EU “reserved” on Skopje

EU “reserved” on Skopje

IBNA Special Report

Skopje, June 5, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, debates are taking place on the European integration of the country and its gridlock. This issue has received a lot of attention because there’s a fear that Brussels is distancing itself from Skopje. Media have expressed these concerns, while there have also been signals launched by the opposition.

“Sloboden Pecat” newspaper writes today that the country is facing a serious challenge and negative signals from Brussels.

The newspaper says that there’s a risk that in September, the European Commission will decide to lift the recommendation for the start of negotiations for the accession of the country in the EU.

“Decisive steps must be made until September, otherwise European Commission will lift the recommendation for the start of negotiations and the country may find itself among many uncertainties”, writes the newspaper, quoting western European diplomats in Skopje.

Danielsson came to Skopje and not Fule

A debate has also been going on for the cancellation of the visit of the Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Feule in Skopje. In April, he had announced a visit to Skopje, following the elections, but this wasn’t the case. Brussels sent its lowest ranked emissary, Richard Danielsson, who’s the head of the enlargement directorate. He continues his visit to Skopje today, but by avoiding media declarations.

Vice chairwoman of the Macedonian opposition party LSDM (Macedonian Social Democratic League), Radmila Sekerinska said that the wrong policy followed by the prime minister brought this dangerous situation for the country, risking the recommendation for the start of negotiations.

“VMRO-DPMNE in power must explain as to why they brought the country to this point, at a time when the country was moving forward alongside Croatia”, said Sekerinska, stressing the fact Fule cancelled his visit to Skopje.

Integration at risk?

European Commission emissary, Danielsson has held intensive meetings with the heads of institutions and political parties, but the latter have avoided media appearances, by providing information through their press offices.

Leader of BDI (Democratic Union for Integration), Ali Ahmeti talked about the meeting that he had with Danielsson. He said that the two interlocutors talked about the risk that Skopje may not be recommended for the start of negotiations and even lose the membership candidate status in case the country fails in meeting political criteria.

“I wished to Mr. Danielsson all the best,  but I told him that I hoped the 6th recommendation would be the last one and that there will not be a need for a seventh one”, declared Ahmeti.

Analysts and experts: EU is sending negative signals

Analysts and experts of Euro Atlantic affairs in Skopje say that EU, which up until now has solved political crisis in the country, is tired of the negative developments. They say that Brussels is not interested to continue its facilitating mission, as it doesn’t see signs of optimism in the domestic political aspect.

Malinka Ristevska Jordanova from the Institute for European Policies in Skopje says that the EU must have an impact to encourage political dialogue and impose more austere and clear criteria in order to come to a solution. “They have constantly made such efforts, but this time it seems that they’re fed up with such incentives which are not finding a solution or which are being neglected by political factors in Skopje”, says  Malinka Ristevska Jordanova.

Political analyst and head of “Libertas” Institute, Edmond Ademi, told IBNA today that the international community and EU don’t want to be involved in the solution of political crises, because, according to him, they’re not sure if this government will honor the agreements.

“They don’t have faith, because this has also been reflected with the agreement for the solution of the crisis produced by December 24, 2012 events, where results never came to light”, says Ademi. According to him, even then, Macedonian opposition boycotted parliament, but the intervention of the EU factor helped for its return. Nevertheless, this happened because conditions were fulfilled and guarantees were given. “International community is now expecting the government to take its steps in order to overcome the crisis, but it’s hard to have positive steps and the country is sinking into deep political crises”, said analyst Edmond Ademi. /ibna/