The industry is the biggest polluter in Macedonia, states the Joint Audit Report about the air quality EUROSAI – European Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, and then this is followed by the pollution caused by household heating and smaller companies while cars are ranked as middle-rank polluters, and the waste, the agriculture and other factors are ranked as minor polluters.

The report issued by this international audit body, that consists of 15 supreme audit organizations from Europe, together with the European Court of Audits, that was published by the State Audit Institute refers to the air quality in Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Israel, Kosovo, Moldavia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Macedonia and Netherlands.

The Report states that the system for managing the air quality in Macedonia is not properly organized and coordinated: “An Intersection working group for air quality and a Commission for health and a living environment were formed in order to improve the intersection cooperation, but the coordination between institutions is displeasing and there is no system for monitoring of the implementation of each measure.” the report also states that ” the environmental inspections are implemented without any coordination on a central and local level.”

The findings of the national audits show that the governments of Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, and Spain have implemented completely neither a national strategy nor a national plan. In the case of Macedonia, where the government’s policy of air quality on a national and local level was not appropriately implemented, the Report of the international audit concludes that the National plan for protection of ambient air is complex and covers different areas, but there is no system for the implementation of each measure. The plan doesn’t contain indicators for measuring the effectiveness of the implementation of the policy which hinders the monitoring of the measures for the accomplishment of the government’s goals and the policies for fighting air pollution.

For the international auditors, Macedonia’s budget for the implementation of the policies for the improvement of the air quality is inappropriate. According to date provided by the State Statistical Office for the period when the audit was performed, the investment in the improvement of the air quality from the state budget is small and represents only 0.1% of the GDP. Of the planned funding of the State Automatic Monitoring System, only 31-42 % have been approved, which is insufficient to enable it to do its job.

As a result, there has not been any regular maintenance, purchases of spare parts for the measuring stations, procurement of laboratory equipment and chemical reagents, laboratory accreditation or staff training. The fact that the work programme is not fully funding undermines the continued operation of the monitoring system.’

The findings of the international audits show that the monitoring systems in at least 9 countries i.e., Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Israel, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldavia, Romania, and Slovakia do not generate complete and/or authentic data.

The international audits recommend that the government should update statutory and secondary legislation to achieve full harmonization of national
legislation with the EU’s AAQ Directive and to impose sanctions at a central and local level for non-compliance with the goals of air quality policies and with the limit values of specified air pollutants.

Among the recommendations is that the Macedonian government should provide a budget for the operation and maintenance of all monitoring stations and incorporate financing measures in the planning documents and it should improve the air quality monitoring network by means of the adequate relocation of stations and the continuous servicing and maintenance of monitoring stations, set up a centralized system for the automated collection and processing of data, as well as real-time measurement and reporting on air quality