30 Years of Monetary Independence

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Anita Angelovska Bezoska

Note by the Governor of the National Bank:

30 years of monetary independence

This month we celebrate an important jubilee, a monument to the building of our country. 30 years ago, under the auspices of the Commission for Monetary Independence, our national currency - the denar was introduced. At the same time, the institutional framework of the monetary system was established - the National Bank started functioning as an independent central bank.

Although a relatively young central bank, in the past 30 years, the National Bank has faced a number of challenges, to which it has successfully responded. The first years of monetary independence are a period of hyperinflation, recession, insufficient level of foreign exchange reserves, permanent depreciation of the domestic currency and general macroeconomic instability.

In response, in October 1995, the monetary strategy of a stable exchange rate of the denar against the German mark was introduced, while since January 2002, the exchange rate of the denar has been pegged to the euro. For the fixed exchange rate strategy then and now, there is a consensus that it is one of the key pillars of the stability of the Macedonian economy. Over the years, despite many hardships, we have maintained the stability that has been given to us by mandate.

Denar stability and financial stability were also preserved in the onset of the worst economic crisis caused by the covid-19 virus pandemic. The National Bank was one of the pillars that maintained the stability of the entire economic system, achieving its mandate goals, giving support to the economy through appropriate policies and measures. I would not be wrong to say that after this crisis, both the economy and the institutions that are part of the economic system have become stronger. The National Bank reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining the stability of the Denar and it will continue to be "the anchor of the stability of our economy". We continuously maintain the foreign exchange reserves at a comfortable level, guaranteeing with them the stability of the currency. The banking system is set on a fully market basis and it is stable, liquid and sufficiently capitalized, due to which it can provide credit support for economic activity. Regarding the framework for the operation of the banking system, we received significant recognition from the European Union, which put us on the list of only 26 other countries in the world, whose banking regulation and supervision meet European standards.

The victories won during the past 30 years, in the crises, but also in the periods of economic growth, certainly would not have been possible without the most valuable capital of the National Bank - human capital. Over the years, the central bank's efforts have always been aimed at recruiting quality staff, upgrading them and continuous learning throughout their institutional careers. I will not be immodest if I say that our staff sets standards for work, not only in the country, but also beyond, which over the years has been marked by numerous awards. Here, I would like to thank you for the strong support we have from the international financial institutions, which together with our commitment allows us to have a high quality core of professionals.

This year's jubilee - 30 years of the denar and 30 years of the independence of the central bank, should be a national pride for all of us. What we can say as a central bank is that we will continue to be upright in facing all future challenges, guaranteeing the stability of the denar, and thus the prosperity of our society.


  • nbrm history

    April 23, 1992

    Academician Petar Hr. Ilievski submitted a proposal to Ksente Bogoev, President of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts and a member of the Commission for Monetary Independence, to name the Macedonian currency as "Denar".

  • nbrm history

    April 26, 1992

    The Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia adopted the "Anti-Inflation Program" proposed by the Government, several laws and decisions that complete the process of monetary independence. The Prime Minister, Mr. Nikola Kljusev, from the parliamentary rostrum, officially presented the vouchers named "denar".

  • nbrm history

    April 27, 1992

    In the "Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia" (No. 26/92), the laws and decisions adopted at the session of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia on April 26, 1992 were published, which set the legal framework for monetary independence.

  • nbrm history

    July 23, 1992

    The Council of the National Bank of Macedonia adopted a Decision on making banknotes and coins denominated in domestic currency - Denar and the preparations for printing and minting the issue of Macedonian Denars from 1993 began. The whole process ended on May 10, 1993. when they were put into circulation in exchange for vouchers.



Official ceremony for the 30-year anniversary of the monetary independence (by invitation)




Anita Angelovska Bezhoska, Governor of the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia, opening speech


Panel I: Building resilient economies in the context of recurrent shocks

This session should highlight the main challenges of policy makers in the current momentum, surrounded by uncertainty arising from the post-pandemic policy adjustments and escalation of the geopolitical risks in East Europe. It seems that one crisis is replacing the previous one, although of different nature and different impacts. The distinguished panelists will discuss how to build more resilient economies and how to tackle vulnerabilities.

