Environmental Impact Assessment Directive
Environmental Impact Assessment / Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive
Legislation transposing the latest amendments (Directive 2014/52/EU) to the EIA Directive remains to be adopted. Administrative capacities should be improved in order to secure proper quality control of EIA reports and a systematic screening process for projects subject to Annex II of the Directive. Strategic environmental reports should be prepared as early as possible in the process of the preparation of the plan or programme (e.g. spatial planning plans). Securing early and effective opportunities for public participation remains a challenge.
Sulphur in Fuels Directive
Sulphur in Fuels Directive
The transposing national legislation is in line with the provisions of the Directive. There is no domestic production and imported fuels covered by the scope of the Directive are subject to regular sampling and analysis.
Large Combustion Plants Directive
Large Combustion Plants / Industrial Emissions Directive
New legislation to ensure effective implementation of the NERP is foreseen but not adopted. For the largest combustion plant in the country (TPP Bitola), an integrated permit is in the final stage of adoption.
Two new protected areas (one national park category II and one protected landscape category V) are in the process of being designated. The designation file for international protection under the Ramsar Convention is prepared for one protected area (monument of nature category III). Effective measures to secure proper functioning and protection of the Emerald Network are still lacking.
State of compliance
The deadline for the transposition of amendments introduced by Directive 2014/52/EU to the provisions on environmental impact assessment was not met. Adoption of new or amending legislation should be supplemented with quality control of the environmental impact assessment studies. A systematic approach to the screening process of projects subject to Annex II of the EIA Directive (particularly for small hydropower projects) should be established and projects with a significant impact (taking into account their cumulative impact) should be properly assessed. Public participation opportunities for small hydropower projects must be improved.
With regard to strategic environmental assessment, the procedure was implemented for the National Energy Strategy, which applies until 2040. The SEA report was prepared at a very late stage of the process without proper public participation. More efforts should be devoted to the timely conduct of SEAs, ideally at the same time the preparation of the plan or programme starts. Opportunities for early and effective public participation have to be properly and systematically implemented.
The Directive on the sulphur content of liquid fuels is transposed and properly implemented. The provisions on marine fuels do not apply.
Certain steps for implementing the National Emission Reduction Plan (NERP) have been taken, as the procedure for issuing the integrated permit for the thermal power plant Bitola is in its final stage. The adoption of legislation required for the effective implementation of the NERP is foreseen. The overdue integrated permit for the largest combustion plant in the country is drafted and in the final stage of adoption. North Macedonia complied with its emissions reporting obligations for the reporting year 2019. The current emissions from large combustion plants show compliance with the ceiling for nitrogen oxides, while in the case of sulphur dioxide and dust there is significant non-compliance which needs to be addressed.
Two new protected areas are in the last stage of being designated as special protected areas – the National park “Shar planina” and Protected Landscape “Osogovo”. The National park “Shar planina” will extend the nature protection of the Šar Mountains (already designated as a national park in Kosovo*) to Macedonian territory. A joint management action plan should be prepared by both Contracting Parties in order to secure proper and effective measures in line with the Wild Birds Directive. A designation file for the international protection of Lake Ohrid under the Ramsar Convention is also prepared. Ensuring proper protection of the Emerald Network and enforcement of the Law on nature protection is still a challenge. The Bern Convention of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats announced that due to the large number of complaints in North Macedonia, it will conduct an expert mission to the country in the upcoming year to assess the protection of the Emerald sites and potential conflicts with proposed and planned energy and other infrastructure projects.