The future of Macedonia is in NATO and the EU, and that is not only my personal point of view, it is the joint position of the EU institutions and all 28 member states. I would love to see Macedonia on my side, in Europe, in the near future, because stability, peace, prosperity and democracy in the Western Balkans are the key. But, without the name agreement, I don’t see a chance for you to join the EU and NATO.
This was stated by Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the German Federal Foreign Office, in Skopje at a debate “EU perspectives of the Macedonian youth”.
“That’s why we have to keep our promises and Macedonia has to keep its promises. It’s not only an obligation of the government, it is also an obligation of all political actors to take responsibility for the whole country! Politics is not a game! This is why you matter so much. We need you and I encourage you to stand and fight for your rights, to raise your voice,” Roth told representatives of youth organizations.
Macedonia has lost a generation waiting, said Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, who joined the debate. “Patriotism requires constant commitment, it’s not an empty, selfish nationalism. It takes courage and responsibility to face the hurdles and to open an opportunity that will release the potentials of young people in the society.”
He said that the region was still addressing issues of uncertainty. “And it is very important for the future of Macedonia to join NATO so that we stop asking ourselves what kind of problems and care we are going to have in five year, ten years from now.”
According to Dimitrov, it is also very important for Macedonia to ‘catch the train’, because Europe is going through a transition of its own. “We have no time to lose, we don’t know if another train is coming and we must not miss this one.
“The best chance our country has is to become a European democracy with good education, with responsible politicians and with free media, with independent judges,” the Minister stressed.
The debate was organized by the German embassy in Macedonia, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Center for Freedom – Civil.