Promoting Mechanism for Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation in North Macedonia – INVESTinADR

Prof. Dr. Marc Bungenberg, co-director of the Europa-Institut, receives funding of around 450.000,00 Euro by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for the joint research project „Promoting Mechanism for Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation in North Macedonia –INVESTinADR“ together with the Iustinianus Primus Faculty of the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, a long-standing partner of the Europa-Institut, in the field of Investment Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution. The aim of the INVESTinADR project is to analyse, together with the Macedonian partner, the current legal situation in the field of alternative dispute resolution, in particular international arbitration and mediation in Northern Macedonia, to assess its practical implementation, to identify any need for action and to utilise the results in the context of a training course.   

North Macedonia needs foreign investment, be it direct or portfolio investment, to improve its economic situation and the associated political stability. In addition, trade growth must be generated. However, such investments are often associated with great risks for the investor or foreign trading partner. In the case of foreign investments, especially outside the EU or other established trading nations, there is a risk that profits will be minimised by contractual partners or by government intervention. Public court proceedings are often not sought due to a lack of or insufficient legal protection or are considered only partially effective by all partners involved due to the length of the proceedings. For this reason, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are used worldwide in the areas of international investments as well as cross-border trade. Alternative dispute resolution is assessed as a valuable pillar for improving access to justice, enabling companies in emerging economies to resolve disputes quickly and, in some cases, less costly. This suggests that effective alternative dispute resolution has an important impact on a country's investment climate, and thus, plays a crucial role in promoting the rule of law and the overall development of a country, which in turn has a positive impact on the political, social and economic stabilisation of Northern Macedonia. 

From this point of view, the project examines the legal basis for the implementation of proceedings in the framework of international arbitration or mediation. In addition to the national legislation, the international framework, including the rules provided by ICSID and UNCITRAL and their application in Northern Macedonia will be analysed. For a comprehensive analysis, the perspectives of various economic actors as users of the system will be considered. The results found here will be transposed into policy recommendations for the executive and legislative branches in Northern Macedonia. These results are to be made usable and passed on within the framework of a training course for young lawyers in the field of alternative dispute resolution. For this purpose, the contacts and networks established during the project will be used and comprehensive marketing and training materials will be prepared.