Five people from North Macedonia in eastern Europe arrived in Great Falls recently to participate in an Open World Leadership program this month.
Their goal in visiting Montana is to learn about the American judicial system following an application for a membership in the European Union.
The European Union is a political and economic union consisting of 27 countries. North Macedonia has had an application to join the union since 2004 and are close to entering.
Dr. Sandra Erickson, a member of the Great Falls Advisory Commission on International Relations, says that this is not only a positive thing for Great Falls and Montana, but for the delegates as well.
“Macedonia has applied for membership to the European Union. They have been reviewing this for many years and the things that have caused them to not get accepted has to do with their judicial system and their ability to deal with high crimes and public corruption, and that's what they're here to learn," she explained.
While in Great Falls, the delegation will meet with federal judges and prosecutors, district court judges, and attorneys in order to grow their knowledge of our judicial system.
They will also meet with professors at the University of Montana law school in Missoula and justices of the Montana Supreme Court in Helena, as well as Governor Greg Gianforte.
Marina Zdravkova, who is a judge in North Macedonia, said “What I realized here and noticed is that people think differently here in the USA than we think in Macedonia. I hope that this stay here in Montana will help me to get another view of the things, including my life and what I can contribute to the society and to the judiciary, and I think that all the knowledge that we can get from everywhere is very important for us for improving our work.”
The public is welcome to join a public presentation with the judges in room B101 of Great Falls College-MSU on Friday, September 16, at 10 am.
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