Yesterday there was a kind of “political kitsch festival” in the Parliament, so instead of critically discussing about the new EU report and the recommendation, a spectacle was organized with over two hundred guests, among which the American analyst Daniel Serwer as the main speaker. Although this is the tenth recommendation for Macedonia and the eighth that is positive, and although we are still on the tail of European integration, the political circles we have obviously estimated that there is room for celebration and that this event should be used as propaganda. However, some messages and points emerged from the discussion.
The great expert on the Balkan situations, Serwer, said the simple formula for Macedonia’s membership in the EU and NATO – the name must be resolved, and the road goes through Athens.
“Even if you do everything the EU asks, will Athens still be a problem? The short answer is yes, but you have a choice. There are two directions – a downward spiral of despair and, in my opinion, it is a sad scenario, and the other direction you chose one year ago is to rise, that is, it is a spiral that accepts NATO and EU conditions and maintains the state to this level, which will raise over time. That’s what I would choose,” said Serwer, who is now a professor at Johns Hopkins University. According to him, the progress of the Balkans is within the triangle of the United States, the EU and the countries of the region. “When these three sides are harmonized, nothing can stop them. When out of balance, all issues, even those that can affect peace and stability, are at stake.”
He also stressed that in the past ten difficult years, the US and EU and their policy towards the Balkans have remained the same, that is, all Balkan countries, who want to be part of the EU, to become its members. “It’s the best security we have for lasting peace and safety. Although you had doubts about Europe, and Europe had doubts about you, but Europe’s economy slowly recovered and became more cautious about Putin’s problems caused with the invasion of Ukraine, the coup attempt in Montenegro in 2016, and the attempted murder of the former Russian agent Skripal this year”.
Prime Minister Zoran Zaev announced that by June the government will prepare a negotiating team composed of representatives of the institutions for the negotiations with the EU. “After the adoption of the decision for negotiations in June, we will prepare the negotiating team. With this step we will demonstrate seriousness,” Zaev stressed.
Committee Chairman Artan Grubi said the authorities are aware that this year Macedonia will not become part of the EU and NATO, but we need to start the negotiations. According to him, the responsibility is borne by the academic community, the judiciary, the media and non-governmental organizations. “In order to have confidence in the process, this recommendation, although not the first, must be the last,” Grubi said.
The member of the VMRO-DPMNE Committee on European Affairs, Nevenka Stamenkovska, said that Macedonia received several unconditional recommendations at the time when VMRO-DPMNE was in power.
“The new government promised that we would enter the EU in six months. But Macedonia is now the most corrupt country, as it is noted in the EU Report. The European Commission also notes the political influence on the institutions. Declarative commitments are not enough. Citizens live worse,” said VMRO-DPMNE MP Stamenkovska. She expressed her party’s remarks that the session of the Committee on European Affairs was scheduled hastily without consultation with the opposition and without agreed and adopted conclusions.