20. Mai 2022

Letter to Government – thank you for your support!

Offene Briefe

Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski
1st Deputy PrimeMinister & Minister for Political System
and Intercommunity Relations Artan Grubi
Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Bojan Marichic
Minister of Justice Nicola Tupancheski

Brussels, 20 April 2022

The need to ensure the right of trans and nonbinary persons to Legal Gender Recognition in the Civil Registry law


Dear PrimeMinister,
Dimitar Kovachevski
Dear First Deputy PrimeMinister and Minister for Political System and Intercommunity Relations, Artan
Dear Deputy PrimeMinister for European Affairs, Bojan Marichic,
Dear Minister of Justice, Nikola Tupancheski,

We, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament, address you today concerning the need to
ensure the right of trans and nonbinary persons to legal gender recognition in North Macedonia.
We have recently been informed of the withdrawal of the bill on Civil Registry, which included legal
provisions regulating Legal Gender Recognition in national law. We were surprised with this development
and the fact that the Committee on the Political System and InterEthnic Relations of the Parliament did
not have the chance to scrutinise the bill, which has been long awaited.

In effect, following the ruling of X v. the former Yugoslav Republic of North Macedonia in the European
Court of Human Rights, 1 North Macedonia was required to adopt a legislative framework for the legal
recognition of trans persons. As per the case:

¶69. All the above is sufficient for the Court to conclude that the current regulatory framework
in the respondent State on legal gender recognition leaves a number
of important questions unanswered. Among them is the existence and nature of any
requirement that a claimant needs to fulfil in order to have the sex/gender marker in the official
records changed. As noted […], the domestic law does not address that issue.
70. The Court finds that the circumstances of the case reveal legislative gaps and serious
deficiencies that leave the applicant in a situation of distressing uncertainty visàvis his private life
and the recognition of his identity. As stated above […], the protracted examination of the
applicant’s claim, for which the national authorities bore sole responsibility, is having longterm
negative consequences for his mental health. The foregoing considerations are sufficient to enable the Court to conclude that the current legal framework in the respondent
State does not provide “quick, transparent and accessible procedures” for changing on
birth certificates the registered sex of transgender people […].

The case therefore created a positive obligation on the executive of North Macedonia to regulate the
situation, which it committed to doing in the framework of the Law on Civil Registry.
Dear PrimeMinister, dear Ministers, we take this opportunity to remind you of the annual report prepared
by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on North Macedonia last year,2 adopted by
a majority of the Parliament’s Members, which stated:

40. Welcomes the renewed adoption of antidiscrimination legislation by all political parties, and
welcomes the transparent process of appointment of the Commission for Protection from
Discrimination, ensuring protection and inclusion of all marginalised groups; encourages
the Sobranie to adopt legislation which will enable a simplified, transparent and
accessible procedure for legal gender recognition based on selfdetermination, and
prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity; notes the organisation of
the first ever Skopje Pride in June 2019;

We understand that the process to propose a legislation, which was even drafted in consultation with
concerned civil society actors, was a lengthy process, but that a compromise agreement was found. Self
determination was not a part of this agreement, and neither was the requirement for compulsory divorce
or the recognition of nonbinary persons, but we were informed that civil society viewed it as a positive
step in the right direction.

In accordance, we urge the government not to cease its efforts to propose legislation addressing
the concerns of the civil society actors and LGBTIQ organisations, as well as implementing the
obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. This law has the potential to position
North Macedonia as a progressive actor in the field of Legal Gender Recognition in the Balkans, and we
urge the government to seize it and enact the needed legislative change.

We are positively looking forward to a reply on your behalf.

Yours sincerely,
Marc ANGEL, CoChair, LGBTI Intergroup (S&D)
Terry REINTKE, CoChair, LGBTI Intergroup (GreensEFA, VicePresident)
Fabio Massimo CASTALDO, VicePresident, LGBTI Intergroup (Nonattached)
Pierre KARLESKIND, VicePresident, LGBTI Intergroup (Renew Europe)
Malin BJÖRK, VicePresident, LGBTI Intergroup (The Left)
Maria WALSH, VicePresident, LGBTI Intergroup (EPP)
Michal ŠIMEČKA, EP VicePresident
Frédérique RIES, VicePresident, Renew Europe
Marisa MATIAS, VicePresident, The Left
Evin INCIR (S&D)
José GUSMÃO (The Left)
Monika VANA (GreensEFA)
Niklas NIENASS (GreensEFA)
Pernando BARRENA (The Left)
Rasmus ANDRESEN (GreensEFA)
Sandro GOZI (Renew Europe)
Saskia BRICMONT (GreensEFA)
Sophie IN’T VELD (Renew Europe)
Thijs REUTEN (S&D)