The FYR of Macedonia's Law on Lobbying regulates lobbying and mandates the requirement for lobbyists to register with the Secretary General of the Parliament and report on their activities and income on an annual basis. However, shortcomings of the law have been noted by many commentators, pointing to the need to institute reporting requirements for public officials and strengthening the oversight.

Legislative framework

The Law on Lobbying regulates lobbying within the legislature and executive at the central level, and the local level. According to the law, the lobbyist has to register in the register maintained by the Secretary General of the Parliament and has an obligation to prepare a written annual report that must contain information on his/her lobbying activities, including information on the officials who were lobbied, the subjects of lobbying and the financial compensation they received for their lobbying activities. The lobbyist is obliged to submit information about all meetings with officials from the legislature, executive and local authorities. Elected officials are prohibited from lobbying until one year after they have ceased to receive a salary from their public job (Law on Lobbying 2008).

Shortcomings of the Lobbying Law have been pointed out both by civil society and international organisations, as well as by the State Commission for Preventing Corruption (SCPC)  itself.

The obligation for disclosure of lobbying lies with only lobbyists and not the public officials lobbied. (TI Macedonia 2011). MPs’ contacts with lobbyists or other persons trying to influence their decisions remain unregulated (GRECO 2014).

As pointed out by the GRECO 2014 report, the Law on Lobbying is only embryonic, while the State Programme for Prevention and Reduction of Conflicts of Interest adopted by the SCPC, points to the legal gap regarding the supervision of lobbying activities. The SCPC is only mandated to supervise registered lobbyists and its power does not extend to cover the activities of various natural and legal persons which are in fact performing activities in favour of certain interests. The Programme states that the measures described in the existing law are not sufficient to control lobbying activities or get accurate information on the financial and other benefits acquired through lobbying (SPCP 2011).

The EC 2011 progress report has pointed out that implementation of the Law on Lobbying continues to create selective access by interest groups to policy making. It is problematic that lobbying can only be undertaken at the invitation of the relevant legislative body, and is permitted for civil associations but not for foundations (EC 2011).


Despite the legal requirement for lobbyists to register and comply to the rules on reporting, currently only one lobbyist is formally registered. The SCPC and the Secretary General of the Parliament have no official data about unregistered lobbyists, although it is widely believed that lobbying by different interest groups and individuals is widespread in practice. The reasons for such a situation are likely to be the lack of awareness on lobbying and deficiencies of the current law that does not allow the SCPC to supervise unregistered lobbyists (GRECO 2014).

Lack of enforcement of the Lobbying Law is cited as one of the corruption risk factors in the State Programme for Prevention and Reduction of Conflicts of Interest 2011-2015. It highlights the problems in the area of lobbying and lists activities that could be undertaken to address the problems in this area.

TI Macedonia has also pointed out the gaps in the regulation and implementation of provisions on lobbying, noting that the relevant provisions need to be implemented in practice. There is obviously a need for a better awareness on lobbying and the corruption risks it carries if its activities are not undertaken in a transparent and accountable manner. The SCPC has proposed to carry out a number of activities in this area, namely to prepare a guide and a code of ethics for lobbyists, amending the Law on Lobbying and introducing the register of lobbyists at the SCPC to strengthen its control (SCPC 2011).

GRECO recommends introducing rules on how members of parliament engage with lobbyists and other third parties who seek to influence the legislative process (GRECO 2014).

Awareness about lobbying and the requirement for MPs to disclose contacts with lobbyists can be further reinforced by the introduction of a code of ethics for MPs, something that has been strongly recommended by TI Macedonia (2011) and GRECO (2014).

The Law on Lobbying of the FYR of Macedonia is published under Resources on AALEP’s Website.

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