Aleksandra M. Mitevska
While negotiations on the name dispute have intensified in New York, and the red carpet for NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has been spread in Skopje, the political top in the country has been dealing with the Law on the Use of Languages for days, which currently has no more significance for the integration process of the country. Unless the European flag that is affixed by its creators – perhaps with the intention to relativize the expected negative reactions of the opposition and part of the expert public.
But the avalanche, however, went off and, in fact, was prompted by the ruling parties themselves, with a series of inadequate steps in the procedures and procedures. SDSM and DUI ignored nearly one hundred amendments filed by the opposition, hastening to pass the law while VMRO-DPMNE is absent from the parliamentary hall, as well as before the implementation of the reform package. The content of the regulation is a whole other story. But regardless of the extent to which some of the solutions in it are supported, it is a fact that they could be corrected and improved at any time, if a different political agreement is reached in that direction.
On the other hand, the opposition, preoccupied in this period with the internal split and indifferent to the developments in parliament, began to react again only after the Law was passed, although it had not previously made any more radical attempt to influence its content or prevent its adoption. In the VMRO-DPMNE, they are probably aware that the regulation adopted at the time of SDSM can be welcomed if they “return” to power tomorrow, so that they do not have to close issues that run into a negative echo in the public.
Therefore, President Gjorge Ivanov welcomed his five minutes of fame, since he acted as he was asked by many well-known names these days, which he criticized in the past that he has never stopped adopting many more controversial laws and decisions prepared by the government of VMRO-DPMNE. Indeed, even the best law on languages cannot be a compensation for the political inability to find a common language for what is most important for the state at a given moment. At this point, President Ivanov’s a pompous address to the nation this is certainly not that, no matter how legitimate and however expected his veto is, given the fact that the Law on languages was one of the arguments that he did not give the mandate for forming a government to SDSM and DUI.
But Ivanov is certainly aware that he cannot prevent implementation of the law, if the majority adopts it again. Only then, the Constitutional Court could enter the scene. At the “voting machine” there from the time of the old guard in power, it will probably not be difficult to annul the law adopted by the new headquarters, regardless of whether it is truly (un) constitutional. Unless they plan to adhere to the new government, the eventual annulment of the law cannot be prevent by one of his writers, and who is now a constitutional judge , proposed by Ivanov himself.
In the political circles in Macedonia, during this period, a lot of energy was spent to resurrect the topics that caused big waves some time ago – when pioneering steps were taken to restore coexistence, after the adoption of the Framework Agreement. Thus, the terms nationalism, binationality, ethnocentrism … returned to political rhetoric, as opposed to the words democracy, freedom, civil rights … All those who are now trying to collect political points, affirming it or disputing it regulation of languages.
In fact, Macedonia survived other such, maybe even more dramatic episodes of implementation of the Ohrid Agreement, such as, for instance, when the laws of local self-government or the use of flags were adopted. But this is a past which can now be said that it did not disrupt the system of the state, nor did it hinder its Euro-Atlantic path. On the contrary.
At that time, those laws were priority for the state, now the priorities have changed and the Law on languages is not among them. In fact, when it comes to the term “priority”, there is no difference whether it is pronounced in Macedonian or in Albanian. It is important if there is awareness of its importance and conscience to make a difference in what is really most important for the state. In this context, party or personal interests do not always coincide with the urgent interests of the state. This was proved by the whole story about the Law on the Use of Languages.