It happened on the 29th of January 2020 in Bitola in North Macedonia. More than 200 landowners from Egri village gathered in Bitola’s theatre, taking turns to vote on the Land Consolidation Plan. The serious faces of men and women, old and young, were a sign that they may have been as nervous as we were ourselves. The voting on the first majority based land consolidation ever in the country was coming to an end. And then the result was there….. 83% in favour of land consolidation! The villagers were cheering. Our team was overwhelmed by emotion.
I was assigned to lead the preparation of the assessments and amendments to the land consolidation legislation in 2016. That appeared to be a burdensome task. The first two land consolidation projects in North Macedonia were initiated according to the existing Land Consolidation Law and the implementation was blocked. The Law simply had no legal solutions for the identified field situations. The problems were many and each was ascending the other in its magnitude and sensitivity.