By Slobodanka Jovanovska
According to Euro commissioner Stefan Fule, problems in our country are becoming numerous. This year, the Euro commissioner has summarized the key evaluations on the country with one sentence, in order not to spark dilemmas. Our country is causing growing concerns such as the political influence on institutions, control over the media, lack of transparency in relation to expenses, tensions between communities and between majority and opposition. This report points out a fall in the optimism of Euro commissioner Fule that the country is moving forward, even after the sixth recommendation in a row for the opening of accession talks.
In a column for the Macedonian public opinion, Fule says that something is not going well in the country and that time is being wasted.
Fule was lucky to be a Euro commissioner when Macedonia was a rising star in the aspect of European integration in the Balkan, by being the first country to be granted the EU candidate status and the recommendation for the start of accession talks. His successor, Johannes Hahn will not have the opportunity to make the difference between our country moving forward and making steps backwards.
Although all EU reports have sparked debates for positive or negative evaluations, this year, there’s no room for such debate. Brussels has made sure that this year’s message be direct and clear and all the failures in the European integration aspect be considered as an “impasse”. This was addressed to our country for failing to meet the EU criteria.
We can say that Greece is to be blamed for blocking us with the name dispute or Bulgaria to have contributed to this situation, due to the lack of will for good neighboring relations.
But, who is to blame for the failure in political dialogue? Who is to be blamed about the failure of institutions, about selective justice and growing control over the media by the government, like the Brussels report states? Who is to be blamed for the two domestic crises taking place within the past two years?
This year’s report cannot be considered as negative, but it talks about a deadlock in the process of European integration and reforms, about the ruining of the image of the country in the international aspect, due to the crisis and domestic political conflicts, but also the deterioration of relations with neighboring countries.
It would be a great damage if the days to come, these recommendations were left under the shadow of domestic political accusations. Instead of this, there must be responsibility in order to decide on strategic objectives which would take the country out of the crisis, while political and institutional factors must clarify as to how they plan to react over the progress report.
They must say in which direction they’re taking the country and if they are taking it toward Russia by not meeting EU criteria. They must explain why they don’t lead the country toward prosperity and democracy, toward a situation where media do their job and not make propaganda, but also to offer the necessary conditions for a judicial system that offers justice and not one who is controlled by politics. They must lead us to a better state with a happier people.
From this perspective, it can be said that our country has left behind five years that damaged its future and this must alarm all of us. What is seen by Brussels is very clear and Fule clearly said that we don’t have the will to change the situation, in spite of our capacity to confront challenges, survive blockages, denial from neighbors and obstacles in becoming part of the European family. But one thing is clear: we can make it.
*The author is a Macedonian journalist and reporter for Utrinski Vesnik in Brussels. She’s also a columnist for Macedonian media.
** The opinion of the author doesn’t necessarily represent IBNA’s editorial line