FYROM’s Euro integration expectations during 2015

FYROM’s Euro integration expectations during 2015

IBNA Special Report

Skopje, January 5, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

In 2015, FYROM will face big Euro integration challenges. The European Union has recommended for the country to meet accession standards and criteria, which were summarized in last year’s progress report, while the solution of the name dispute continues to remain the main issue.

In his end of the year public address, PM Nikola Gruevski said that the government that he leads will work for integration, adding that the country is ready to start negotiations for EU accession. “We have seriously examined all domains where we need to intervene in order to deliver the criteria and reforms”, declared Gruevski.

Meanwhile, deputy prime minister for European Integration, Fatmir Besimi, who comes from the ranks of the Albanian party BDI (Democratic Union for Integration), was more blunt in his vocabulary. He declared that there must be more commitment for the solution of the name dispute, in order to unblock the process.

According to him, the solution of the name dispute and the progress in the integration process would enable the start of accession negotiations in December 2015.

“I believe that there must be more involvement of the international community in facilitating the process and here I can mention UNO, NATO, EU and member countries such as USA, Germany, France, Great Britain and other countries that can help”, declared Besimi.

Analyst Malina Sistevska Jordanova from the Institute for European Policies in Skopje, told IBNA that the country must be seriously committed to the process of Euro integration and according to her, the current government must be more serious with its approach.

“The last EU report underlined that the country is still facing problems, starting from the political influence over state institutions, problems with the independence of the judicial system, freedom of speech and media, lack of trust between ethnic groups, lack of political dialogue and boycott of the opposition, but the main issue relates to the lack of the name dispute”, declared Jordanova.

According to her, what the country must make is a decisive turn and the involvement of all parties in dialogue in order to draft a clear strategy and have positive political will.

Citizens are skeptic about the progress of the country this year as far as Euro integration is concerned.

Sanja M., a student of political sciences says that she’s not expecting positive developments in the process of European integration. “I am not expecting any optimistic developments, because we have lost patience and there’s a big disappointment among citizens. We, young people, are the main victims who are suffering the consequences of the stubbornness of politicians. If we were asked, then it would be easier to come up with a solution, because we want dialogue, compromise and positive things for our future, but without putting in danger state interests”, says Sanja M.

Journalist Suat Saqipi from INA news agency says that he’s not optimistic for anything positive this year as far as the solution of the name dispute is concerned, due to the Greek election.

“As we can see, this will be an election year, given the latest developments in Greece that lead the country toward the elections. On the other hand, in our country we have a pre election climate, bearing in mind the parliamentary boycott by the opposition and other developments that may take the country to elections. This is why it’s difficult to expect positive movements that will guarantee a strong bases in the Euro integration plan”, says Saqipi.

At the end of last year, the government secretariat for European integration has appointed a team of specialists to identify all problems and issues that must be included in the agenda of domestic reforms. /ibna/