A round-table event on “Presentation of the Fundamental Rights Report 2020: Evaluation of Human Rights Standards in North Macedonia through the prism of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, ahead of the opening of EU accession negotiations” was held today in Skopje, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Policy Institute and the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights.
In his opening remarks, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Dimitrov underlined the importance of the fulfilment of fundamental rights as a constitutional obligation and an obligation undertaken with international agreements such as the European Convention on Human Rights, foremost for the benefit of citizens, but also as an important prerequisite for joining the European Union.
FM Dimitrov: “The EU has two strong magnets of attraction: equally strong as the economic one is the magnet comprised of European values, fundamental human rights, rule of law and democratic principles.
Accession negotiations give us the most transformative tool that helps us strengthen all of these values at home. In fact, the fulfilment of fundamental rights as an essential part of the “Fundamentals” cluster in EU negotiations will be the subject of constant evaluation by the European Commission and the member states, that is, metaphorically speaking, fundamental rights will either be the “red brake” or the “engine” in our locomotive towards the EU. Let our first refueling station be the adoption of the Law on Protection against Discrimination!”
The round-table was attended by representatives of the civil society and institutions responsible for the fulfilment of fundamental rights, and views on the subject were presented by the Ombudsman and observer at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights Idzet Memeti and the Director of the European Policy Institute Simonida Kacarska.
The fruitful discussion addressed the report of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights on North Macedonia, as well as the key challenges in this field before and during EU accession negotiations, cooperation with the civil society sector in promotion and protection of human rights, improvement of the capacities of the institutions in terms of enjoying human rights, application of the human rights approach in the institutional processes, as well as the role of international instruments, oversight mechanisms and technical supp
ort in function of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The event was organized based on comparative practices within the EU for promotion of findings of the Report at national level, as well as the importance of raising awareness for the work of the Agency and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.