European Parliament expected to vote the resolution on FYR Macedonia

European Parliament expected to vote the resolution on FYR Macedonia

Skopje, May 23, 2013

European Parliament is expected to vote today the Resolution of the European Commission and European Council about the progress made by FYR Macedonia.

MEPs might be inclined to postpone the decision on this resolution following strong debates which have considered the internal political developments and the political gridlock in FYROM as negative.

The British MEP, Richard Howitt has launched criticism about the developments in FYROM, underlining that the progress of the country toward the European Union is in danger.

“There’s a big question mark on the democratic credibility of the country. FYROM must make progress in the formation of the December 24 commission in order to overcome the political crisis; it must make progress in dialogue and freedom of speech and support a memorandum of understanding between political parties”, declared Howitt in Strasbourg. A part of the MEPs have recalled the ethnic tensions and events taken place on December 24 in the Parliament of FYROM, where the opposition was ousted and the 2013 draft budget was voted without its presence.

Howitt stressed that in March, he had insisted upon postponing the voting of the Resolution in order to give the country more time to overcome the political crisis and to make progress with the reforms. “Unfortunately, there was no progress with the reforms that we asked”, said Howitt.

MEPs have recommended to Skopje to meet its obligations in order to open the negotiations for EU accession in June, after the EU Summit. The issue of the name dispute has been one of the main points of the debate, where the majority of MEPs have considered the prolongation of this issue as problematic.

Greek MEPs have demanded from Skopje to make concessions in the negotiations for the solution of the name dispute with Athens and to give up on nationalism.

Howitt has also mentioned the finalization of the agreement between Belgrade and Pristina, stressing that such model should be followed by Skopje and Athens.

“Leaders in Skopje and Athens should manifest the same courage was shown between leaders of Belgrade and Pristina”, said Howitt. /ibna/