“The main focus of the newly-formed government of the Republic of North Macedonia should be on the development of the economy and improving the living standard of citizens. For this purpose, strong determination for supporting domestic enterprises is needed, primarily of small and medium-sized enterprises that will invest and create jobs, and for the business climate to be free of political pressure and repression. Additionally, special attention should be paid to increasing employment, through active employment measures that will anticipate employment of a greater number of people in the private sector annually.
A compulsory obligation of the government is to strive toward increasing the level of salaries in the economy. The rise in salaries should put pressure for productivity in the economy to grow, and at the same time to provide protection of worker’s rights”, are the proposals of Marina Novakoska.
Activist Vesna Cvetanovska defined her expectations in terms of the economy as crucial for the country’s further path and for gaining trust at the next parliamentary elections.
“Citizens think that the new government should be focused on creating quality economic policies that will contribute to creating a better life for all, with special emphasis on creating quality jobs for the young people. Essentially, their demands are justified, because that is one of the main postulates and components that are also anticipated with the opening of the European chapters, namely, a stable economy”, says Cvetanovska.
“The practice of stubbornness and of hindering each other needs to stop, especially when it concerns regulations in the area of social justice, and finally maturity and unity should be shown when it comes to such policies. Because we, the citizens, voted and deserve politicians in legislature who will adopt laws in favour of the citizens. The new law on working relations that protects worker’s rights should be immediately adopted”, says activist and collaborator of CIVIL Simona Maneva Zivkova.
Activist Aleksandar Filipovic thinks that the government should focus on social justice, the Law on vulnerability assessment, rights and benefits and the Law on persons with status (children without parental care, redundant workers, homeless persons, handicapped persons or persons with certain disabilities, persons who due to a newly-created situation are prevented from leading a normal life, in cases of natural disaster, war, or economic crisis in the country)
“To have a committee formed that will be transparent and not susceptible to bribery, in relation to acting upon received requests from the vulnerable category of people, individuals, family and so on. To punish by law any attempt by internal persons in charge of law enforcement of throwing a case in a drawer or covering it up, and the punishment not to be a monetary fine but rather imprisonment for a period of time that will be determined by the public prosecutor’s office in accordance to the criteria for the severity of the crime committed by a legal entity… For every procedure that has been initiated but interrupted, to indicate the reasons for that and certainly to timely inform the party about the changes with a detailed description and further directions”, says Aleksandar Filipovic.
Arben Zeqiri, journalist and collaborator of CIVIL, pointed out education and the youth as key priorities of the government.
Judiciary, respect for the law
“I expect from the government final fulfilment of the promised, that is, ‘the rule of law’ in the true sense of the word, or in other words, non-selective justice for everyone. This means that I expect for the judiciary bodies to finally have real professionals, and not party servants. Furthermore, I expect fulfilment of the promise that finally vetting will be carried out in the judiciary, and verification of the origin of the property of judges and prosecutors, as well as officials in the Ministry of Justice, Council of Public Prosecutors and Council of Judges”, are the expectations of activist Maria Pupulieva.
“I propose strengthening and professionalization of the administration through ultimate application of the rule: Employment through selection based on quality, as opposed to party membership. Political affiliation is a right of every citizen, and not a requirement for employment, thus employment under equal conditions for every citizen based on fulfilled criteria.
The state administration needs to become a service of quality servants in the interest of the citizens. Merit-based promotion in the service, and not when the candidate is party eligible!”, are the loud demands of citizen Despina Vlakjeska.
Activist Aneta Perkovska considers that finally the government needs to focus on a real program against corruption in the public sector.
“We live in a digital society and it’s very easy to detect whether a public servant is spending more money that they earn. Travelling abroad and excursions around world metropolas are not covered with a salary of 30,000 denars.
The focus should not be only at the highest level, but also at a very lower level, such as the servants with whom citizens are in contact on a daily basis. You can’t have someone waiting for a decision from the Cadastre for years, while someone else receives it in one day”, explains Perkovska.
“The realization of the Concept for development of Popova Shapka to be the first priority and first phase of the long-term strategic development of the Shar mountain massif within the framework of the Polog planning region. The government to be the implementer of the development project through the line ministries, the Agency for Regional Development in cooperation with the Polog planning region and the Municipality of Tetovo” was the specific proposal and recommendations of civic activist and collaborator of CIVIL, Pero Naumovski.
Raising general awareness for adaptation and timely and appropriate response to climate changes is the proposal of activist Violeta Dimovska.
“All this should start with education from the earliest age in order to create generations that in the future will be prepared to face all challenges that a turbulent and risky time for humanity might bring”, says Dimovska.
“Open offices or green offices where there would be active contact with citizens, listening to their opinions, directing and at the same time monitoring the behaviour of individuals (monitoring offices), reducing the gap between urban and rural environments, promoting a green society (reducing the use of cars, encouraging the consumption of plant food, stays in nature, living in rural areas, distribution of surpluses of people, protection of women’s rights and children’s rights and son on), are some of the proposals stated by activist Biljana Atanasovska.
ЦИВИЛ organized a series of panel discussions and other online events under the joint title “Nationalism” on August 18 and 19. University professors Mirjana Najcevska and Violeta Petrovska Beska spoke at the first panel. The second panel discussion continued with Filip Stojanovski from the Metamorphosis Foundation and Petrit Saracini from CIVIL Activist Jane Gjorgjioski and Arian Mehmeti also spoke on the topic of nationalism.
translation: N. Cvetkovska