16th February 2023, Skopje – Today, under the Ministry of Finance, Minister Fatmir Besimi, together with the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs, Bojan Maricic, ministers from several departments and EC representatives held a high-level meeting, within the EU Financial and Economic Dialogue. Thereunder, the Economic Reform Program is prepared, whereby Joint Conclusions are adopted within the EU Council in May every year. This has been a process which has been implemented, in cooperation with the EU, for 9 years in a row, thus determining recommendations and measures aimed at meeting the set priorities, under MoF’s coordination.
This meeting, as well as the dialogue in general, aim to jointly come up with proposals for recommendations that will provide for meeting the priorities of our country, all to the end attaining higher economic growth in 2023. Discussion will play vital role in preparing this year’s Economic and Financial Dialogue between the EU and the Western Balkans and Turkey, where the new guidelines for the country will be jointly adopted in May 2023.
At the beginning of this month, Government of the Republic of North Macedonia adopted the 2023-2025 Economic Reform Program, as the ninth one in a row, containing key sectoral structural reforms, which are to be undertaken in the next two years, all to the end of boosting both the competitiveness and the growth of the economy.
“This has been a continuous process implemented together with the EU, being coordinated by the Ministry of Finance of our country. Economic Reform Program was prepared within the Financial and Economic Dialogue, containing macroeconomic and fiscal framework, as well as 19 crucial structural reforms focused on boosting both the competitiveness and the economic growth. It is noteworthy that its preparation and contents is consistent with the 2020-2024 Government’s Work Program, the revised 2023-2025 Fiscal Strategy (with prospects until 2027), the revised 2023-2025 Public Debt Management Strategy (with prospects until 2027) and the 2023 Budget of the Republic of North Macedonia, as well as the other national strategic documents, thus demonstrating our determination to join the EU”, Minister of Finance Fatmir Besimi said.
He also touched upon the fiscal policy-related reforms, which Ministry of Finance plans to undertake this year.
“As regards budget policy, by taking into account the crisis impact, fiscal support will be provided, aimed at safeguarding the citizens’ living standard and the companies’ liquidity. We will proceed with the already commenced process pertaining to fiscal consolidation and budget deficit reduction, at the same time boosting investments, thus underpinning the growth. Minister Besimi stressed the implementation of the new Organic Budget Law, as a major public finance reform, as well as the implementation of the tax policy reform package, which provided for putting in place a modern tax system based on fairness, equity, efficiency and digitalized processes, fight against the informal economy, and similar”, thereby also referring to the reforms in the financial sector.
Minister expressed his gratitude about the support provided by the EU via grant of EUR 80 million, as well as the Macro-Financial Assistance, amounting to EUR 100 million.
At the meeting, the EC representatives gave an overview of the implementation of the Joint Conclusions under the Economic Reform Program as regards the structural policies in the field of green transition, digital transformation, business climate improvement and informal economy reduction, while the relevant ministers presented their future policies that could be part of the respective Joint Conclusions.