About us

Assessing Effectiveness of National Human Rights Institutions in the Western Balkans is a research project conducted by Civil Rights Defenders and the European Policy Institute – Skopje which evaluates the effectiveness of national human rights bodies in the region as well as their alignment with the international relevant standards.

The project is a part of Civil Rights Defenders programme for Strengthening Implementation of European Human Rights Standards in the Western Balkans and it aims to provide a deeper understanding of the capabilities of the NHRIs to perform their mandates as well as to contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for independent and effective national human rights institutions.

The assessment is based on a comprehensive methodology which includes a set of indicators derived from relevant international standards and enables ranking and regional comparability. The research took place in the period from July – November 2019 and July – November 2020. It was first conducted in 2019 in Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia and then in 2020, it was expanded to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. A comprehensive methodology for assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of national human rights bodies that enabled ranking and regional comparability was developed. Consequently, research was conducted by independent experts for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, including data collection, analysis and ranking.

Research results per country were synthesised in six country reports, elaborated by Armela Xhaho (Albania), Aida Malkic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Edona Ahmetaj and Nat Avdiu (Kosovo), Jelena Djankic (Montenegro), Biljana Kotevska (North Macedonia) and Ivana Krstic (Serbia). Based on these reports, the comparative analysis of the NHRIs in the region was authored by:

Dr. Malinka Ristevska Jordanova has been engaged in the EU integration process since the late nineties, holding high public administration positions in the Macedonian Parliament and Government. As State Advisor in the Secretariat for European Affairs, she chaired the MK-EU SAA Subcommittee on Justice and Home Affairs from 2002-2008 and the SAA Committee from 2008-2010 and was the coordinator of the national programme for the adoption of the acquis. She gave a special contribution to the candidacy of her country for accession to the EU, the fulfilment of the recommendations for starting accession negotiations and realising the benchmarks set in the roadmap on visa liberalization. Dr. Ristevska – Jordanova is a founder and former director (February 2011 – February 2017) of the Macedonian think tank European Policy Institute – Skopje, now being a non-executive member of its Management Board.

Dr. Biljana Kotevska is Research Coordinator in the European Policy Institute – Skopje. She has worked as a researcher for policy research organisations in South-East Europe and as an expert and consultant for IGOs (EU, CoE and OSCE) and NGOs on various human rights issues, including equality and non–discrimination, economic, social and cultural rights, national human rights institutions, and minority rights. Dr Kotevska is the country expert on North Macedonia in the European Commission’s Network of Legal Experts in Gender Equality and Non-discrimination and in its predecessor network since 2011. She is also part of EPI’s FRANET team, conducting human rights research for the Agency for Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Dr Kotevska holds a PhD in Law from the School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast (United Kingdom).