AGENDA OF THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE – REFORMS AIMED AT EURO – ATLANTIC INTEGRATION

Peace and stability constitute the basis for sustainable development, whereas globalization and integration are the imperatives of the contemporary world. In this respect, Euro – Atlantic integration is the best alternative for the future of the Republic of Macedonia and the Balkans and hence, the membership to NATO and the EU is our strategic priority.

We, in the defence sector, dedicated to our goal and following the marking of the 20th anniversary of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia, shall continue to work on all levels, that is, on international, state and Army level. Following the marking of the 20th jubilee of the establishment of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia, we have promoted an Agenda of the Ministry of Defence which defines the following three pillars that serve at the same time as guidance for the dynamic plan of transformation of the Army and the defence sector:

1. On international level, in terms of our membership to NATO, we are working on implementing all reforms and on our substantial contribution to global peace, through military missions and the visibility of the state in all international institutions.
2. On state level, we shall continue to work on enhancing the mutual inter-ethnic and inter-religious confidence.
3. On the level of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia, we shall continue to develop a modern and highly professional army, improve the standard of the Army members and bring the Army closer to the citizens.
In view of our transparent and accountable function, we believe that it is important to present our plan for the upcoming period.

Following the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia, the Ministry of Defence will focus on accelerating the defence reforms with a concrete Agenda that outlines the clear vision of the Ministry of Defence that the Euro – Atlantic integration is the only alternative for the Republic of Macedonia!

The new Agenda of the Ministry of Defence includes over 50 projects and initiatives that will encourage the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff of the ARM to work with full steam and an accelerated pace in order to respond to the legal obligations and remain a constant and credible partner to NATO.

We, in the Ministry of Defence, are working dynamically to remain an institution that enjoys the highest level of confidence at home and the respect in Brussels for our standards and professionalism.
(1) Macedonia recognizable for its contribution to global peace. Macedonia as a partner for stability and prepared for NATO

• We continue to promote the preparedness of the Republic of Macedonia for NATO membership. We will continue actively with meetings, visits and cooperation in international frames aimed at promoting the preparedness of the Republic of Macedonia for integration into the Euro – Atlantic structures.
• We continue our participation in international peace missions. We continue our participation in ISAF (Afghanistan), ALTHEA (Bosnia and Herzegovina), KFOR (Kosovo) and UNIFIL (Lebanon). As for the future initiatives, we will act upon the decision of the NATO member states.
• Adoption of a Strategy on Defence Diplomacy. Adoption of a new strategy, organizational and personnel establishment of defence diplomacy.
• Initiative for establishment of a Regional Peace Centre. In cooperation with the President of the Republic of Macedonia and the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, an initiative has been put in place for establishment of a Regional Peace Centre aimed at promoting the best practices for democratic values and the peace initiatives for stability and prosperity.
• Promotion of a White Paper on Defence. Increasing the transparency of the work of the Ministry of Defence.
• Initiatives, projects and activities:
- Growth of the Regional Communications Training Centre into a Partnership for Peace Centre
- Intensive regional cooperation and an initiative for a Joint team of the Adriatic Charter member states in the Military Police School in Kabul,
- Balkan Regional Approach to Air Defence,
- Regional Training Centre Krivolak,
- Regional Non-Lethal Weapons Training Centre,
- Regional medical task force. The Ministry of Defence, in cooperation with the Ministry for Health of the Republic of Macedonia, will discuss the establishment of a medical team in function of achieving operational capability of the Role 2 declared maneuver medical facility for participation in peace support missions,
- The Pilot School will grow into a Regional Pilot School.

(2) The defence sector and the Army are a guarantee of peace and stability, institutions with high credibility and a model of mutual respect

