Prompted by the current developments in the Republic of North Macedonia, and with the focus of more precisely regulating the mechanism and mission of the functioning of citizens associations and foundations, in the Official Gazette of the Republic of North Macedonia no. 239/2022 of 08.11.2022 have been published amendments and additions to the Law on Associations and Foundations which entered into force on 16.11.2022. The adopted amendments prohibit civil associations and foundations from using names, nicknames, pseudonyms that are related to fascism, Nazism, genocide, the Third Reich, etc. With the amendments and additions to the Law on Associations and Foundations, it is provided that: registration of an organization and establishment of an organization is prohibited if the title, name, abbreviated name, program, goals, activities and its action are aimed at the violent demolition of the constitutional order of the Republic of North Macedonia, initiation and inciting military aggression and inciting national, racial, religious hatred or other intolerance, hatred, genocide, extermination, spreading or supporting, inciting and condoning fascism, Nazism, National Socialism and the Third Reich, undertaking activities related to terrorism, undertaking activities that are contrary to the Constitution or the law and undertaking activities that violate the freedoms and rights of other persons.
With the amendments and additions to the Law, it is also provided that names, surnames, nicknames, pseudonyms, abbreviations and initials of persons who, on any basis, manner or form, cannot be used as a name, abbreviated name and/or name of an organization, were or are associated with racial, religious, national, ethnic and other intolerance, hatred, genocide, extremism, spreading or supporting fascism, Nazism, National Socialism and the Third Reich.
What is particularly important is that the law has a retroactive effect and applies to associations and foundations that are already registered, and organizations registered in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Associations and Foundations (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia” number 52/10, 135/11 and 55/16), are obliged within three months from the date of entering into force of the amendments and additions to the law to harmonize their name and/or title, abbreviated name, program, goals and activities before the Central Registry of Republic of North Macedonia.