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PRESS RELEASE: Launching of the awareness raising campaign on Free Legal Aid in North Macedonia

Skopje 26 October 2020
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PRESS RELEASE: Launching of the awareness raising campaign on Free Legal Aid in North Macedonia

Improving the quality of justice and ensuring access to enhanced quality of Free Legal Aid services is of paramount importance for the citizens of North Macedonia and a key priority of the European Union and Council of Europe. On the occasion of the European Day of Justice, a high-level video conference was organized in Skopje by the European Union and Council of Europe joint action “Supporting enhanced access to higher quality Free Legal Aid services in North Macedonia”, in co-operation with the Ministry of Justice, to launch an awareness raising campaign promoting better access and more efficient free legal aid services for the citizens of North Macedonia.

Bojan Maricic - Minister of Justice of North Macedonia welcomed the participants and explained that the free legal aid system guarantees that citizens who are in a difficult financial situation can turn to the Ministry of Justice and its regional offices and ask for legal aid and a lawyer paid for from the Budget of North Macedonia. He underlined that all citizens should have guaranteed access to justice and a fair trial.

In his address Christophe Poirel - Director of Human Rights Directorate at the Council of Europe tackled the progress made in the field of Free Legal Aid services in North Macedonia, stressing that public awareness and information is also essential. “Citizen need to know that, under certain conditions, they can solve some of their problems and protect their rights with the support of free legal aid”, said Poirel in his address.

Nicola Bеrtolini - Head of the Cooperation - Delegation of the European Union in Skopje, during his remarks was focused on the support provided by the EU until now and the challenges ahead for providing all citizens free legal aid.

During the online event which was live streamed via web platforms and shared in social media channels, the citizens had the opportunity to get acquainted with the new vision and future plans to improve free legal aid services in North Macedonia.
Important information was shared with the public on the new law on Free Legal Aid which aims to ensure better access to FLA services for Macedonian citizens. In this framework, the new dedicated website: http://www.pravnapomos.mk/ created by the Ministry of Justice will function as a resource platform for finding important and updated information on free legal aid services in North Macedonia.

This event was organized in the framework of the programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey II”, a co-operation initiative co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe, which aims at assisting beneficiaries in South-East Europe to comply with the Council of Europe standards and European Union acquis, in the framework of the enlargement process.