• Functional analysis of the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff of the ARM. Developing and adopting a Study and a functional analysis of the organization, function and establishment of the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff of the ARM within the defence system of the Republic of Macedonia in line with the needs and experiences of the NATO member states. The Study and the follow-up Draft Action Plan will give a contribution to the further improvement of the systematization of the Ministry of Defence and the formation of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia in function of supporting the missions and tasks arising from the Defence Strategy and the transformation of the MOD and ARM into effective, efficient, economical and well-functioning organizations prepared to deal with the challenges. Moreover, in accordance with the conclusions derived from the Study, a new organization of the MOD will be introduced and proposals will be submitted to the President of the Republic of Macedonia for promotion of the new ARM formation.
• Equitable representation and equal opportunities in the Army. We will pursue the equitable representation of all ethnic communities in numbers and in the management structures complying with the professional potentials according to NATO standards. Furthermore, the equal opportunities for women in the ARM will be promoted.
- Adoption of a Programme and an Action Plan for appropriate and equitable representation of the ethnic communities in the Republic of Macedonia.
• Smart Defence. Planning and implementation of cost rationalization, improved planning and regional cooperation for modernization of the army in accordance with NATO standards.
- Adoption of a Smart Defence Strategy.
- Adoption and implementation of a new programme for defence cost rationalization.
• Reserve Force Concept of the ARM. Adoption of a Concept and an Action Plan for establishment of a reserve force in strength of 1,800 by 2015.
• Introduction of new software applications for more efficient business processes and practices. They will enable vertical and horizontal communication, coordination and information flow in the MOD and ARM and between them. These tools and processes include: personnel information management system; global communication – information system; document management system; planning, programming, budgeting and execution system; computer based training, development of strategies and plans.
• Military Academy with modern programmes which will grow into an institution of regional importance. The Military Academy “General Mihajlo Apostolski” will promote the educational process and the professional development of the officers by transforming the Academy into a Regional Academy by educating cadets from the countries in the region, participation of renowned foreign professors in the lectures and the educational process at the MA, providing visiting lecturers from the senior NATO and partner state representatives and authorities for sharing the experiences and the new trends with the teachers and students at the MA, introducing new contemporary teaching methods and technologies, including the application of simulations and use of information technologies; intensifying scientific research; accrediting of at least one study year in the III cycle of studies; introducing and promoting the study programmes for pilot education; intensifying the international cooperation in the area of military education; cooperating with other state higher education institutions;
• The Military Museum as part of the international network of museums of peace. The Military Museum will grow into a Museology Service – Institute for Defence and Security Historical Research.
• Cooperation with other institutions in the Republic of Macedonia for more efficient functioning of defence and security. Preparation and implementation of joint exercise activities of the members of the ARM and MOI on the application of the Standing Operating Procedures in line with the Law on Crisis Management and the new role of the Army.
• Promotion of the civilian control in defence. Promotion of the democratic and civilian control in defence by exchanging experiences in cooperation with the DCAF Centre from the Swiss Confederation.
• Initiatives, projects and activities:
- Updating and implementation of the Long-Term Defence Development Plan 2020.
- Project for implementation, updating and supplementing all programmes, policies, concepts and strategies arising from the Strategic Defence Review considering the need for its supplementing.
- OFF-SET project to provide modalities and opportunities for introducing off-set programmes in the process of acquisition of equipment and armament for the Army of the Republic of Macedonia.
- Project “Defence for Economy, Economy for Greater Stability” by establishing cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce of Macedonia, the Chambers of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of North-West Macedonia aimed at getting involved in NATO Agencies and organizing joint activities with the Ministry of Defence.
- Increasing the publishing work of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Macedonia.

(3) Prestigious, professional and modern army. Soldiers with a dignified standard

• Modernization and equipping in defence. The military equipment of the ARM must be gradually modernized in the upcoming decade and beyond. To that end, the regional and multinational initiatives for development of joint deployable capabilities in the spirit of Smart Defence will be exploited to the maximum extent. In accordance with the Long Term Defence Development Plan 2011-2020, we will implement the following major modernization and equipping projects: Development of integrated air policing capabilities and capacities; Acquisition of a three-dimensional radar/s; Pilot Training Centre; Logistic Information System; Training equipment and infrastructure; Helicopter modernization; Equipment for individual and collective CBRN protection; Communications equipment; Non-combat motor vehicles; Wheeled Armoured Personnel Carriers for the two medium infantry battalions in accordance with the NATO Code of Capacities and Capabilities; Tactical communications system for a medium infantry battalion; Advanced individual combat systems; Low altitude air defence systems.
• Personnel management. Implementation of the new formation of the ARM. Training, equipping and preparation of a professional army according to NATO standards. Increasing the efficiency of the project Lepeza for encouraging a civilian career after the termination of the military service of the soldiers and officers.
• Standard of the soldiers and officers. The project ARM – My True Home will be implemented to settle the housing issue of the soldiers. The project STADART will be continued for continuous monitoring and improvement of the working and living conditions of the ARM and MOD employees.
• Socially responsible defence. Participation and contribution of the Army in civilian activities of a social interest. Promotion of the role and importance of the Army and bringing the Army closer to the citizens.
• Initiatives, projects and activities:
- Analysis on the adoption of a Doctrine of the ARM
- Adoption of a Logistic Support Concept
- Project STANDART on the continuous improvement of the living and working conditions of the ARM and MOD employees.
- Upgrading of the Training Area Krivolak by continuing the upgrading with various contents intended to significantly improve the training conditions at this TA and its exploitation by the ARM, as well as by armies from other countries.
- Additional furnishing of the Regional Winter Training Centre at Popova Shapka with accommodation and recreational capacities and facilities intended for training of the ARM members and available for the citizens as well.
- Upgrading the sports and recreation capacities for the members of the MOD and ARM in St. Naum and Krushino.
- Development of the major defence programmes (administration, personnel and education, functions and training of the Army, logistics, equipping and modernization, facilities and infrastructure and peace and humanitarian operations).
- Divesting of the non-essential facilities in accordance with the decision of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and the ARM needs
- Implementation of the project ARM – My True Home
- Project for introducing the legal opportunity for a voluntary conscript service
- Rulebook for promotion of the ARM officers and NCOs
- Full support of the pre-deployment preparations and the rotations of the ARM in international missions
- Introduction of a new tool – monthly review of the ARM transformation achievements
- Implementation of the annual plan on training and exercises and their standardization
- Evaluation and certification of the declared units in accordance with NATO OCC
- Human Resource Management project, will be focused on: updating and implementation of the Human Resource Strategy; implementation of the programmes for equal opportunities and equitable and appropriate ethnic representation; developing a Programme for professional development of leaders/managers; continuity in the implementation of the Programme “LEPEZA” for reintegration of military and civilian personnel; adoption of a Concept for pre-deployment psychological support of military and civilian personnel; support of the families of the personnel deployed in international missions and operations.
- Disposal of the surplus and non-perspective equipment and divesting of the non-essential infrastructure.

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