IBNA Special Report
Skopje, December 18, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Naser Pajaziti
State authorities and the political factor in Skopje are not expecting for the country to be given a date for the start of negotiations in the weekend Summit of the EU.
These are also the expectations of the deputy prime minister for European integration, Fatmir Besimi, who said that such decision from the EU is expected in circumstances where there’s no solution to the name dispute.
According to him, in spite of the failure to receive a date, the country must work in order to address the recommendations issued by the Progress Report, starting by restoring political dialogue and put an end of parliamentary boycott by the Macedonian opposition.
“We’re expecting VMRO, as the largest party in power and Macedonian opposition to show that the state’s interests come before the party interests and for the opposition to come back to parliament. Secondly, we expect concrete reforms based on the action plan approved by the government, in order to address reforms in the justice system, for an independent judiciary and non selective judiciary system; reforms that relate to the media, freedom of speech, Electoral Code and the implementation of the Ohrid Agreement”, says deputy PM Fatmir Besimi.
Lidija Dimova from the Macedonian Social Democratic Union (LSDM) says that FYR Macedonia is the only country in the region which has not been positively evaluated by the EU Council.
“None of the conclusions that relate to Macedonia mention the word “progress” or “advancement”. This is a desperate summary of Nikola Gruevski’s 8 years in power: there are no negotiations, no start of talks, no progress. Total capitulation! While our neighbors perform better than us, Gruevski’s government continues to invade media and institutions, by holding Macedonia with a frozen candidate status and without a European perspective”, declared Lidija Dimova from the committee for European affairs at the largest opposition party, LSDM.
Professor of international law, Bekim Kadriu said that the country not only has it not seen any progress in many domains, but it has made steps backwards in meeting the European agenda.
“It’s clear that in this period, Macedonia has not continued in an efficient way to deliver the reforms in the respective domains. On the contrary, there has been regress and this is why the EU summit doesn’t offer any hope for Macedonia. Nevertheless, EU member countries will insist for Macedonia to deliver the reforms, to solve the name contest with Greece, the problems that it has with Bulgaria and so on”, says Belim Kadriu.
Bojan Maricic, expert of European affairs from the Macedonian Center for European Education says that the government is trying to minimize the EU criticism relating to the process of integration and as a result, citizens are not informed about the problems that the country faces.
‘The citizens have very little information about what’s happening in the EU or what’s being discussed on Macedonia. This is happening because this is what the government wants. The government only publishes those information that suit to it and media which support it play a role in this”, said Maricic.
The conclusions of the Council which will be made official during the weekend, reiterate the criticism of the Progress Report. Besides internal problems, the Council also points out the need to improve relations with neighbors, especially with Greece and Bulgaria. In this year’s report, Macedonia appears to be in the part of the Stability and Association Agreement and not in the enlargement part, where it appeared to be last year. /ibna/