Postponement of integration, citizens and experts in Skopje share different opinions

Postponement of integration, citizens and experts in Skopje share different opinions

Once again, the European Union has not issued a date for the opening of negotiations for accession of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The decision is seen as disappointing by several people and analysts, while others believe that it’s based on the problems that the country is going through

By Naser Pajaziti

Citizens in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are once again saddened by the EU decision not to issue a date for the opening of negotiations for the accession of FYR Macedonia. But in this aspect, there exist divisions in terms of the accusations addressed to the government on one side and the European Union on the other.

Selam A, a student from Skopje, who’s been speaking to balkaneu.com says that the decision was expected, while he blames for this prime minister Nikola Gruevski and the current government.

“It’s clear to us that the problem relates to the name issue for which there’s no will to change it and as long as there are no changes, we will go through the same situation and we will be victims of this disintegrating politics”, says the Albanian student, appealing for Brussels to clearly identify the guilty parties to this situation, where he stresses that the citizens are the victims.

Mirjana G, civil servant says that the problem is the EU, which is playing with the fate of the Balkan countries and is applying policies suiting its interests.

“In case the problem consists on the name, why is this problem not overcome so that we can carry on in the path of integration and attain our aims to become member countries like Bulgaria and Croatia, which have not given anything more than we have”, says Mirjana for balkaneu.com.

Experts on issues of Euro Atlantic integration share different opinions as far as the process of the integration of the country is concerned and the failure to issue a date in the EU Summit in the coming days.

Experts say that the decision is now clear and that there will not be a date after yesterday’s (17.12) meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the 28 EU member countries. University of Skopje professor, Georgi Tonovski, speaking for balkaneu.com, assesses that the postponement of the opening of negotiations between Skopje and EU was expected.

“It was an expected decision, because it’s a known fact that the problem consists on the issue of the name dispute with Greece. We are aware about the desperation that people are feeling. There’s also desperation amongst the political class, but there is still great hope about the aspiration to be an equal member of the European family”, says Prof. Tonovski.

“We’re experiencing the famous play “Waiting Godot”, but we all want for the fairy take to end and we’re all waiting to become part of the EU”, says Dr. Tonovski.

Expert on European affairs, Muamer Pajaziti says that domestic problems and disintegrating policies applied by the current government are to be blamed more than the blockade by neighboring countries such as Greece or Bulgaria. Speaking on Wednesday for balkaneu.com, Mr. Pajaziti accuses the government of using Athens and Sofia as a pretext for the failure of integration.

“The prime minister of the country and his governing entourage want to justify these failures in the Euro integrating process with the name dispute, blaming Athens and Sofia for blocking this process. I believe that ‘Skopje 2014’ government project is the virus which, in the foreign aspect, has caused extreme aggravation in the relations with the neighbors while in the domestic aspect, it has provoked tensions in cross ethnic relations in the country”, says Dr. Pajaziti, lector in the ISPECollege in Skopje.

“In times of crisis and recession, it’s insane to spend millions of Euros on monuments and statues. The implementation of reforms has only been done on paper because the majority of people still don’t have faith on the judicial system, police, military and other state institutions. Meanwhile, in the economic aspect, like international reports have pointed out, the country is facing extreme poverty”, says Mr. Pajaziti.

Latest polls indicating the support of the people for EU accession show that a significant majority or over 90% of the people are in favor of EU integration. /ibna/