The rule of law is perceived by common people as existence of laws, their implementation and whether the government respects them. These rules, have been and still are important tools for limitation of the absolutistic comportment of public authorities, i.e. confining the acting of the state, in general. However, the concept of the rule of law is much broader one and is associated with good governance, functional democratic institutions, security and human rights.
What is the meaning of the rule of law exactly? Is its structure exclusively related to accountability of each actor, especially the institutional ones, before law, responsibility of one owns actions or is it much broader concept? Naturally, the rule of law is much broader notion which besides the primary significance of the human rights, leans on the postulate of separation of powers – legislative, executive and judiciary which necessarily includes the functional implication of direct citizen participation in making legislative, executive and administrative decisions, in direction of the improvement of the connection between the state and society. As well, important postulates of the rule of law are the aspects related to judicial protection and legal certainty which in the everyday political and legal functioning is reflected in the equal, impartial, just and non-arbitrary practice of laws and in the citizens’ protection from violence and abuse. The protection of human rights, promoting of legal order, economic development, addressing of the poverty and action for its minimization, protection of human security, conflict management and peace promotion, capacity for dealing with internal and external threats represent solid bases for the rule of law. Pressured by the internal and external threats and challenges such as economic crises, prolonged economic stagnations, great socio-economic gaps, war, terrorism, conflicts, citizens’ unrest, organized criminal groups etc., state institutions are weakened, thus weakening justice and rule of law and establishing stance of anomy, inserting the state into vulnerable position, institutionally and substantially.
The link between the concepts and realization of democracy and rule of law is indubitable. Namely, building society with strong rule of law does not represent only technical activity, but a process including radical reforms of the laws, strengthening of the central and local government’s institutions, establishment of balance between the political and economic elites on one hand and the common people on the other. That means creating ambient of trust between the governing elite and the citizens which implies substantial realization of the principles of democracy, in general. Democracy itself, today dominantly established as representative is all-entailing and layered, subsequently, its scientific legal or political treatment might refer to numerous aspects. Most commonly accepted criterion for functional democracy is the existence of real elections - the type of the elections, the realistic representation of the interests of the societal segments and interest groups. However, it is inevitable to address the forms of direct democracy, specific democratic tools on central and local level, as well as the democratic institutions and procedures which would guarantee the realization of human rights and would factor in the public opinion and public discourse in the decision making process. Hence, it is easy to reveal the operational components of democracy and of a certain current aspect – the polycentric model of organization, government and development.
For both concepts, citizens’ participation in central and local decision making process, enhanced by the inter-communication among all societal subjects, governmental, non-governmental or business subject. In that sense, polycentrism basically means existence of decision making system stemming from multiple centers, that acting formally and independently, aspire to deal with common challenges, thus diminishing the gap between the traditionally predominant metropoles or important business centers and the rest of the cities-regional centers, while enhancing territorial cohesion which ultimately leads towards equilibration of economic development and societal opportunities. Subsequently, the polycentric development should ensure institutional possibilities for citizens’ involvement in the governing system for the purpose of realization of their preferences and the common good. Effectuality of this model means improvement of the conditions for efficient allocation of resources in various urban areas, improvement of the delivery of services among the population and enterprises (in order to improve the quality of life of the population and the attractiveness of business locations), support of the development and revitalization of the cities of regional significance, stimulating urban-rural relations and institutionalization of broader urban areas into functional urban regions.
This Conference offer multidisciplinary approaches covering, but not limited to, the following:
- International protection of human rights;
- The role of international organizations in promoting, respecting, guarantying and protection of human rights and liberties;
- Regional systems for protection of human rights;
- International law and terrorism;
- The role of international organizations in development of democracy and democratic processes in Europe;
- Ways of peaceful resolution of international disputes: past experiences and future challenges;
- The system of collective security and its impact on international peace and security;
- International law and use of force by the states.
- Local democracy: Challenges and perspectives;
- The role of the rule of law when balancing justice and security;
- Challenges of democracy: Populism and new autocracy;
- Legal state: Strengthening legal capacity of state institutions and their capacity for dealing with criminal;
- Current doctrinal aspects of human rights and their implementation by the legal and political institutions;
- Challenges of rule of law: Balance of separation of powers, evolutionary democratizations and sustaining democracy of post-transitional states;
- Citizen participation and public opinion in the decision making process and control of government;
- Perceptions of functional democracy: Postulates, current stance and development solutions;
- Liberal understanding of human rights;
- Legal culture, judiciary and media;
- Good governance of public sector on central and local level: Governing with transparency and integrity;
- Entrepreneurship in the public sector of the Republic of Macedonia: Utopia or reality?
- Relation between the Government and the system of public services in the Republic of Macedonia: Analysis and future perspectives?Or maybe attitude of the government towards the public services?
- The rule of law in state institutions: legal state vs. party politics;
- Administrative and public servants in the Republic of Macedonia: Historical development, current state and challenges;
- Decentralization and local economic development in the Republic of Macedonia:Cooperation between the municipalities and government and inter-municipal development;
- The public service system and local and regional development in the Republic of Macedonia;
- Functional education for participative citizens/ or education in function of the values of democracy and rule of law;
- Developmental educative aspects of the social inclusion of young people;
- Quality education as means for development of civic society and consciousness in order to diminish populist and autocratic tendencies;
- The role of the educational institutions (on each level) in the development of the citizens’ mentality for exercising civil rights and freedoms;
- The role and responsibility of the academic staff for the societal discourse and creation of sustainable decision making mechanisms;
- Education and political culture: Accountability and participation.
- Polycentric development: Economic development, territorial cohesion and democratic tools on local and regional level;
- Polycentric development in the EU member states: Examples and experiences;
- EU regional policy and its impact on the development of the regions in the EU;
- Balanced regional development: Precondition for democracy, rule of law and just society;
- Municipal development in the Republic of Macedonia in broader context: monocentric or polycentric development?
- Concession and public-private partnership: Role, importance and perspectives of the polycentric development in the Republic of Macedonia;
- Balanced regional development in the Republic of Macedonia: Participative democracy and regional cohesion.
- Human security, national security and rule of law;
- National security and human rights;
- Migration, human rights and legal and security reactions of the state;
- Human and refugee rights and the rule of law;
- Realization of the concepts of security and human rights: Between security and individual civil liberties in EU and Western Balkans;
- Cross-border cooperation: Instrument for integration, cooperation and reconciliation;
- Pre-accession programs and funds of the EU: Results, opportunities and perspectives;
- Special or ad-hoc investigative bodies in Europe and in the world;
- The institute ‘probation’ and successful enforcement of penal policy;
- (Unhidden) Whistleblower or (against) protected witness and the opportunities for their protection;
- Control and oversight over the institutions competent for enforcing special investigative measures in the criminal proceedings;
- The white-collar criminal and rule of law.