Chair: Mario Holzner, Executive Director, Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies


  • Anita Angelovska Bezhoska, Governor, National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia
  • Fatmir Besimi, Minister of Finance of the Republic of North Macedonia
  • Pierre Wunsch, Governor of the National Bank of Belgium
  • Boris Vujčić, Governor of the Croatian National Bank
  • Lilyana Pavlova, Vice President, European Investment Bank
  • Q&A session


Coffee break

12:00 – 13:30

Panel II: Is the financial sector fit for SME needs? How to improve access to finance for SMEs in the region?

This panel will cover the views of the private sector and international institutions on sources of financing in the post-pandemic period, as a crucial pillar of the economic recovery. Improving access to finance for the SMEs in the SEE region is another issue to be discussed in this framework.

Luca Gattini, Intro, Head of Unit, European Investment Bank

Chair: Debora Revoltella, Chief Economist, European Investment Bank


  • Gunter Deuber, Head of Research, Raiffeisen Bank International
  • Fabio Fornaroli, Head of CE&EE Corporates at UniCredit
  • Olivier De Boysson, Chief Economist Emerging Markets, SocGen
  • Chris Muyldermans, Head of EU affairs, KBC
  • Gligor Bishev, General Manager and Board President, Sparkasse Skopje, Erste Group Bank AG
  • Daniel Hardy, Professor, University of Vienna
  • Q&A session


Tobias Adrian,Financial Counsellor and Director of the Monetary and Capital Markets Department, IMF, speech




Chair: Ana Mitreska, Vicegovernor, National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia


Announcement of the Annual Award of the NBRNM for the best research paper in the field of macroeconomics and banking system written by a young researcher


Productivity and responses to the pandemic: firm-level evidence – Péter Harasztosi, Simon Savšek, EIB


Markups in the economy of the Republic of North Macedonia from macro and micro perspectives - Joana Madjoska, Marko Josimovski, Daniela Mamucevska Bojadjieva, Viktor Stojkoski


Dragan Tevdovski, Advisor to the Executive Director at the IMF,




End of the first Conference day


Panel III: Stocktaking of financial stability issues in the post-pandemic “normal”

This panel should enlighten the financial stability issues in the post-pandemic “normal”, in view of the specifics of the pandemic crisis and its impact on banking and financial sector performances. The distinguished panelists will discuss the lessons from this crisis and eventual improvements in the regulation and monitoring tools in order to further strengthen the banking sector resilience.


Keynote lecture: José Manuel Campa, Chairperson of the European Banking Authority


Chair: Dubravko Mihaljek, Monetary and Economic Department, Bank for International Settlements


  • Octavian Armașu, Governor of National Bank of Moldova
  • Luc Dresse, Alternate Executive Director, IMF
  • Francis Malige, Managing Director, Financial Institutions EBRD
  • Vojtech Benda, Board member, Czech National Bank
  • Q&A session


Coffee break

12:00 – 13:30

Panel IV: Facing new central banking challenges: financial inclusion, digitalization and green finance

The dynamic changes in the financial system as well as the new global challenges resulted in continuous inserting of new central banking tasks. Within this section, the status and progress in facing some of the new challenges are going to be discussed, including the issue of their interaction with the other central banks objectives. Setting the floor for cooperation with all relevant stakeholders in view of increasing financial inclusion, the speed of digitalization in the financial sector and green finance initiatives is important issue for a meaningful progress.

Chair: Nikola Popovski, Board member, National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia


  • Gent Sejko, Governor of the Bank of Albania
  • Mark Bowman, Vice President, Policy and Partnerships, EBRD
  • Birgit Niessner, Director of the Economic Analysis and Research Department, Oesterreichische Nationalbank
  • Marijana Mitrović Mijatović, Head of Financial Stability, Research and Statistics Department, Central Bank of Montenegro
  • Guido Clary, Head of Unit, Balkans Operations, EIB
  • Jean Pesme, Global Director, Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation, World Bank
  • Q&A session


Paul Hilbers, Executive Director, IMF, speech




Research session II:

Chair: Aneta Krstevska, Chief Economist, National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia


Getting Stronger After COVID-19: Nearshoring Potential in the Western Balkans – Econometric analysis of determinants of FDI - Branimir Jovanovic, Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies


How Do Firms Cope with Losses from Extreme Weather Events? - Emanuela Benincasa, Frank Betz, Luca Gattini, EIB


Borce Trenovski, Board member, National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia/Faculty of Economics Skopje, Discussant




Closing of the Conference