POLITICS Geer: EU regulation prohibits revealing ethnic origin, religious beliefs

European Union Ambassador to North Macedonia David Geer said on Friday that the relevant legislation in the EU regarding IDs showing ethnicity is the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and this prohibits the processing of personal data, revealing racial or ethnic origin, political, religious or other beliefs.

“ID cards in the European Union are still for the moment subject to national law, but the regulation I’ve just mentioned, containing the first ever EU-wide rules on ID cards will enter into application in August this year,” Geer said during a joint press conference with Economy Minister Kreshnik Bekteshi on the occasion of North Macedonia taking over the 2021 Chairmanship with the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA).

He added that the issue of alignment of the legal system here with EU rules and standards is an important one and the EU always encourages North Macedonia to continue making good progress because these are one of the first areas that would be addressed when in-depth negotiations begin.

Regarding implementation of OSCE/ODIHR recommendations in the electoral code, Geer stressed the importance of their timely implementation, well ahead of the election.

“In October, the European Commission issued its regular report on North Macedonia’s progress in moving towards the standards, the acquis, of the European Union and in it underlined the importance of reforming the electoral code, in line with the recommendations of the ODIHR and the Venice Commission, but it said it was important that whatever changes are made in line with those rules, that they should be done in a timely fashion. So, it’s important that this work is now continuing and it’s important that it’s done in a timely fashion, meaning well ahead of an electoral event. I know there are working groups continuing to work on this, but the standard that we’re looking at is the standard established by the ODIHR and the Venice Commission and that’s what we’re looking for, the implementation of those measures,” stressed Ambassador Geer.

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