This analysis provides a comparative overview of the trust that the citizens of North Macedonia have in the Assembly in relation to other democratic countries in the world. The analysis also shows how this trust is distributed among different social groups of citizens and how the perception of citizens about the work of the Assembly reflects on their trust in this institution.

The trust of the citizens in the Assembly in North Macedonia is the lowest in the last four years, and is lower in relation to the trust in the executive power. This decline in the trust of the citizens in the legislature, sends a serious warning signal for the essential practice of democracy in the country. If the majority of citizens show a low level of trust in their democratically elected representatives in the Assembly, the legitimacy of the institution as a whole is questioned.

The trust of the citizens in the Assembly is closely related to their perception of the work of the Assembly and its openness and involvement of the public. Thus, the citizens who believe that the Assembly successfully performs its constitutional functions and who believe that the Assembly is open to public participation in its work have the highest trust in this institution. Accordingly, the citizens that show the lowest levels of trust in the Assembly, believe that the legislature is completely closed to the public and controlled by the Government.

The Assembly must make serious efforts to raise the level of trust of the citizens. This can be achieved by improving the quality of performance of its constitutionally defined functions, primarily the oversight function; building and nurturing a close and direct relationship with the public; as well as putting the groups at risk of social exclusion in the focus of their work.

In order to increase the trust of the citizens, the Assembly should also build and maintain a close and direct relationship with the public. Citizens should have a smooth and regular insight into the work of the Assembly, as well as an open channel for two-way communication with their representatives.

Read the policy brief here:

The citizens and the Assembly of North Macedonia: Trust on shaky ground