Macedonia continues to drop in the Economic freedom index prepared by the Heritage Foundation and is now out of the category of “mostly free” economies and in the “moderately free” group.
In the latest report, Macedonia dropped eight places to number 53 in the world, and even lags behind its neighbors in the region. This is down from 33rd in the world in 2017, when the Zaev regime began to roll back the economic reforms put in place by Nikola Gruevski and VMRO-DPMNE. Macedonia achieved major results in indicators measuring economic freedom under Gruevski, such as the Doing Business report, but did not fare well in the Heritage index until the last years of his term. Under Zaev, the country quickly declined again.
The latest report ranks Macedonia 32nd out of 45 European countries. The worst result in the report is in the category covering the rule of law and especially in the “Government integrity” subcategory.
There are numerous reports of undue executive, business, and political interference in the judiciary. Administrative courts are poorly managed and underfunded. Corruption and impunity for corrupt government officials remain serious problems, the report notes.