Skip Navigation
North Macedonia

Increasing Accountability and Promoting the Concept of Informed Consumers and Citizens, Service Users and Rights Through: (MK0080)



Action Plan: Macedonia, Second Action Plan, 2014-2016

Action Plan Cycle: 2014



Lead Institution: Council for Consumer Protection of the Government of Republic of Macedonia and Organization of Consumers of Macedonia

Support Institution(s): Ministry of Economy

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Macedonia End-of-Term Report 2014-2016, Macedonia Progress Report 2014-2015

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Yes

Ambition (see definition): High

Implementation i



Increasing accountability and promoting the concept of informed consumers and citizens, service users and rights through:

IRM End of Term Status Summary

XIX. Open Government for Consumers 

Commitment 7.1: Open Government for Consumers

Commitment Text: 7.1. Increasing accountability and promoting the concept of informed consumers and citizens, service users and rights through: 1) Targeted awareness-raising] in the individual domains of consumer protection; 2) Significantly increased support to civil society working in the domain of education, counseling and consumer information (includes compulsory education); 3) Regular meetings Held of the Council of consumer of the Government upon constitution of [new members and publication] of findings and recommendations; 4) Workshops with all stakeholders in recognition of […] legislation and the need to further regulate. Meetings held with […] Consumer Councils at level of local government for cooperation in education, information and advice to citizens; 5) Held meetings with existing and newly formed Consumer Council at the level of local government for cooperation in education, information and advice to citizens.

Responsible institution(s): Council for Consumer Protection of the Government and Organization for Consumer Protection 

Supporting institution(s): Ministry of Economy

Start Date: 1/7/2014     End Date: 31/12/2016

Commitment aim

This commitment supported the implementation of the amended legal framework for consumer protection that, among other things, strengthened the operational structures.


Midterm: Limited

There was little progress on this commitment at the midterm. No further information regarding this measure was contained in the government’s self-assessment report. Activities were focused on raising awareness and capacity building through workshops and training. Local consumer councils were established in some municipalities, including Skopje,[Note 149: EC, Annual Progress Report for 2014, 56.] but their work was limited in smaller and less developed municipalities. The national Consumer Council met only once in 2014.[Note 150: On 17-18 December.]

For more information, please see the 2014-2016 IRM midterm report.

End of term: Limited

The government’s self-assessment report did not contain any information on this commitment. In addition, there was no working group for this area during the second year of implementation or during consultations for the preparation of the third action plan. In its end of term self-assessment report, the government noted that the second OGP action plan focused on “six priority areas,”[Note 151: MISA, Information for the Work of the Working Groups for The Implementation of the OGP National Action Plan 2014-2016, along with an End-term Self-Assessment (Skopje: 2016), 2.] omitting the commitment on consumer protection. Although the government did not officially withdraw this commitment, the IRM researcher could not find evidence of any actions by the government in this area.

As in the first year of implementation, the activities carried out by the Organisation for Consumers Protection focused on education and capacity building.[Note 152: Organisation for Consumer Protection, Annual Report for 2015, (Skopje: OCP, 2016), available at: [in Macedonian].] The only exception was the cooperation with the City of Skopje, where the organisation effectively helped the city implement its program for consumer protection, including a study on consumer satisfaction and protection of utility services in Skopje.[Note 153: Marijana Loncar Velkova, Aleksandar Nikolov, Dusko Todorovski, Ivo Kostovski, Protection of Rights and Interests of Consumers of Utilities. (Skopje: OPM, 2016), available at: [in Macedonian].] The EC also noted no progress in consumer protection.[Note 154: EC, Annual Progress Report for 2016, 76.]

Did it open government?

Access to information: Did not change

Civic Participation: Marginal

Consumers’ rights in Macedonia remain one of the most violated in the country,[Note 155: Ombudsman for the Republic of Macedonia, Annual Report for 2015, Skopje: 2016, available at: ] according to the number of annual complaints filed by citizens to the Ombudsperson. Civil society organisations and experts have identified the lack of efficiency of the current consumer protection structures, and have recommended further legal reforms.[Note 156: Marijana Loncar Velkova, Aleksandar Nikolov, Dusko Todorovski, Ivo Kostovski, Associations of Consumers in the System for Consumer Protection: Recommendations for Improvement of their position in Macedonia, (Skopje: OPM, 2016), available at: [in Macedonian].] Some of the problems that consumers face include no unified system for receiving and handling consumer complaints, insufficient funding from the state for consumer protection, and legal barriers to collective legal action and representation in consumer protection cases. The commitment sought to support and advance consumer protection in the country, including through transparency and citizens’ participation.

This commitment improved civic participation for consumers only marginally. This was mostly due to cooperation between the Organisation for Consumers’ Protection and the City of Skopje, in which the organisation assessed citizens’ satisfaction with utilities and proposed recommendations for improvements. The IRM researcher found that the number of municipalities that have established a council for consumer protection increased from eight in 2014 to 29 in 2015, but no evidence of their work was available on their websites or through a review of electronic media.[Note 157: The following local self-governments have councils: Skopje, Tetovo, Cashka, Ohrid, Petrovec, Gazi Baba, Mavrovo i Rostuse, Gostivar, Bitola, Zrnovci, Kocani, Vasilevo, Centar, Valandovo, Kicevo, Ohrid, Shtip, Kavadarci, Veles, Ceshino-Oblesevo, Prilep, Karpos, Aerodrom, Krivogashtani, Vinica, Kriva Palanka, Kisela Voda, Bogdanci and Berovo. ] The IRM researcher contacted 12 randomly selected municipalities.[Note 158: Skopje, Tetovo, Cashka, Ohrid, Petrovec, Gazi Baba, Mavrovo i Rostuse, Gostivar, Kocani, Vasilevo, Centar, and Veles.] Apart from the City of Skopje, no other municipality has active councils. Six stated that there was no established council, while five contended that a formal council existed, but did not hold meetings in 2015 or 2016.

The IRM researcher also could not find evidence in the online media or from the review of the website of meetings by the national Council for Consumer Protection. Finally, the Organisation for Consumer Protection published an analysis of the capacity of civil society working in this area. It found significant gaps in the legislative, institutional, and financial framework supporting their work.[Note 159: Ibid, endnote 7.]

Regarding access to information, the IRM researcher could not find evidence online, through phone interviews with municipal officials, or consultations with local civil society, that the commitment furthered the quantity or quality of information presented on consumers’ rights. All available brochures and bulletins were published before the country adopted these commitments, except a new website launched after the period covered in this report that provides information on organic food, shops, and producers.[Note 160: .]

Carried forward?

This commitment is not reflected in the new action plan. In case the government reconsiders its pledge in consumer protection, the IRM researcher recommends focusing on the following priority areas:

       Legal reform in line with the recommendations of civil society and EU legislation;

       Adequate core support to organisations to effectively monitor protection of the rights as well as effectiveness of the system for consumer protection.


Open Government Partnership