New North Macedonia Research Shows Dissatisfaction with Basic Governance; Desire for Systematic Reforms, EU Accession

“The shared desire for meeting EU accession requirements provides a unique chance to align government actions with the needs and expectations of the people.” 

Washington, DC— New qualitative research in North Macedonia released by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research (CISR) shows a widespread lack of responsiveness from municipal governments to citizen needs, a desire for systematic reforms of local governance, and a negative perception of Bulgaria’s behavior impacting North Macedonia’s possible accession to the European Union.

The study found that the absence of formal systems for handling citizen queries and the inefficient handling of requests negatively impacts public trust in local governments. This erosion of trust found at the local level suggests broader systemic challenges in North Macedonia.  

“The findings underscore the need for constructive dialogue and action to address challenges in local governance and institutional functioning,” said IRI Regional Director for Europe Paul McCarthy.   

The study also highlighted negative views of Bulgaria’s behavior towards North Macedonia’s EU integration process. Despite these negative views, Macedonians still see EU accession as key to improved governance.    “In North Macedonia, there is an opportunity for improved governance to address the aspirations of its citizens,” said McCarthy. “The shared desire for meeting EU accession requirements provides a unique chance to align government actions with the needs and expectations of the people.”

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