IBNA Interview with the expert of media issues, Mirce Adamcevski

IBNA Interview with the expert of media issues, Mirce Adamcevski

Optimism and challenges during 2018

In an interview for IBNA, the expert of the Ethics Commission in FYROM, Mirce Adamcevski says that 2018 will be the year of big challenges for the country, especially in the aspect of Euro-Atlantic integration and reforms in the judicial system, media, administration and other domains

Interviewed by Naser Pajaziti

 How do you consider 2017? Was it a year of big changes, in particular in the political and economic aspect?

 The year that we left behind brought many key changes. We have a new governing majority, but, unfortunately, part of this majority is the former ally of VMRO-DPMNE, BDI, which is casting a little shadow on the new majority. As far as the political aspect is concerned, I can say that this majority is not stable, because we have all witnessed the bargains that are made in the country, instead of seeing results in the fight against corruption, reform in the judicial and the media. In the economic aspect, it’s clear that we are encountering big difficulties. We are not expected to see many changes in this aspect in the near future. It’s hard to make a big turn when there is no money, when debts are big and when there’s such a big hole in the budget.

 There are signals about the solution of the name dispute as one of the key issues which would unblock the process of European integration. Are you optimistic that there will be optimistic moves and will this provide a solution for this problem?

The issue of the name dispute has been going on for the past 20 years. I am not very optimistic. The Greeks are the ones who have a problem with the name, not us. In the recent years, our state authorities have been passive, claiming that time is not on our side. But we forgot that based on international experience, when a big country has a dispute with a small country, the later always loses. Greece is part of NATO and EU and it can behave how it wants and secure the backing of its allies. The EU is also going through a crisis and until it overcomes it, it is not even thinking of expanding with new members. The signals that we’re seeing about a possible agreement between Macedonia and Greece are a good thing.

 The reforms in the judiciary system, administration and the media are important. How do you see this process, especially in the domain of media, where you are one of the most prominent experts in the country?

 As I’ve said above, we must lay the ground for many reforms in the country. The first steps which have been taken show that the new government has not been relieved of the old habits.

The responsible ministry or other institutions are not allowing the Commission for Judiciary Reforms to act freely. We need to wait and see how things go with the administration. As far as the media is concerned, the EU is putting a lot of pressure. Those who have proposed the new reforms must convince Europe that the reforms are not there just to replace the old people with new ones.

What should be the role of the media in our multi-ethnic society, which is always influenced by politics?

Journalists are said to be the guardians of public opinion. This is their role. This is important, especially for a multi-ethnic society such as ours. Unfortunately, in our country, media is divided based on ethnic groups, apart from several portals who aim at addressing the general public in the country. Time is needed in order for things to go in the right direction and for this to happen, we need a civil society. As you know, Zoran Zaev addressed Albanians and a part of them accepted his invitation. They believe that the country can build a multi-ethnic society. Even this needs time. The role of the media is important in this context.

What are your expectations for 2018?

It’s a difficult question, because expectations differ from reality. I am optimistic by nature, but things look pessimistic. I was optimistic about the country’s accession in the NATO, but the 2008 Summit of Bucharest filled me with pessimism. I have the same feeling about the EU accession talks. Everything is in our hands. If there will be a compromise for the name, if there will be reforms that Europe demands from us, then we may have positive expectations. But, when there’s more talk than work, then there’s no room for optimism. /IBNA/