29th January 2022, Skopje – Economic Reform Program 2022-2024 is based on the following key pillars – fostering the green transition to the end of increasing the share of renewable energy, strengthening the human capital, improving the competitiveness of domestic companies and their integration in the global value chains, as well as formalization of the economy.
ERP 2022-2024, identifying the key challenges to boosted competitiveness and economic growth, is adopted at Government session, and the Minister of Finance is to officially submit it to the European Commission by 31st January at the latest.
The Program focuses in particular on the environment reforms in terms of the green transition, pertaining to solid waste and wastewater management. One of the key challenges in the coming period will be energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. By 2025, share of RES in electricity is projected to be 46%.
Priority structural reforms set in the ERP should, above all, contribute to meeting the economic criteria for EU accession.
Challenges identified in the ERP 2022-2024 comprise 20 reform measures pertaining to implementation of Intelligent Transport System (ITS) along Corridor X, as well as reduction of informal economy, with the Ministry of Finance implementing measures set in the Action Plan on Reducing the Informal Economy. The measures will be also focused on streamlining the use of parafiscal charges, establishing a Management Information System on State Aid, as well as a Science and Technology Park. Hybrid fund for green and digital start-ups and innovative SME’s will be also established, expected to attract investments in the amount of EUR 17 million by 2023.
Human capital is one of the key challenges to boost the competitiveness and the economic growth. The Program includes measures contributing to strengthening the human capital. Moreover, measures are envisaged aimed at standardization and improvement of labour market flexibility through legislative actions in the area of labour law, continuation of the activities for implementation of regional VET centers, as well as harmonization of the legislation and accreditation rules and evaluation with the European standards for higher education, along with improved primary healthcare. Share of informally employed in the total number of employed persons is envisaged to drop to 12.8% by 2024 (it accounted for 13.6% in 2020).
Digital transformation of the Public Revenue Office by establishing Integrated Tax Information System is a novelty in ERP 2022-2024, with services towards the taxpayers being fully digitalized by the end of 2024.
EC is to publish the ERP 2022-2024 Assessment Report in the course of April 2022, while the new Joint Conclusions will be adopted within the annual Economic and Financial Dialogue between EU and Western Balkan Countries and Turkey.
Economic Reform Program is the crucial strategic document in the economic dialogue with the European Commission and the EU Member States. It comprises a medium-term framework of the macroeconomic and the fiscal policies, as well as the structural reforms, which are to contribute to boosting the economy’s competitiveness and job creation.